I first saw ALW's Phantom of the Opera in Regina in the mid 90's, and that started my lifelong love affair with Phantom. I got the most fabulous Christmas gift this year, which was to go see the opera in Fort Lauderdale on the 27th. It was PHENOMENAL!!! I know many people haven't had the opportunity to see the Opera itself, but if you ever get a chance, you should. It's a very different experience to see the Opera versus reading the books or seeing the movies.
In this version, Tim Martin Gleason played the Phantom. He was excellent. One thing I noticed compared to the 2004 movie (which will be the movie I reference unless otherwise noted) was that in places, he played the Phantom to be much more sensitive, which is neither better nor worse, just different. One thing that I really enjoyed was during masquerade, he arrives as the true Red Death, not the smoking hot death that Gerard plays, which is truer to the book. An interestin tidbit.....Tim Gleason actually holds the record for the longest stint as Raoul, before taking over as the Phantom.
Trista Moldovan played the role of Christine. Now, I may get shot here, but here's my opinion. Firstly, I've never been a huge Sarah Brightman fan (don't shoot!). That's just me. I saw Phantom the first time with the canadian cast version, and that's what I got used too. Then came Emmy Rossum in the movie, and I love her voice. I found that Trista was very similar to Emmy, which was great for me. She had a phenomenal voice and played the role extremely well.
Sean MacLaughlin played the role of Raoul. He was also quite good. I did find the role of Raoul seemed smaller in the Opera than in the movie, but maybe that's just me. He also had a fantastic voice!
Compared to the movie, I was quite surprised at how similar the opera was. I guess I shouldn't be since ALW did them both. The whole first act was nearly the same, except of course that the chandelier falls at the end of the first act, right after All I Ask of You (reprise). Now, the chandelier fall was pretty cheesy. Mom says that she remembers out west that it was much better, but I suppose with safety precautions and stuff, it can't be like the movie.
In the second act, the big difference for me was between the masquerade scene (or actually right after) and the "Notes/Twisted Every Way". In the movie, Phantom gives his instructions on his opera right after masquerade. In the opera, he sends notes like in the first part, giving his instructions. They also show them rehearsing Don Juan. And of course, no swordfight in the graveyard
Overall, I couldn't have been more pleased. I was actually rendered speechless at the end, which my mom said she was going to write on the calendar, cause I always have something to say
I would love to see it again next year, but mom says she doesn't want to see it that soon again. So, I may have to go by myself, but I wouldn't care. I would love to see it again.
I'm curious to what other people who have seen the ALW opera think, compared to the book, the movie etc. PhantomnessFay, I know you've seen it recently so you must have some input. I'm curious to know how many Phans have seen the actual Opera!