The Phantom of the Opera at Royal Albert Hall (2011) is a recording of the stage musical Phantom of the Opera by Andrew Lloyd Webber. They recorded three sessions and edited them together. The film was directed by Nick Morris while the stage production was directed by Laurence Connor. It was filmed to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the stage musical. On Oct 2, 2011, One of the filmed sessions was screened live over the entire world. The musical is set up like an opera where there is very little spoke dialogue. The musical has a sequel, Love Never Dies, occurring ten years after the events of the stage musical.
Bold=== Prologube === The musical begins with an auction where an older Raoul is present. The auctions consists of items from the Opera House. It time for the restored chandelier and the scene begins to move back in time.
It’s 1881 and a rehearsal of the opera is in full swing. It is shortly interrupted by the Phantom. The new managers try to downplay the incident but Carlotta refuses to sing until the problem is over. The managers panic and Meg, a ballerina from the chorus, suggests Christine Daae to take the role and surprises everyone.
After the show, Raoul goes to the dressing room and Christine confesses to him about her Angel of Music. After he leaves, the Phantom speaks to her and brings her to his lair through a mirror. Christine believes him to be an angel from her late father. The Phantom has chosen her to sing his music and continues to train her. When she unmasks him, he takes her back to the opera house.
Meanwhile, The managers are attempting to rectify the budget. Madame Giry explain to them about the phantom and delivers the note tell them to replace Carlotta with Christine. The ignore the warning. That evening, Carlotta croaks. Shortly after, Buquet’s body is found hanging from the rafters.
After the performance, Christine and Raoul escape to the roof where they confess their love for one another. The phantom overhears and is heart broken and vows revenge. In the opera house, the chandelier explodes and curtain falls.
The act opens with a masquerade ball where Christine and Raoul are hiding their engagement. The phantom appears (as Red Death) and presents his opera Don Juan Triumphant and demands that Christine is lead. Christine refuses and Raoul begins to search for information on the phantom.
During the premiere of the opera, the phantom kills the lead male and takes over the role. Midscene, he places a ring on the finger of Christine and kidnaps her. Raoul follows. The Phantom demands for Christine to marry him. When Raoul arrives, Phantom places him in a noose and gives her the ultimatum, either marriage or Raoul’s death. She kisses the Phantom and chooses him. After the kiss, the phantom releases the couple. Chrstine returns the ring and has a hard time leaving. Once she does, the phantom moves to his chair, and covers with a robe. When the authorities and Meg find him, she remove the cape and all that is left is his mask.
Themes and Motifs:
Ghostliness and Hauntedness:
The entire play is haunted by the presence of the Phantom. The Phantom calls to Christine over the loud speaker and it sounds very spirit like. The Phantom haunts the Opera House and we discover that he has been doing it for three years. As a result of his hauntings, Christine sings lead.
In Act 2, the phantom directly haunts the opera house and forces them to do his opera. Whenever something moves off task, his ghost like voice resonates and the actors begin to work. Throughout the entire musical, he is constantly sending notes to the managers, Raoul and Carlotta.
The legend of the Phantom is well known. It is a general fact and is accepted by all of the actors except the managers. Eventually, they take his threats seriously but it takes until Act 2 for that to happen.
The phantom leaves an haunting feeling on the audience at the end of the play as well. Much like the 1943 film adaptation, the last image that we see is the mask of the phantom.
The entire play is introduce by a prologue of an auction that an Older Raoul is attending. The events of the entire musical haunts Raoul and the auction triggers these memories. The fact that the musical haunts Raoul exemplifies any of the hauntings in the musical and reinforces the idea that these events are just a memory replaying over and over. The memory of the people are ghosts and become the same as the phantom to the members of the opera troupe.
Love and Jealously:
Christine is the focal point of both the love and jealously in this adaptation. Both the phantom and Raoul are in love with Christine. The Phantom shows his love through haunting the theatre and helping Christine to become a better opera singer. Raoul brings flowers as well as declarations of love.
Love drives the plot of this musical. Without the phantom’s love and desire for Christine and her voice, the story would cease to exist.
In this adaptation, jealousy is very strong. Raoul is jealous of the Phantom and the Phantom is extremely jealous of Raoul. However, Raoul has no idea who he is jealous of at first because he believes that she is making up the phantom and her Angel of Music. The phantom’s jealously is what is the major force that drives Act 2. He wants revenge on Raoul for loving Christine as well as wanting her to love him the way she loves Raoul. Both Love and Jealously work hand in hand to drive the plot of the musical.
Love and Death:
Love and Death go hand in hand as well. Much like the novel, the phantom drives himself mad loving Christine. His disfigurement get worse as his love for Christine grows. By the end, the phantom has barely any hair left, and the left side of his face is falling apart. His appearance is truly monstrous. The phantom’s love for Christine is what is killing him.
The same goes for Christine. A part of her is dying when she choses Raoul over the Phantom. The Phantom represents appearances and art while Raoul represents reality, marriage, and domesticity. She cannot have both her art and reality. Christine either must live with the Phantom or with Raoul. When she leaves the Phantom, part of herself dies with him. Her artistic self no longer exists because he molded her artistic self.
There is a sense of Redemption in the play. The Phantom has committed some terrible crimes in the course of the two acts. When Christine chooses him and kisses him, the Phantom has a change of heart. Even though he loves Christine, he realizes that he must give her up and let her be with Raoul. The Phantom sacrifices his selfishness and instead shows a selfless love towards Christine.
Appearance vs. Reality:
Like most adaptations, the musical is playing with the idea of appearance versus reality. The Phantom represents appearances while Raoul represents reality.
The phantom appears to be everything Christine wants. She believes him to be her Angel of Music. The phantom takes on that role to manipulate Christine as well as helping her.
The phantom’s appearance inhibits anyone from getting close to him as well. Christine becomes terrified of the phantom’s monstrous appearance and ignores the reality of his love for her. His artwork is quite beautiful and Chrstine cannot reconcile with that beauty because of the outward appearance as well as the monstrous actions of the Phantom.
The play constantly switches back from the Opera and Reality as well. It is entirely based upon the appearance of the actors versus the reality of their status.
Importance of Adaptation:
This adaptation is the second stage musical, however, it is more successful than the first.
The phantom in this adaptation is closely related to death. The image of him rowing Christine over the underground lake to his liar, reflects the lake one must cross to enter the underworld.
During the timeline of the play, the phantom’s appearance continues to decay. It shows that the Phantom’s condition can change, unlike in the other adaptations where the disfigurement is more permanent.
This adaptation removes the Persian as the direct link to the phantom and creates the character Madame Giry. She is the one who delivers the salary to the phantom and is the one who is delivering most of the information about the phantom. She is the one who leads Raoul to the Phantom at the end of the musical to rescue Christine. She is strong female character that hasn’t been in many stage adaptations. Madame Giry also fears the phantom, allowing the audience to pick up on some past history that we may not know of.
This is one of the first adaptations that starts in the future and moves backwards to the events of the play. However, that concept is never returned to and the musical doesn’t complete that idea. We do have the sense that all of these events are happening in the past as well as haunting Raoul, the person who remembers the events of the opera house.
The musical brings in some concepts from other adaptations. It references the 1925 silent film adaptation where the Phantom communicated Christine through the mirror and that is how she enters his liar. It also takes the idea of the Phantom being a musician and composer from the 1943 film adaptation.
In this musical, Joesph Banquet is killed during the events of the musical and not before the events of the plot, like in the novel. It is the first indicator of the monstrosity of the phantom and emphasizes that monstrous side.