“Softly, deftly, music shall caress you. Hear it, feel it, Secretly possess you.”
― Charles Hart, The Phantom of the Opera: Piano/Vocal
You’ll find yourself humming the music from The Phantom Of The Opera for hours after it ends. Or for days after, as was the case with me, after watching the stunning production on its opening night on the August 8th. Walking into the show was like traveling back to a time in history, to 19th century France. The show itself is a treat for the senses. The musical is so immersive that walking out of Seattle’s Paramount Theatre into downtown’s buzzing nightlife was almost a rude shock to the senses.
Cameron Mackintosh’s breathtaking new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA returns to Seattle at the Paramount Theatre through August 19th. With more than 30 years and going strong, the musical is Broadway’s longest running show. With the Tony Award and the Olivier Award to its credit, the show has entertained audiences since 1986.
With a cast and orchestra of 52 members, new staging, and impressive special effects, the production has only gotten more grandiose with the reincarnation. The musical is back with renewed glory in the Emerald City as part of a North American tour, and you can get your tickets here. While the reboot comes with added theatrical flair—live flames, pyrotechnics, state-of-the-art strobe lighting, theatrical smoke and a very grand chandelier, the story remains the old, beloved one with much-loved songs like “Masquerade”, “Music Of The Night” and “All I Ask Of You”.
Based on Gaston Leroux’s much-acclaimed 1910 novel of the same name, The Phantom of the Opera is about a disfigured musical genius who is besotted with a young chorus girl, Christine Daaé. He lives in an underground grotto below the Paris Opera house and orchestrates the ingénue’s rise as a musician. Enter Raoul, a childhood friend of Christine’s, and this incites the phantom to envy and fury.
In the revamped staging, Quentin Oliver Lee is a mysterious, dark figure as the Phantom and both romantic and terrifying in equal measure. As Christine, Eva Tavares, a performer from Vancouver, BC plays the gorgeous soprano to perfect—an innocent star-in-the-making. Her voice is divine and it seems befitting that she has honed it from years of studying the Opera. The other crew members are spectacular too, and the music has a lingering impact.
Belonging to the rare set of people who haven’t read the classic or seen any of the Phantom movies, I was in for a genuine shock as the massive chandelier started swaying only to free-fall dramatically. It stopped to stay suspended mid-air right before intermission. Being a first-timer heightened the experience, as did sitting right in the center of the audience. That said, the impact wasn’t lost on my friend either, who had read the book and seen the production before.
The show runs for about 2 hours 30 minutes with an intermission. There are many reasons to go see The Phantom Of The Opera—emotive acting, brilliant sound effects, opulent sets and the legendary chandelier to name a few, but the hauntingly beautiful music tops the list.
Paramount Theatre | 911 Pine Street, Seattle | (206) 682-1414