The Phantom of the Opera

Discussion of musicals other than Les Misérables.
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Prisoner 24653
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Re: The Phantom of the Opera

Postby Prisoner 24653 » Sun Jul 26, 2015 11:56 pm

I found a clip of Celinde Schoenmaker singing the title song in Dutch for a concert. (Shortened version of the song, but hey.) Not sure what to think, really; but since she was cast, I'd assume she can do the cadenza in the normal key. I did like her as Fantine when I saw her in the US tour of LM, so we'll see how it goes. It'd be cool if she also gets to be a blonde Christine alongside Emmi Christensson.

As for JOJ... I like him ok in the role. Wish I could love him, since his voice is awesome; but his acting in his most recent run often made it seem like he was really bored and wishing he could be somewhere else, which is a shame. Hopefully, he'll get back some of the fire he had when he played the role in the early 2000s.

I knew nothing of Jav... I mean, Ben Forster ( :P ) other than that he won "Superstar." After looking him up on YouTube, though... Ick. I can hope he improves a lot before he starts in the role, but I'm not sure how likely that is.

Yay for Nadim Naaman! I liked what I've heard of him as Raoul previously, and am glad he's getting another shot at it. :mrgreen:

And I don't think I've heard Ashley Stillburn... Was he good as Feuilly? If so, hope he gets a good part and/or gets to understudy as one of the mains!


EDIT: Wow. How did I get the idea that I saw Celinde Schoenmaker in the US tour? Must've mixed her up with Genevieve Leclerc, somehow. D'oh! :oops:

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Re: The Phantom of the Opera

Postby Prisoner 24653 » Sun Sep 27, 2015 11:18 pm

It seems that the Facebook pages for POTO's Broadway and (new, Laurence Connor-directed) US Tour productions have disappeared. Or, rather, they were merged with the page for the London production; but not all the photo albums were copied over, or at least not yet. Quite a few Phans are unhappy about that, especially since the change was made with no notice whatsoever. Does seem par for the course as far as the way their PR department tends to handle things, though.

Also, I've heard the audio of JOJ's return to the role, where he performed with Celinde Schoenmaker as Christine. I really, really like her portrayal thus far, though I'm sad that she doesn't get to have a blonde wig for the role. And JOJ seems like he's finally gotten back some of the energy and innovativeness he had when he played the Phantom in the early 2000s. Hoping they can keep it up!

Less enthusiastic about the news that Sweden's reviving the show next year with Peter (or Pete; thank ya, Havs... :P ) Jöback in the title role. Emmi Christensson will be leaving the London cast to play Christine there. No news about the rest of the cast, though one Phan on another forum suggested Anton Zetterholm as Raoul. (Their personal wish/hope, not a real rumor at this point). We shall see...

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Re: The Phantom of the Opera

Postby CourfeyracNroll » Mon Sep 28, 2015 3:25 am

I'm a huge costume nerd (when I'm not acting, I'm the head of costumes crew), and honestly (besides the phantom's deformity) I really loved the costumes in the 2004 movie. Especially Carlotta's big pink dress. (ahhhhhh)
It was my first musical version introduction to it as well. ^-^

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Re: The Phantom of the Opera

Postby 23623 » Mon Jan 18, 2016 11:04 am

Personally I'm not a huge fan of POTO but I've seen it on stage once.

:arrow: Things I like about the show:
-Music. Why do all ALW musicals have such catchy music? I found the piano sheet of this show and I can actually play most of the songs on my piano. Even my mother, who cannot stand musicals at all, loves Music of the Night. And btw she asked me "what gender is the performer?" when she listened to OLC-MOTN and I almost died laughing :lol:
-Costume. I love the masquerade scene.
-Props and special effects (is this the correct term? is this a term at all?) Watching POTO on stage is really a great visual experience because the boat, candles and fire on stage are dazzling!

:arrow: Things I dislike about the show:
-Overacting. This is the main reason why I'm not a Phan. Seriously, I hate overacting. I don't know if I'm the only one who think that there is too much overacting in POTO.
-Plot. I don't like the plot. It is a clichéd love story and I find it a bit boring. But it's not a big deal since the music can compensate for that to some extent.
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Re: The Phantom of the Opera

Postby deHavilland » Tue Jan 19, 2016 3:14 am

Which actors have you seen in Phantom, 23? I'm just curious in regards to who you've thought were overacting enough to ruin the show for you and whether or not seeing some of the better loved performances would be able to change your mind. ;)

Though I certainly don't disagree. Gina Beck is one of my all-time favorite Christines and even she definitely overacts her way through Music of the Night.
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Re: The Phantom of the Opera

Postby 23623 » Tue Jan 19, 2016 6:49 pm

I have to check the cast list later but I remember the phantom was played by Brad Little. Actually many people like him. But that night his voice cracked several times during Final Lair and I blamed that on overacting. Christine and Raoul and everyone else were OK though.

By 'too much overacting' I mean it seems to me that almost every phantom overacts. This was my first impression after watching some POTO comparison videos. But it's possible that I just consider what is actually normal as overacting because my understanding of overacting is very different from the directors'.

I'd like to know your recommendations of good phantoms and hopefully they will change my mind!

*EDIT* Thank you for the link Havvy! That's a considerable collection of POTO recordings. This forum surprises me with something new everyday.
So according to the website, the cast I saw was actually:
Phantom - Brad Little
Christine - Claire Lyon
Raoul - Anthony Downing
Last edited by 23623 on Fri Jan 22, 2016 9:11 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Phantom of the Opera

Postby Prisoner 24653 » Tue Jan 19, 2016 7:16 pm

Ah, Brad... Yeah, vocally he's been a bit out-of-shape in recent years. I feel like he used to be excellent, but fell into some bad vocal habits and may have caused some lasting damage to his voice.

And as far as the acting... Yeah, audiences might perceive a lot of Phantom actors as overacting. The reason is that because most of the actor's face is covered by the mask and the prosthetic makeup under that, he has to be bigger and more expressive with his body language (as well as his voice). But for more subtle acting in the role, the current Broadway Phantom James Barbour might fit for that. And I find Ian Jon Bourg, who has played the role in the US, Germany, and the World Tour for many years, to be a fantastically subtle Phantom. (Very faithful to the novel, as well, which is always a plus.) Will see if I have more recommendations later on, as well. :D

Also, there's been some pretty major news. For the first time ever, the stage musical will be performed in France! The production will be at Théâtre Mogador in October, and they already have a site up with a countdown clock and a way to make reservations: http://www.thephantomoftheopera.com/par ... ium=social

I do hope there will be an official cast album! Not all productions have gotten them, but I'd be really surprised if they didn't make one for this production.

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Re: The Phantom of the Opera

Postby deHavilland » Wed Jan 20, 2016 2:35 am

I definitely agree with you. It would be so nice to have a proper recording of the musical in French (outside of the French dubbed version of the movie soundtrack.) Super looking forward to that prospect!
"Quand vous aurez besoin de Bahorel, capitaine, Bahorel est là! Je sais faire trébucher tous les chevaux du garde-corps avec une ficelle... Rien qu'une petite ficelle. Enfin, pensez à Bahorel du Café Musain!"

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Re: The Phantom of the Opera

Postby 23623 » Thu Jan 21, 2016 10:26 am

Prisoner 24653 wrote:And as far as the acting... Yeah, audiences might perceive a lot of Phantom actors as overacting. The reason is that because most of the actor's face is covered by the mask and the prosthetic makeup under that, he has to be bigger and more expressive with his body language (as well as his voice). But for more subtle acting in the role, the current Broadway Phantom James Barbour might fit for that. And I find Ian Jon Bourg, who has played the role in the US, Germany, and the World Tour for many years, to be a fantastically subtle Phantom. (Very faithful to the novel, as well, which is always a plus.) Will see if I have more recommendations later on, as well. :D


Thank you for the explanation! The "overacting" makes much more sense to me now, but I still can't say that I'll like it.

Just searched Ian Jon Bourg on Youtube. Start with him first because I know he has played Von Krolock; his VK is acceptable but not excellent in my standard :wink: OK I should shut up now or I'll start TdV-ing and never stop... Oh about his phantom. I watched a clip of Final Lair. I still think he overacts, though not *that much* indeed :| Nonetheless he's no doubt far better than the only other German phantom I've seen before, namely Uwe (sorry Uwe fans but imo his phantom is really hilarious) And I don't know if it's due to his style of acting -- more specifically, his way of expressing grief -- but his phantom resembles his VK a little bit. Oops...sorry I just said I need to shut up about TdV a few seconds ago.

I'm going to watch something of James Barbour later. Thank your for you recommendations and please don't hesitate to tell me more, Prisoner 24653!

BTW, I just realize that I don't know where I can find information about casts! The official website of POTO doesn't even include that :oops:
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Re: The Phantom of the Opera

Postby deHavilland » Fri Jan 22, 2016 1:26 am

When it comes to looking at casts over the years, I actually tend to look at bootleg websites that have shows listed in chronological order. Les Mis has londonlesmis and used to have a Broadway equivalent, but I think it's gone done at the moment. (Perhaps permanently?)

I use my own site for general Les Mis stuff, but I don't have a huge Phantom collection, so I tend to turn to the big phantom traders out there like Glassprism. Browsing through her audio and video pages will not only give you a sense of what there is out there to see/hear that's been recorded over the years, but will also give you a launching point for seeing who was in the show when and with whom.
"Quand vous aurez besoin de Bahorel, capitaine, Bahorel est là! Je sais faire trébucher tous les chevaux du garde-corps avec une ficelle... Rien qu'une petite ficelle. Enfin, pensez à Bahorel du Café Musain!"

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Re: The Phantom of the Opera

Postby Auf die Barrikaden » Thu Jan 28, 2016 12:27 am

After seeing it on stage for the first time last summer I became a bit obsessed with POTO. This has calmed down, but resulted in me getting Broadway props from ebay. Well it was a bargain...a true catch. Anyways...without having seen anything from him-what's the deal with Uwe Kröger's Phantom?? I read of Phans all over the net complaining and joking, yet I never read anything WHY he was so...one of a kind...pls help me my dears.
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Re: The Phantom of the Opera

Postby Prisoner 24653 » Thu Jan 28, 2016 2:44 am

Heh heh . . . Well, my personal view is that he got the role mainly because of his popularity, rather than being able to give a quality performance. I've never been a big fan of his voice -- his dubbing of the Phantom in the 2004 movie was the first thing I heard him in, and that probably influenced my overall view of him; that experience actually put me off listening to POTO in German for a while (as that was, sadly, the first time I'd heard a German recording of the show) until a friend introduced me to better German/Austrian Phantom performers. My initial impression of Kröger's voice was that he sounded like a pedophile, and I've never been able to shake that. :?

When Kröger played the role in Essen, he was constantly pitchy; and acting-wise, he clearly didn't understand the character and seemed to take the role as an excuse to camp it up. He's certainly (regrettably) far from the only campy Phantom, but he seems to take it to an extreme in many scenes. And apparently, there have been a few interviews where he said he saw Phantom as just another show he took on because it's an 'expected' male lead, that he thought it was the easiest role he ever played (if that were true, you'd think he'd have been better)... so yeah. Suffice it to say, I'm not a fan. Though oddly, I didn't mind him as Javert in the Berlin production of LM or as Van Helsing in the Graz production of Dracula; but I've heard better German/Austrian performers in those roles, as well. If you want to see Uwe, though, there's a full video boot on YouTube.
Act 1
Act 2

Speaking of POTO in German... The Hamburg revival transferred to Oberhausen, and interestingly, they've cast Americans to play the Phantom and Christine -- Brent Barrett, who played the role in Las Vegas in 2006-07 (alternating with Anthony Crivello until Barrett left the production and Crivello became the lone principal Phantom there for the rest of the production's run); and Elizabeth Welch, who had been the Christine understudy in the old US Tour and then on Broadway. I'm really liking Welch in German; she sounds like a natural. Barrett, though... In the boots I've heard, he's all over the place with pitch, and his grasp of the language needs a lot of work. Even though I don't speak the language and most of what I know comes from recordings of musicals, his mistakes are pretty clear to me. :(
The Mirror -- Nicky Wuchinger, Elizabeth Welch
Final Lair Scene -- Brent Barrett, Daniela Braun, Max Niemeyer

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Re: The Phantom of the Opera

Postby 23623 » Thu Jan 28, 2016 5:39 am

Ohhhh Uwe bashing! Count me in, I love it! :twisted:

Auf die Barrikaden wrote:Anyways...without having seen anything from him-what's the deal with Uwe Kröger's Phantom?? I read of Phans all over the net complaining and joking, yet I never read anything WHY he was so...one of a kind...pls help me my dears.

You are really lucky to have avoided him. I don't think you will be alright after you click Prisoner 24653's links :lol:
I don't like other phantoms because they overact, but after all they are just going to far on the right track. I can't stand Uwe because he didn't even know how to act! His title song and MOTN were disasters. His voice faltered at the high notes, which gave me an impression that he was singing out of tune. I wish I had never watched his MOTN. He sang it in a scary way. And I laughed through the whole Final Lair. I just didn't know what he was doing there.

Prisoner 24653 wrote:Heh heh . . . Well, my personal view is that he got the role mainly because of his popularity, rather than being able to give a quality performance. I've never been a big fan of his voice -- his dubbing of the Phantom in the 2004 movie was the first thing I heard him in, and that probably influenced my overall view of him; that experience actually put me off listening to POTO in German for a while (as that was, sadly, the first time I'd heard a German recording of the show) until a friend introduced me to better German/Austrian Phantom performers. My initial impression of Kröger's voice was that he sounded like a pedophile, and I've never been able to shake that. :?

When Kröger played the role in Essen, he was constantly pitchy; and acting-wise, he clearly didn't understand the character and seemed to take the role as an excuse to camp it up. He's certainly (regrettably) far from the only campy Phantom, but he seems to take it to an extreme in many scenes. And apparently, there have been a few interviews where he said he saw Phantom as just another show he took on because it's an 'expected' male lead, that he thought it was the easiest role he ever played (if that were true, you'd think he'd have been better)... so yeah. Suffice it to say, I'm not a fan. Though oddly, I didn't mind him as Javert in the Berlin production of LM or as Van Helsing in the Graz production of Dracula; but I've heard better German/Austrian performers in those roles, as well. If you want to see Uwe, though, there's a full video boot on YouTube.
Act 1
Act 2

The movie soundtrack was also the first German POTO audio I listened to. I listened to it just out of curiosity. I was neither Uwe-fan nor Uwe-basher back then. Actually I thought it was mediocre and that he might be better on stage. It was my worst prediction ever since I knew the existence of musical theater. I shouldn't have given him any chance. After watching the videos I swore I would never watch anything in which he has a role. That was how I became Uwe-basher btw. :wink:
I never understand how he could be that popular. I admit that I liked him in Elisabeth before the year 2001, but there's nothing else he can do. He couldn't even be an acceptable Der Tod later on -- just look at Elisabeth's 10th anniversary concert. He can't sing or act and even in terms of appearance he isn't particularly attractive (is he the only phantom who is shorter than Christine? Hehehehe :twisted: ) I'm more than happy that I never saw his Javert. Why bother since I already have Murray&Muller? *Returns to Murray videos again to seek some comfort*
Mein.Gott. Did Uwe say phantom was the EASIEST role he's played?! Did he even think before speaking? Now I really want to...shoot him could somebody please give me a gun? Alright, I'm joking, but phantom is not an easy role at all OK? BTW may I ask you to stay (as far as you can) away from Tanz der Vampire -- by "as far as you can" I mean don't even try to sing those songs, Mr. Phantom-is-the-easiest-role-I've-played?

*EDIT* Um...In fact I don't get angry about something easily and I usually pay attention to courtesy when I speak, but I happen to be in a bad mood and fond of Uwe-bashing today. I'm afraid I've said something inappropriate because I was out of my mind. If so, please kindly let me know and I apologize for that!
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Re: The Phantom of the Opera

Postby Auf die Barrikaden » Thu Jan 28, 2016 10:21 pm

Ah well...I've got that full POTO show on my watch list-now I'm afraid...I found his singing dub for the movie ok. Especially compared to whatever Gerald Butler tried to do! Yikes. Thanks for the answers mizzies!

As to his Javert: I'm not too fond of tenors for the role in general, and I think he kind of started that for me. :D Speaking of which, a true bass Javert would be awesome. Or even more a bass Valjean. Sorry, off topic. Here are my POTO props to get back on track: http://oi58.tinypic.com/29wk01g.jpg
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Re: The Phantom of the Opera

Postby 23623 » Sun Jan 31, 2016 1:47 pm

Auf die Barrikaden wrote:As to his Javert: I'm not too fond of tenors for the role in general, and I think he kind of started that for me.

Sorry for the off-topic trivia but...
Why is he a tenor??? :shock:

I don't want to believe this as he doesn't seem to handle the high notes well. But my question is a sincere one without any sarcasm; I honestly don't know how to classify people into different voice types even though I searched "voice type" in wikipedia immediately after reading this post. Could someone please educate me?

Back on topic...
Prisoner 24653 wrote:Speaking of POTO in German... The Hamburg revival transferred to Oberhausen, and interestingly, they've cast Americans to play the Phantom and Christine -- Brent Barrett, who played the role in Las Vegas in 2006-07 (alternating with Anthony Crivello until Barrett left the production and Crivello became the lone principal Phantom there for the rest of the production's run); and Elizabeth Welch, who had been the Christine understudy in the old US Tour and then on Broadway. I'm really liking Welch in German; she sounds like a natural. Barrett, though... In the boots I've heard, he's all over the place with pitch, and his grasp of the language needs a lot of work. Even though I don't speak the language and most of what I know comes from recordings of musicals, his mistakes are pretty clear to me. :(
The Mirror -- Nicky Wuchinger, Elizabeth Welch
Final Lair Scene -- Brent Barrett, Daniela Braun, Max Niemeyer

Don't speak German either and the majority of my German knowledge comes from musicals as well. It seems that non-native speakers are quite common in German musicals and I sometimes doubt whether they really understand what they're singing. :lol: Can't judge their German in the links, but the overacting is so obvious in both audios that I can detect it even without any image. :|
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