The Phantom of the Opera — Broadway

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The Phantom of the Opera — Broadway musical show video preview.

What: The Phantom of the Opera Show

How Long:
2hrs, 30mins.
(1 Intermission)
Average Weekly Schedule:

The Phantom of the Opera is a Broadway musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber, based on the French novel Le Fantôme de l'Opéra by Gaston Leroux.
The music was composed by Lloyd Webber, and most lyrics were written by Charles Hart. Additional lyrics were written by Richard Stilgoe. Alan Jay Lerner was an early collaborator, but he withdrew after completing work on a single song, Masquerade, and died shortly thereafter. The central plot revolves around a beautiful soprano, Christine Daaé, who becomes the obsession of a mysterious, disfigured musical genius.
The Phantom of the Opera opened in the West End in 1986, and on Broadway in 1988. The Phantom of the Opera is a Broadway musical is the longest-running musical in Broadway history, the second-longest-running West End musical, and arguably the world's most financially successful single entertainment project to date.
Phantom won the 1986 Olivier Award and the 1988 Tony Award for Best Musical, and Michael Crawford won the 1986 Olivier and 1988 Tony for Best Performance by an Actor in a Musical. The show has been seen in 149 cities in 25 countries, and has played to over 100 million people. With total worldwide box office receipts of over £3.5bn ($5.1bn), Phantom is the highest-grossing entertainment event of all time. The New York production alone has grossed US $715 million, making it the most financially successful Broadway show in history.

The Phantom of the Opera is a Broadway musical began previews at the Majestic Theatre on January 9, 1988 and opened on January 26. Crawford, Brightman and Barton reprised their respective roles from the London production. In 2009 the Broadway production marked its nine thousandth performance and is currently the longest-running musical in Broadway history celebrating 23 years in January of 2011.

The Phantom of the Opera Lyricists
Lloyd Webber approached Jim Steinman to write the lyrics because of his "dark obsessive side", but the writer/producer declined in order to fulfil his commitments on a Bonnie Tyler album. The pair did eventually collaborate on Lloyd Webber's musical adaptation of Whistle Down the Wind.
Alan Jay Lerner was then recruited, but died soon after beginning the project, and none of his contributions remained in the show. Richard Stilgoe, who also wrote the lyrics for Andrew Lloyd Webber's Starlight Express, then wrote lyrics for the production, as well as devising most of the titles for the songs. However, the composer felt that Stilgoe's lyrics were too witty and clever, rather than romantic. Charles Hart, a young and relatively unknown lyricist was invited to rewrite the lyrics, even contributing almost solely to an unplaced tune by Lloyd Webber, which later became "Think of Me". Some of Stilgoe's original contributions are still present in the final version.

The Phantom of the Opera Act I
Thirty years earlier, as Carlotta, the Opéra's resident soprano prima donna, rehearses for that evening's performance, a backdrop collapses without warning. "The Phantom! He's here!" the excited cast members whisper. The Opera's new owners, Firmin and André, try to downplay the incident, but Carlotta refuses to continue and storms offstage. Madame Giry, the Opéra's ballet mistress tells Firmin and André that Christine Daaé, a Swedish chorus girl and orphaned daughter of a prominent violinist, has been "well taught", and could sing Carlotta's role. Rather than cancel the performance, the owners reluctantly audition Christine, and to their surprise, she is equal to the challenge. ("Think of Me")
Backstage after her triumphant debut, Christine confesses to her best friend Meg (Madame Giry's daughter) that she knows her mysterious teacher only as the "Angel of Music" ("Angel of Music"). The new patron, Raoul, the Vicomte de Chagny, finds Christine in her dressing room. It is revealed that they were once childhood friends. They reminisce about their childhood experiences together ("Little Lotte"). Christine discloses to Raoul that her father has died and that she has been visited by the Angel of Music that her father used to tell them stories about. Raoul nonchalantly dismisses this notion and invites her to dinner. After Raoul leaves, the Angel of Music appears as an image in Christine's mirror. ("Angel of Music/The Mirror") Christine begs him to show himself. The Phantom guides Christine through the mirror and takes her below the Opera house. ("The Phantom of the Opera") He brings Christine to his secret lair, deep beneath the Opera House on the shore of a subterranean lake, an eerie place containing a pipe organ, a throne, and a life-sized doll resembling Christine, clothed in a wedding gown. The Phantom explains that he wants Christine to sing his music ("The Music of the Night").
As the Phantom composes music at his organ, ("I Remember...") Christine awakens to the sound of the monkey music box. She slips up behind the Phantom, lifts his mask, and beholds his face. The Phantom rails against her curiosity, then ruefully expresses his longing to look normal and to be loved by Christine ("Stranger Than You Dreamt It").
In the Opera House, Joseph Buquet, the Opéra's chief stagehand who (like Mme. Giry) seems to know a lot about the Phantom, regales everyone with tales of the "Opera Ghost" and his terrible Punjab lasso ("Magical Lasso"). Mme. Giry warns Buquet to exercise restraint. In the managers' office, Madame Giry delivers a note from the Phantom: He demands that Christine replace Carlotta in the new opera, Il Muto ("Notes..."). Firmin and Andre assure the enraged Carlotta that she will remain the star, ("Prima Donna") but during her performance, disaster strikes ("Poor Fool, He Makes Me Laugh"). The Phantom reduces Carlotta's voice to a frog-like croak. The backdrop lifts to reveal the corpse of Buquet, hanging from the rafters by the Punjab lasso.
In the ensuing melee, Christine escapes with Raoul to the roof, where she tells him about her subterranean rendezvous with the Phantom. Raoul does not believe her ("Why Have You Brought Me Here?/Raoul, I've Been There"), but swears to love and protect her always ("All I Ask of You"). The Phantom, who has overheard their conversation, is heartbroken. As he angrily vows revenge against Raoul ("All I Ask of You (Reprise)"), the Opera's mighty chandelier crashes to the floor.

The Phantom of the Opera Act II
Six months later, in the midst of the gala masquerade ball ("Masquerade"), the Phantom makes his first appearance since the chandelier disaster. He announces that he has written an opera entitled Don Juan Triumphant. He demands that it be produced immediately ("Why So Silent?"), with Christine, who is now engaged to Raoul, in the lead role. He then seizes Christine's engagement ring and vanishes. Raoul demands that Madame Giry tell him about the Phantom. She replies that he is a brilliant musician and magician, born with a terrifyingly deformed face, who escaped from captivity in a traveling freak show and disappeared.
Raoul hatches a plan to use Don Juan Triumphant as a trap to capture the Phantom. ("Notes/Twisted Every Way") Christine, torn between her love for Raoul and her reluctance to see the Phantom imprisoned again, visits her father's grave ("Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again"). The Phantom appears, ("Wandering Child") but Raoul arrives to protect her. ("Bravo, Monsieur!") The Phantom vows to destroy them both.
Don Juan Triumphant debuts, with Christine and Ubaldo Piangi, the Opéra's leading tenor, singing the lead roles. ("The Point of No Return") During their duet, Christine suddenly realizes she is singing not with Piangi, but the Phantom himself. Christine tears off his mask to expose his hideous face to the audience, as Piangi is found strangled to death by the Phantom. The Phantom seizes Christine and flees from the stage. A mob is soon in hot pursuit. Madame Giry tells Raoul about the Phantom's subterranean lair, reminding him to beware the Punjab lasso.
In the lair, Christine is compelled to don a wedding dress. ("Down Once More/Track Down This Murderer") Raoul finds the lair but the Phantom captures him with his lasso. He tells Christine he will free Raoul if she agrees to stay with him forever; if she refuses, Raoul will die. ("Final Lair") Christine, stating the distortion is not with the Phantom's face, but his soul, kisses him. This being the first time the Phantom has been shown any compassion and love, he sets them both free, asking only that they not reveal his hiding place. Christine comes back to return the ring he put on her finger and listens in agony and pity as he tells her he loves her. She then forces herself to turn away and leaves with Raoul. The Phantom sings one last line of "The Music of the Night" and sits on his throne and covers himself with his cape. When the mob storms the lair, Meg pulls away the cape to find that the Phantom has vanished, leaving only his mask behind.

The Phantom of the Opera Broadway Show Musical numbers:
Act One:
"Hannibal" – Carlotta, Piangi, Chorus and Ballet Girls
"Think of Me" (Part 1) – Carlotta, Ballet Girls, André and Buquet
"Think of Me" (Part 2) – Christine and Raoul
"Angel of Music" – Meg and Christine
"Little Lotte/The Mirror (Angel of Music)" – Christine, Raoul and Phantom
"The Phantom of the Opera" – Phantom and Christine
"The Music of the Night" – Phantom
"I Remember/Stranger than You Dreamt It" – Christine and Phantom
"Magical Lasso" – Buquet, Meg, Madame Giry, and Ballet Girls
"Notes/Prima Donna" – Firmin, André, Raoul, Carlotta, Madame Giry, Meg, Piangi, and Phantom
"Poor Fool, He Makes Me Laugh (Il Muto)" – Carlotta, Piangi and Company
"Why Have You Brought Me Here?/Raoul, I've Been There" – Raoul and Christine
"All I Ask of You" – Raoul and Christine
"All I Ask of You (Reprise)/Chandelier Crash" – Phantom, Raoul, and Christine
Act Two
"Masquerade/Why So Silent" – Firmin, André, Raoul, Carlotta, Madame Giry, Meg, Piangi and Chorus/Phantom
"Notes II" – Firmin, André, Carlotta, Piangi, Raoul, Christine, Madame Giry, and Phantom
"Twisted Every Way" – Christine and Raoul
"A Rehearsal for Don Juan Triumphant" – Carlotta, Piangi, Christine and Chorus
"Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again" – Christine
"Wandering Child/Bravo, Monsieur!" – Phantom, Christine, and Raoul
"The Point of No Return" – Phantom and Christine
"Down Once More/Track Down This Murderer" – Phantom, Christine, Raoul, and Company
"Final Lair" – Phantom, Christine, and Raoul

The Phantom of the Opera Broadway show Instrumentation:
The 27-piece orchestra is substantially larger than those used in most modern musicals:
Reed I: Flute/Piccolo
Reed II: Flute/Clarinet
Reed III: Oboe/Cor Anglais
Reed IV: Clarinet/Bass Clarinet/Eb Clarinet
Reed V: Bassoon
Horns I-III
Trumpets I-II
Keyboards I-II: Piano, Synthesizer
Violins I-VII
Violas I-II
Cellos I-II
Double Bass
A pre-recorded track, employing organ, synthesizers, synthesized drums, electric guitars, and bass guitar, supplements the live orchestra during the Overture, and during the title song, to prevent the noisy motorized props operating in the Journey to the Lair sequence from being amplified by the actors' microphones. The conductor and drummer listen to a click track on headphones to keep the live musicians synchronized with the track. Most of the Phantom's off-stage voiceovers are prerecorded, as is Christine's final note of the title song.
To reduce touring expenses, a downscaled orchestral arrangement was developed that included a third keyboard in lieu of the brass section, reduction of the woodwind section to three instruments, and a smaller string section. The smaller arrangement is also used in the Phantom - The Las Vegas Spectacular production.

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