Open up your mind, let your fantasies unwind in this darkness which you know you cannot fight.
I am the happiest I’ve been in such a long time and last weekend had truly given me the boost that I’ve needed for a while.
In major news: I’ve found THE university that is so perfect for me and it’s only five stops away from Camden Town. What more could a girl want? There will be a blog to follow shortly but in the meanwhile…
In major, major news: I went to see the Phantom of the Opera again and it was THE best performance I’ve ever seen.
On Saturday evening, I was lucky enough to sit front row (!!) of Her Majesty’s Theatre for the fourth time and it was a truly mesmerising performance. I was still left feeling like it was my first time. Highly emotional and shaking for England. Why do I shake so much at the theatre? Is that normal? I shake more at the theatre than I imagine I would if I was standing in the North Pole in a bikini. It comes as no surprise that I’m planning a fifth visit before cast change…
From the second the orchestra starts playing the Phantom overture and the chandelier rises above my head, the tears start to stream. Uncontrollably. I still duck every time the chandelier passes over me, just in case. It might skim my head.
I am absolutely besotted with the Phantom of the Opera. The iconic songs, the costumes, the casting, the orchestra, the set design. It’s the most played soundtrack in my iMusic library and the 25th Anniversary DVD is on a constant loop in my bedroom… okay, maybe that is partially out of laziness and I cannot be bothered to change it but nonetheless, I’ve fallen in love.
For those not familiar with the story of the Paris Opera House, it tells a tale of the “Phantom” who is filled with self loathing triggered by his appearance but is overwhelmed with the love he feels for Miss Christine Daaé who is otherwise *engaged* with Raoul, Vicomte de Chagny. In short, its one colossal love story which leaves you emotionally drained.
I wish I could review this second-by-second but I was way too enthralled and captivated to pay attention to character specifics.
Celinde Schoenmaker who played the role of Christine Daaé left me in absolute awe. I’m ridiculously speechless when it comes to reviewing this performance because she was something else! Her Christine matures from being beautifully innocent to grounded and determined; everything Christine Daaé should be. Her voice is glorious, extremely stunning and versatile, and her ‘think of me’ cadenza was mind-blowing, to say the least. It’s like watching a real-life Disney Princess in musical theatre.
Nadim Naaman played the role of Raoul and the chemistry between the two characters was incredibly cute; it melted my heart. When you have a Raoul like Nadim, you can’t help but to wish Christine chooses him over the Phantom. Nadim plays a protective Raoul and it is beautiful to watch. He genuinely looks heartbroken when Christine kisses the Phantom in The Final Lair. And don’t even get me started on All I Ask of You. So cute, so so cute!
The Phantom is an extremely complex character and I can imagine that it is so easy to ‘over-act’ the role. He’s exposed to sadness, anger and love which expresses his vulnerability. Scott Davies covered the role of the Phantom. Maybe one day, I’ll catch Ben Forster in the role but Scott was phenomenal on Saturday night. He delivered a wonderfully consistent performance and had the perfect balance of emotion. I felt his emotion and I was reduced to a burrito of sadness in The Final Lair. He was such a credit to watch.
Additionally, Megan Llewellyn who played Carlotta was exceptional. Her vocal range is mesmerising. John Ellis who portrays Piangi delivers such a light hearted yet ‘phantastic’ if you pardon the pun, performance. Jacinta Mulcahy and Alicia Beck gave so much depth to the performance and it was such a pleasure to watch.
In the bows, Celinde looked straight at me, smiled and winked. I’m ridiculously elated that she recognises me. She blew me a kiss after and I was so close to the verge of tears.
To top off an amazing night, I met my absolute favourite musical theatre actress; Celinde Schoenmaker. I feel so intrusive at stage door because I can only imagine how tired the performers must be so I always stand as far back as I can so people can just walk straight past without being hindered. I happened to bump into a fellow musical theatre blogger Chow Kim Wan who had travelled to London from Singapore. Wow! It was so amazing to meet him.
After about half an hour, Celinde came out and came over to me saying “I was going the other way but I came over to say hi.” This has made my entire life- she hugged me when we asked her for a photo. It’s safe to say that I have the most talented and yet loveliest idol ever so thank you a million, Celinde!! (In the impossible event that you ever read this)
Such an amazing weekend!