I first heard its melodies in grade school. Sitting in the front row of a classroom, a black metal music stand in front of me, while a choir teacher insisted that some of the iconic scores be integrated into our performance routine. From the first note played on the accompanying piano I was captivated by the music. A few years later, as I wandered the alluring stacks of dreams, desires and fears I found myself encountering the music’s textual background and since crossing the literary borders that only Gaston Leroux and the beloved bookstore could present, I was forever enchanted with Le Fantôme de l'Opéra. Adding to my fixation of the masked opera ghost, a movie came to my possession to bring the story to life before my eyes, but the enacted presentation still presented distant hopes of an additional dramatic portrayal, and as of yesterday I have finally met my desire to see the Phantom take stage in a full-scale theatrical performance.
While I believe the role of the Phantom could have endured a slightly stronger vocal performance, the character was by no means a disappointment. The entire cast offered remarkable vocal talent and captured the emotional delivery perfectly. Among the best performances given were without a doubt, in my opinion, the roles of Monsieur André and Monsieur Firmin who not only had perfect stage presence but outstanding voices.
All in all I was overly excited about the performance, and found myself unable to stop talking about the story for the remainder of the evening. Thanks to a vast selection of beautiful visual elements, aside from the excessive amount of singing, even a non-musical fan was able to contribute to my obsessed dialogue without physically showing the desire to repress the opera from the forefront of conversation, (thank goodness for an amazing boyfriend who endures such experiences for the sake of making me happy; this played another huge factor in the overall enjoyment of the evening).
I’m sad to see that the Phantom show will cease to exist at the Venetian come early September. Its musical will no longer be surrounding guests in elevators, lobbies or quite shopping hallways. But I am able to breathe easily and hold on to the excitement that I was able to see the show before it departs from the city.