How “The Phantom of the Opera“ won the world?
So, I already wrote what delight in the audience and the press was caused by a premiere of “The Phantom of the Opera“ (further - “ON“) in October, 1986. It was at the same time and large-scale representation with a set of special effects, and an organic combination of the musical unprecedented before and the opera.
There is a lot of persons interested to look at this feast of music and theater that about rest after a premiere there could not be also a speech. The continuous series of statements as a result of began to affect on health of actors - first of all, main characters of the film.
So in December, 1986 at Sara Brightman found an ulcer, and she had to lay down on operation. The ghost - Michael Crawford - hung on by the skin of teeth. Without wishing to interrupt show, he acquired to himself by April, 1987 occupational disease of singers - diafragmalny hernia. It emerged during one of representations when Sara unexpectedly noticed that at her partner from a corner of a mouth the blood stream flows. It was already internal bleeding, and the firm Ghost took away in hospital. It was replaced right there by Steve Barton (playing usually Raul`s role). But on the same day, representing disappearance of the Ghost during the Masquerade scene, it unsuccessfully failed through the hatch and injured a patella. Other worthy replacement was not available, and show had to continue.
Then desperate Michael Crawford asked to pump up himself anesthetics and in the same evening arrived from hospital to theater. He with a smile remembered that when he was supported to an entrance, one passerby fastidiously told the girlfriend: “Look at this Crawford. It is absolutely drunk!“.
In 1987 the record “ON“ came to audio - disks and right there headed a hit - parade. It was for the first time for all history of musicals and, of course, this record broke all previous records of disks with musicals on sales.
Statement on the Broadway had to become the following natural stage. But here the American labor union of actors went for - under distribution Sara Brightman got again. The labor union demanded that Christina`s role was sung by the American actress. To Barton who was American and Crawford who acted in the American movies and was rather known in the USA, questions were not. Andrew Lloyd Webber answered it: there will be no Sara - there will be no musical that in general is logical, considering that “ON“ it was in many respects written for Brightman. Fear to lose profits won, and in 1988 Webber`s musical subdued also the Broadway.
Sara read the burial service on the Broadway half a year then she went to solo tour under the name “Lloyd`s Music - Webber“. Long absence far from the husband could not end with anything good, considering that quarrels between Sara and Andrew began even during preparation “ON“. As a result Lloyd Webber has love affairs on the party, and in 1990 declared divorce with the “Angel of music“. Speak, Sara of it did not expect and was shocked...
But inspired by their love, the musical continued to live without reducing turns at all. It was put in many countries of the world (Russia was not included, unfortunately, into their number) and constantly celebrated the 10 - the anniversary (in 1996), 25 - the anniversary (in 2011) . By the way, on both anniversaries Sara Brightman appeared, as if confirming that personal offenses of the past should not influence the creative relations. So, on 10 - the anniversary “ON“ where Sara of “The Music of The Night“, Webber akkompaniirovat it on a piano. After it told: “It was night, very heavy for me, to some extent. I very much love this song and I played for the person who inspired it. I did not think that we will ever meet on one scene again“. Nevertheless, the meeting on 25 - the anniversary “ON“ in Albert - the hall was even warmer. Sara then sang the best-known aria of the musical even with five “Ghosts“ (Colm Wilkinson, Anthony Varlou, John Owen - Jones, Peter Yobak and Ramin Karimmu), and Webber friendly embraced it and obviously did not want to release from himself.
For the long life “ON“ broke many records. In 2006. one more was added to them - “PO“ became the most long-playing musical on the Broadway. It is amusing that the “rival“ displaced from a pedestal - “Cats“ (“Cat“) was the same Webber`s child! It is not surprising that “ON“ it was also the most cash entertaining event of all times, having collected more than 5 billion dollars during existence.
There were few creative failures in the history of the musical, but they were. One of them is to / f 2004, put by Joel Schumacher. Admirers of the musical suspected wrong at once and actively demanded not to give “ON“ to paws of Hollywood and when learned that in a leading role Michael Crawford will not play, at all were up in arms against the movie. However, the role of the Ghost passed by and such notable applicants as John Travolta, Antonio Banderas and Hugh Jackman. As a result the role was received by Gerard Butler - a little “young-looking“ and not so terrible, as for the classical Ghost. However, the director and declared - a pier, I remove for youth. And for Christina`s role, having bypassed, Marayyu Kerri, Catherine Zeta - Jones and Katee Holmes, absolutely young Emmie Rossam got.
In spite of the fact that to / f became from full approval of Webber (and under his fixed look), fears of opponents of shootings in many respects came true. If to speak shortly - Schumacher`s movie appeared frankly boring, sluggish and uningenious. An exceptional case when the cinema in such parameters shatteringly loses to any worthy theatrical performance. The well-known scene of pass of Christina through a mirror and travel on the underground lake looks blankly and not effectively even against the old clip of 1986.
The second not that writing of the musical by Webber became failure, and rather unnecessary excess - the sequel “Love Never Dies“ (“The love never dies“). Conceived to write continuation “ON“ the composer at the end of 1990 - x. Frederik Forsay even wrote the scenario (later published as the book “Ghost of Manhattan“), but something was not glued. In 2007 Mr. Ben Elton offered the scenario based on Webber and Forsythe`s ideas, and the composer got back to the forgotten idea.
Action of the new musical begins in 1907. Since that moment as Christina Dae said goodbye to the Ghost, there passed 10 years. But suddenly to it - the famous opera singer - the anonymous offer from the USA to act in an amusement park of “Phantasma“ arrives. It accepts the offer and together with the husband Raul and - attention! - 10 - the summer son Gustav goes to Brooklyn. It turns out the mysterious impresario who other as our old acquaintance in a half mask, and Gustav turns out his son what, in my opinion, vulgarizes a little romanticism of the first musical because there no scenes hinting that the Ghost used Christina in the most literal sense of the word were observed.
The premiere of the musical took place in March, 2010, but special achievement in Webber`s creativity did not become. It is very heavy to enter one river twice.
Not without reason the composer once said that if he knew how to write one more “Ghost in the opera“, he would write it, but hardly it ever will manage it.
P. S: In the first comment there is a lot of interesting video on a subject.