Tuesday, January 19, 2016

The Phantom of the Opera ~ Princess of Wales Theatre Toronto

For someone who loves the performing arts, spending a night at the theater is a treat! There is something unique and personal about seeing a story unfold with live actors instead of onscreen, the way things were before TV and Netflix made their way into our homes.

A couple weeks ago I went to see the Phantom Of The Opera with my sister Amanda, it was her Christmas present to me! This is the second time we have seen the musical (not including the film adaptation) and we are totally smitten with the enchanting story with it's magical, mysterious elements.

I was just thirteen the first time I saw the show. I sat in the front row in awe as I gazed down into the orchestra pit, mesmerized by the harmony, special effects and graceful movements of the actors gliding across the stage. This time of course the experience was quite different. As an adult I have a deeper understanding of the story, the complexity of the love triangle and more appreciation for the production.

There are a few adaptations of the story but in the one I saw Christine replaces Carlotta, (the leading soprano) at the opera house which catches Raoul’s attention and ignites a relationship. As ownership of the theater changes hands the Phantom makes demands that put Christine in the forefront of his new opera and as his rules are met with resistance, disastrous things unfold at the Opera house. Christine desperately tries to escape the Phantom’s alluring hold on her in order to be with Raoul and as they make plans to flee the Phantom forces her into his dark lair where she must choose between her free will or Raoul’s life. I won’t give away too much or go into detail but the entire story is sung beautifully.

Simply put, the music is impressive! The songs are used to captivate and add an incredible range of depth and emotion to each scene. The costumes are intricate and reminiscent of the time period, the sets are creative and the actors have powerful voices used to hit melodious high notes rarely heard in mainstream music.

The Princess of Wales Theatre offers a more intimate viewing experience as each seat has a clear view of the stage. The downside to this is that the stage is also quite small and some scenes seemed a bit limited by space. Although they made good use of the area available I would love to see the production on a larger scale so set designers can really impress with backdrops and setting. 

Would I recommend this musical...absolutely! Ranked one of the top shows of all time it is definitely worth it!

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