Today in History: Phantom of the Opera premieres in London

in #history8 months ago

I first became a fan of this musical when i was in high-school. I had made friends with a kind of quirky neighbor who was into a mish-mash of different things but mostly we bonded over our mutual interest in frozen pizza and video games. He had a very strange variety of music in his CD collection and the 2-disk set of Phantom was one of them. I was hooked almost from the get go. It would be many years before I would actually see this phenomenal performance in New York City. It went on to become the most popular Broadway musical of all time (it has since been surpassed) and is still the longest-running musical.

The year was 1986


It's difficult to really put your finger on what makes this production so amazing. It's partly because of the story and the amazing songs that cross different genres so seamlessly mixing the usual orchestra and even at times almost dance-like music. The sets are incredible and some of the special effects are just mind-blowing considering that CGI on a stage isn't really possible.

the bit where they travel to the Phantom's underground lair by boat is just spectacular

Although I have been a fan of this musical for 30 years i only recently had a chance to see it in 2016. While visiting pals in NYC i finally decided to splurge and pay the $100++ ticket price and get some really quality seats.

Every single moment of this thing is absolutely epic and although I think that a vast majority of things that take place in New York are overpriced, Broadway is worth every single penny.


The first song of act II is entitled "Masquerade" and it was my least favorite song in the entire production until I saw it live. The amount of action that is happening on the stage is just breathtaking. The costumes and the animatronics on the Phantom when he appears at the party was something I was completely unaware of since I had only heard the audio up to this point.


Michael Crawford was the original Phantom in both the London and Broadway cast, but there have been an astonishing 30 Phantom leads (and many more minor Phantoms that sat in during illness) over the years. There have been a similar number of performers playing the other lead roles of Christine Daaé and Raoul. The musical has been performed in 28 countries and translated into many languages including Chinese and even Serbian.

There have been multiple film adaptations of the story, some were musicals and the other ones were just bad. Most recently, the 2004 adaptation directed by Joel Schumacher starred Gerard Butler as the Phantom. It was a particularly unusual choice because Butler had almost no singing experience and had only taken 4 voice lessons. Have a look at it some day. While there is no doubt in my mind they almost certainly doctored the vocals a bit, Butler pretty much nails it.

from the official Phantom of the Opera channel

The Music of the Night is arguably the most widely acclaimed song from the production, although to me, almost all of the songs are my favorite particularly after seeing the production.

If you ever find yourself in NYC or London, or are fortunate enough to be in a city that gets part of the world tour of Phantom, i highly suggest you suck it up and pay the very high price to attend this masterpiece. It is without question the most epic live performance of anything I have ever seen.


I still haven't seen it and haven't been to one musical. I need to at some point and will make an effort the next time I am in London. I love live shows so it isn't as though I am dodging them either.

While it is painful to part with that $100 for a Broadway show, I can assure you that you will get that back a hundredfold in the memories it will bring you. I grew up in Connecticut, by the shore and had a neighbor who sang at the Met.

As I was best friends with her son, we were whisked up in the nightlife of theatre and song... and music. My memories crowd one another and yet, each one of those experiences stands out.

Great seats just cannot be beaten and seeing it as an adult is the best yet! I will jump at the chance to see the Phantom, any day of the week. And I couldn't agree with you more! Live and up close and personal like that changes the whole game!!!

Happy you got that experience!

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I fell in love with that musical as a young girl. I must have watched it a thousand times! I can still hear myself singing along to all the songs. I think it was all the mysticism that captivated me... oh and her hair! :)

How amazing it must be to see it live! I'll bookmark that trip to NY for when Steem goes through the moon and I can buy a ticket. Hehe... it is one of the few places I have always wanted go to, so it would be a win win!!

It's a little painful to part with around $100 for a show but it's an experience you'll never forget!

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Oh I don't doubt that for a second!!

Thanks for share your valuable information about opera

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I got to see Phantom in Toronto when I was in high school and I have been in love with it ever since. It is actually interesting to note that there are a lot of things in the musical that don't make as much sense unless you read the original book. Especially the part about keeping your hand at the level of your eye. In the book the Phantom has a little lasso that he kills people with. The idea is if you have your hand that high he can't get it around your neck without your hand being there too. I have both the CD set of this and I have the soundtrack on vinyl. Hopefully it still plays after the flood. I am glad you changed your mind about Masquerade because that is my favorite song from the whole show.

My daughter favourite performance