Andrew Lloyd Webber is well known in the Broadway world. He has created some of the most well known musicals of all time. One of those musicals is The Phantom of the Opera. With songs that are still inspiring today in a haunting musical, this is one of the most well known musicals of all time. After premiering as a hit Broadway show in the 1980’s, it would go on to be a live action film in 2004. Starring Emmy Rossum and Gerard Butler, this film adaptation was true to the musical.
Christine Daae is a ballet dancer for the Paris Opera House. She dreams of being in the spotlight more. However, she does not have the talent yet for the role. When the lead for the opera the company is putting on, the dance teacher Madame Giry speaks up for her telling the producers about her lessons. Christine performs that night in the lead role beautifully with rave reviews. Catching the eye of a childhood friend Raoul, she is visited by him after the show. However, there is another man who was listening in on the conversation. Once Raoul leaves her dressing room we hear the Phantom “sing” for the first time. He brings Christine in a trance like state down to his lair that no one knows about. Believing him to be an “Angel of Music”, Christine puts all of her trust in his teachings for her to be better. After passing out upon seeing a dummy of herself in a wedding dress Christine spends the night down there.
The next day Carlotta, the lead, ends up coming back to work upset with a threatening note from the phantom. Many others, have received similar notes insisting that they give into his demands of having Christine in the lead role. Raoul and the producers insist that Carlotta portray the role. However, when she does, the Phantom sabotages Carlotta by putting a tonic in her water. The producers give in and give Christine the lead role. After a few hi-jinx caused by the Phantom during the show Christine takes Raoul and tells him what is going on. Christine who has fallen in love with Raoul accepts his proposal for marriage unbeknownst that the Phantom is watching.
Three months later there is a masquerade ball. The Phantom makes an appearance causing Raoul to chase after him. The Phantom insists on everyone giving into his demands. Raoul and everyone around encourage Christine to give into his ways in order to capture the Phantom. However, things don’t go according to plan with the Phantom taking off with Christine. Raoul enlists the help of Madame Giry who informs Raoul of the Phantoms past as a sideshow attraction in a freak show. After witnessing the Phantom kill a man who has been abusing him, Madame Giry helps him and secures him a place to live. When Raoul hears all of this he realizes that Madame Giry is the only one who was aware that there is a man living inside the opera house, other than Christine. Raoul starts on a journey to rescue Christine from the Phantom. Once Raoul enters the Phantoms lair, he finds Christine, but himself in danger of dying. Christine pleads with the Phantom to let Raoul go, he does so. The Phantom sees the error of his ways and lets Christine and Raoul go. When he hears a search party coming for him he sits down and hides. When Meg, the daughter of Madame Giry, comes down she finds only the mask that the Phantom has worn.
The movie flashes forward to a few years later where we learn that Christine has died. Raoul goes to visit her grave after winning a monkey music box from an auction at the destroyed opera house. He notices that a rose is there, knowing that the Phantom is still alive and watching over.
The Phantom of the Opera has to be the best known musical to come from Andrew Lloyd Webber. Born on March 22, 1948 he would go on to create many other musicals. However, none of them are as recognized as The Phantom of the Opera, which is currently Broadway’s longest running musical. The 2004 adaptation of The Phantom of the Opera was true to the musical. Even though, the movie was not well received, to me this is a true classic.