Every time I hear the song That’s All I ask of You, I go berserk in search of anyone who does not believe in love. No one who hears this song will ever doubt the power of love. Yes, it is one of the most romantic songs of all time. For many, it is the song in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Phantom of the Opera and the most popular, too. I have seen the musical on Broadway and in many theaters around the world. And oh, how I sometimes surreptitiously wish, I were Christine with the Phantom beside me, teaching me, leading me to my dreams. But I have no Phantom in my back, for all that I learned about life I learned at the university of hard knocks and later in graduate school. Love, fall in love, that’s all the essence of Phantom of the Opera. Fall in love with your dreams, fall in love with your work, fall in love with life. And fall in love with the one person of your life. I fell in love with mine and continue to be in love. I fell in love with my work and I continue to love life despite the noise, the distractions and the apathy.
I have been totally seduced by the Joel Schumacher movie version with Gerard Butler as the Phantom. He’s a rock singer with a band called Speed but the role of Phantom fits him to a T. Of his playing the title role, Gerard said, “The Phantom, as well as being backed up by that music, was a role that I identified with so powerfully, from the first second that I walked on to perform.” (Gerard was sinfully delicious in 300, where he played the Spartan King Leonidas.)
Phantom of the Opera is one of the best-loved musicals among Filipinos, maybe because we are inherently romantic. We take pride in having one of the longest and merriest Valentine’s Day celebrations.
Now, the world’s most successful and popular musical, and the longest-running show on Broadway — The Phantom Of The Opera — will come to Manila for a strictly limited season from Aug. 25 to Oct. 14 at the CCP Main Theatre.
Phantom of the Opera celebrated its 25th anniversary on the West End stage last year, and continues to play to full houses nightly in London, New York and around the world. Phantom of the Opera has been seen by over 130 million people worldwide, in more than 27 countries, has won over 50 major theater awards and has grossed more than US$5.6B.
The Phantom Of The Opera tells the story of a disfigured musical genius known only as The Phantom who haunts the depths of the Paris Opera House. Mesmerized by the talents and beauty of a young soprano Christine, the Phantom lures her to be his protégé and falls madly in love with her. Unaware of Christine’s love for Raoul, The Phantom’s obsession sets the scene for a dramatic turn of events where jealousy, madness and passions collide.
Producer Tim McFarlane, managing director of The Really Useful Company Asia Pacific, said “This touring production of The Phantom Of The Opera is as fine as any version you might see on the West End or Broadway — it is the same superb design and we invest a great deal to ensure it is of the highest standards. Our stellar cast assembles the industry’s best performers, with members coming from the UK, USA, Australia and South Africa to join forces. The Phantom Of The Opera has enjoyed huge success throughout the Asia-Pacific region, having experienced sold-out seasons in cities such as Tokyo, Singapore, Shanghai and Seoul, and I am confident that audiences in Manila will welcome the production with equal enthusiasm.”
“To bring the world’s most popular musical to such a musically-gifted nation as The Philippines has been a long-term dream. The Phantom Of The Opera is a worldwide sensation which will take Philippine audiences on an unforgettable musical theater journey,” said James Cundall, chief executive of Lunchbox Theatrical Productions.
Phantom of the Opera has been honored with seven prestigious New York Tony Awards, among them the Tony for Best Musical, seven Drama Desk Awards and three Olivier Awards. It is based on the novel Le Fantome De L’Opera by Gaston Leroux. The original London production was produced by Cameron Mackintosh and The Really Useful Group. The Phantom Of The Opera is produced in Manila by Lunchbox Theatrical Productions, David Atkins Enterprises, Hi-Definition Radio, Inc. and Concertus in association with The Really Useful Group.
For details, call Ticketworld 891-9999 or log on to www.Ticketworld.Com.Ph.