phantom of the opera design



Raoul(his dog Dusty), Christine and Phantom

Since PotO project I was working on was going to be very set design/ background heavy project with so many characters. I had to cut down the time I spend on the characters. So I didn’t really get to experimenting their interactions as much as I did in Monkey King. Hopefully I can elaborate more when I’m uploading process sketches of these three:)



I probably have done more sketches for him compared to the other characters (omg and these sketches are so old!). I originally wanted to give him more of a ‘serpent’ look with lots of curves and Jafar+Al Hirschfeld hand. Soon I noticed it was hard to define his design next to Raoul, who had lots of round lines. So in order to emphasize the ‘sinister’ side of my version of the Phantom, I gave him more straight lines with skinny, clean cut body shape. Everything will fit perfectly on him (which made me change his ascot design too later) since he is a perfectionist, who can’t stand the fact that half of his face is ‘imperfect’.


Backs, glorious backs

Stage costumes have a tendency to put all the emphasis on the front of a costume, cause the old rule say that you never turn your back to the audience. Maria Bjørnson chose a different approach. She saw the costumes almost as set pieces in their own right, towards the “black box” set design, so they should look sculptured and ornamental from all possible angles. As a result they have tons of details in front, but also side drapes, beading in the back, trims, pleats, and of course many stunning waterfall drapes. There’s also extravagant hats and wigs with curls, braids, bows and feathers. 

Here’s some of my favourites of the female costumes. 



Christine’s ultimate role in the story is being the ‘damsel in distress’, who decides to stand up and face the man she fears and loves the most in the end. I thought of her as a butterfly of the opera (more of it shows in her room design) and a fragile but beautiful porcelain doll. She is always in fear of a man or angel she herself is confused if she thinks of him as a father or a teacher, or is he just a murderer. I tried to give her nervous eyes that would be keep looking around for what she fears and kept her hand gestures contained within her silhouette to show her shyness. 

I actually hoped I had more time spent on characters to really draw them on point.. but you always have to be reasonable with the time you have. Next post will be the last character process sketch of Raoul and Dusty..I will be moving on to paintings and set design after that:)


Clips from Elizabeth Welch’s Theatre of Dreams Gala, where she performed a few Phantom songs and of course- wore her Viscountess original!

“That is the terrible thing about it. He fills me with horror and I do not hate him…Think of Erik at my feet, in the house on the lake, underground. He accuses himself, he curses himself, he implores my forgiveness!…He confesses his cheat. He loves me! He lays at my feet an immense and tragic love…”
~The Phantom of the Opera, Gaston Leroux

I did more original novel stuff and tried Apollo’s Lyre, but my characters just basically look almost identical to usual.. oh well.