phantom of the opera design



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’.



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:)

Musicals Renamed
  • "Chicago" - *Vigorous jazz hands*
  • "A Funny Thing...the Forum" - Rome has too many fucking foothills.
  • "Hair" - Rapunzel ain't got nothing on me.
  • "Hello, Dolly!" - Meninism, the Musical.
  • "Jersey Boys" - Three Seasons and a Castrato.
  • "Les Mis" - You can never have too many chairs.
  • "The Lion King" - Meanwhile, in Africa.
  • "The Music Man" - The more you know...
  • "Phantom of the Opera" - Luv u 5ever
  • "Pippin" - Stoners doing magic tricks.
  • "Sweeney Todd" -Bite the Hand that Feeds You
  • Any More? Add your own!


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:)

Finally finished my Nadir Khan or ‘The Daroga’ character design! Inspired by the Gaston Leroux novel “The Phantom of the Opera” as well as the Susan Kay spinoff, “Phantom”. Specifically his design for The Rosy Hours of Mazanderan. Clothing, colors and composition were rooted in my research of the Qajar dynasty.

Daroga is such a wonderful character, he’s always stuck dealing with everyone else’s melodramatic bullshit, he gets no credit for it, and yet still remains a good person. What a champ.

Sketch showing a Masquerade in the Palais Garnier main auditorium. The seats has either been removed or had a floor built over them (I suspect the latter, judging from the height from floor to boxes) to turn it into a giant dance hall. The sketch was photographed/scanned by Roger-Viollet, and that photo was in turn printed in George Perry’s “Complete POTO” book from 1987 (page 16).

It’s also clear Maria Bjørnson used this as part of her inspiration for costumes; at least three made it into her own designs, most prominent being the African tribe man in front.

I giggled a bit about the Phantom getting his box occupied like that. If I’ve understood it correctly, box 5 would be the one where the clown is standing on the rail, one floor up, looking into the grander box next door.

Then I zoomed in. Three boxes down. Shit.



“Why, you ask, was I bound in chains in this cold and dismal place? Not for any mortal sin, but the wickedness of my abhorrent face!”

Figuring out how to translate the Phantom’s disfigured face has proven a lot more challenging than I expected. Here’s where I’m at so far… and yes, that’s Mads Mikkelsen in the middle of the three rough sketches. 


Comparing the Czech non-replica design for the Phantom (left, by Roman Solc) with the original ALW replica design (right, by Maria Bjørnson).

First Act:

  1. The Mirror scene
  2. The title song attire
  3. First Lair
  4. Mandarine coat
  5. Golden Angel

(Second act comparison can be seen here)