On Sierra Boggess’ casting in POTO Paris
So yesterday brought the announcement of Sierra Bogess’ casting as Christine for The Phantom of the Opera in Paris. And so far I’ve seen posts of people who are disappointed and fed up to see Sierra in every anniversary production. And believe me, I understand but as a French girl who is going to see the show please hear me out.
Musicals in France have nothing to do with musicals from West End and Broadway. You have like five or six musicals that are really worth it. The rest ? It’s one producer, always the same (Dove Attia if you want to know), he always gets all the spotlight for his productions that are played in concert venues, not theatres. Yes, in France most of musicals are played in concert venues because the system is : some months in Paris and then tour all over France (plus Belgium and Switzerland sometimes). Musicals can stay at most, 1 year or 1 year and half-ish that’s it and you maybe have like 5 or 6, NOTHING like West End or Broadway. Dove Attia’s musicals are mostly pop/rock songs, the type of songs you can easily put on radio or on tv spot with a videoclip. See ? The system is CLEARLY not the same. And the biggest problems in musicals in France, for me, is that you always see the same faces. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against Florent Mothe or Merwan Rim or anybody else, but it’s mostly the same faces.
Now, the Théâtre Mogador since its collaboration with Stage has brought West End/Broadway musicals in France, with varied and international casts for some (especially the dancers for Cats that is playing now). Even though the French translations can be a bit… failed ? I’m glad of what Mogador is doing. Because we DO NOT get to have some West End/Broadway musicals feels otherwise. And believe me, when you love musicals and that you are NOT living in the UK or in the US, whenever things are moving to have a bit of taste of that ambiance, of those feelings that you can’t get to experience unless you can pay for plane or train tickets, hotel, and tickets there, you are just happy. For real.
Of course, it could have been good to have someone else, a French singer or maybe another Christine from other productions (London, Broadway, Moscow, whatever). But at least, for people (like me) who are expecting a lot from this run in Paris, to see that Sierra will be there, it’s a bit reassuring. She may be not your favourite Christine, but I like her, she was my first, and I do love her voice (her acting could be better but still). And again, it adds to this feeling of having a taste of this world of West End and Broadway musicals. I assure you, musicals in France have nothing to do with those.
So to sum up. Yes we could have had someone else in the role, it could have been good to see someone else. But you know what ? I’m still happy about this casting. And I’ll enjoy the show if I get to see her (I’m going on a Saturday matinee) or if I get her alternate or understudy. I’m just a bit sad to see people confessing their disappointment or anything else, but I get it really.