operafantomet here are some shots from ‘Phantom’ in Korea - it’s the Yeston&Kopit version, although this wasn’t made so clear in the advertisement!
Few more tracks have been added(Hear My Tragic Tale; What Will I do; I will find you; I saw his face) especially for this production.*
*Update: These tracks were already used in Takarazuka production as well! Thanks for the correction.
Some photos from a 2000-2001 touring production of Yeston & Kopit’s musical, Phantom. Starring Michael Minarik as the Phantom, and Maria Couch as Christine. For more information about the production, and some other photos, see the source page HERE.
Christine and the Phantom (Gounod: "Faust" Vocal Excerpt)
Phantom (1990 TV Series)
The prison trio (“Alerte! Alerte!”) from Faust as heard in The Phantom of the Opera (1990) with Charles Dance. While the Faust (Jean Dupouy) and the Mephisto (Jacques Mars) sing their own parts, the parts for the Phantom and Christine (Teri Polo) have been dubbed by opera singers. The Phantom, who is singing the role of Faust and successfully overpowering the actor on stage, is sung by Gerard Garino, and Christine as Marguerite is sung by Michele Lagrange.
Because I have a lot of feelings about Phantom, rant/analysis time
Anybody who has been following me for a while no doubt knows I am the most die-hard type of Phan. I may have only seen the musical live once, but one look at my massive collection and knowledge of other Phantom versions and you would no doubt say I am too.
To me watching different versions is a psychological analysis of Erik’s character, because even if they mess with some details the psychology is very rarely wrong, just exaggerated in different ways (Englund v Dance for instance)
and whether I like a version depends almost solely on their portrayal of the Phantom. It’s all about the psychology to me. To me, most adaptations are different parts of the same whole and fit together, as far as the psychology goes. So let’s analyze different versions, shall we?
1925 - Lon Chaney version Being the earliest adaptation we have, the psychology is a bit more straight forward than in some later ones. He pretty faithfully exhibits the traits of Leroux’s Erik, though, perhaps less bipolar. However, unfortunately due to the time of release, he was painted as more of a monster rather than a man. This is especially evident with the fact that it originally featured Erik dying of a broken heart just like in the novel but was changed because the test audience did not like it; he was a monster and deserved an angry mob. Stills of the original ending exist still but no actual footage. It’s worth noting however that the “Angel of Music” edition of the film available here features a sort of restoration of the stills in the form of a motion comic special feature.
”If I am the Phantom, it is because man’s hatred has made me so.”
1943 - Claude Rains version A remake of the 1925 film, it’s actually considerably different from both it’s predecessor and it’s source material. Instead of being deformed from birth, Erik is a violinist and composer. However, his life’s work was stolen from him and in an attempt to get it back, his face was deformed by nitric acid. I feel that backstory detracts from the tragedy a lot, not having to deal with the prejudices growing up (this Phantom is rather visibly old) and it takes a way a lot of screen time showing this as well. However I enjoy it for what it is and what I feel this movie shows well is him as Christine’s angel; how he watches over her as a guardian of sorts. He goes as far as to pay for her lessons in secret even before he became the Phantom. Have a nice quote here.
“See? Didn’t I tell you it was beautiful? You didn’t know we had a lake all to ourselves, did you? [Christine covers her face and sobs] They’ve poisoned your mind against me. That’s why you’re afraid. Look at your lake, Christine. You’ll love it here when you get used to the dark. And you’ll love the dark, too. It’s friendly and peaceful. It brings rest and relief from pain. It’s right under the Opera. The music comes down and the darkness distills it, cleanses it of the suffering that made it. Then it’s all beauty. And life here is like a resurrection.”
I won’t analyze the Herbert Lom version because it treads on a lot of the same things that the Claude Rains version does in an (imo) worse way, and not to mention, Erik is only interested in her voice in that one. Even goes as far as slapping her at one point.
1989 - Robert England Version Many Phans dislike this version for reasons I understand completely (It’s a typical slasher film, “Tonight, your name is Christine”). I however love it a lot, personally. It’s brought down by the dumb modern day subplot that I won’t get into here because it’s so ridiculously convoluted and nonsensical and beside the point of the psychology. What I love about Englund’s Phantom is that it’s one of the few versions that I feel truly shows his obsession and madness. He has some really great quotes too, like: “Christine, you… you are the angel. You are my voice. Together we’ll have London at our feet. Christine, come to me, and I will give you everything.” (for some reason it’s in London and not Paris)
“Up there, those are the actors and the costumes and the scenery. They don’t know the soul of the opera. In your dressing room, I could only teach you the words, the notes. But here… here I can teach you the meaning.“
“You love the music. I am the music. Now you are married to the music. You cannot serve two masters. Do not see another.”
“Everybody dies… I only choose the time and place for a few.”
He just has so many great quotes you see. On a sidenote, he’s the only on screen noseless Phantom, though when he goes out he sews the skin of his victims onto his face and uses a prosthetic nose. Skin and makeup is his mask. Pretty messed up and I love it. Another side note is that it’s the origin of my favorite last name for Erik, Destler, which I also use for my YouTube channel.
1990 - Charles Dance Version The Charles Dance miniseries deviates a lot from the original novel but it also shows us something we don’t see as often - Erik’s tender side. In this, he’s an adorable dork and puppy dog. I’ve always found it funny that it came out a year after the Robert Englund version; the goriest version to the most romantic version. It also shows a lot of the poetic side Erik often has. He’s also very sassy which I enjoy in my Phantom’s hehe. Also worth mentioning the Yeston/Kopit musical which features largely the same script. A personal favorite of mine either way.
“She can’t sing!” [in reference to Carlotta] “Obviously, she doesn’t know that.” “Well, someone should tell her!” “She’s married to the new manager.” “Good God. This means she’s probably going to sing all the time. What kind of horror are you leaving me in?”
“Erik, what are we going to do about all of this?” “I know what to do about it. I’ll kill them both.” “Oh, come on, now!” “I’m teasing; probably the only one I need to kill is her.”
“I think you are magic too, oh I know. Magic is my friend, magic cannot hide from me.”
“You see, my eyes are the only part of my face I can look at in a mirror without wishing to break the glass.“
“She did [love me]. But only for a moment. Still, a moment such as that is worth living for, wouldn’t you say?”
[about Christine] “Now, listen to me. For as long as I can remember, ever since I was a child, I have dreamed of her. Now, people are born for many things, Gerard. I was born to live, if one can call this living, down here. But until now, I have never known quite why. I was born so that she could save me, for that’s what she’s done. She is the reason I was born! I love her, Gerard! And I believe in time, with any luck, she will learn to love me. It would be a cruel God indeed to have sent her otherwise.”
Got a bit carried away there… it’s just so quotable. Susan Kay’s Phantom novel gets a honorable mention as I won’t analyse it for the sake of length, pretty much the entire novel is valuable insight into Erik’s psychology. I will say it blended the romance and horror elements perfectly.
1991 - David Staller Version This version gets a lot of hate for some admitably poor acting but I just love the dramatic and passionate portrayal of Erik, especially here. It’s one of my favorite unmaskings of all time along with one of my favorite disfigurements. The fic I keep putting off writing actually has some staller inspiration. Mainly the ideas of passion presented.
I think that’s all for now, I just find looking at all these different versions really fascinating and I hope some of you do too.