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The Phantom of the Opera At the Royal Albert Hall

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Album Review

To describe Andrew Lloyd Webber's production of The Phantom of the Opera, the tale of a disfigured musical genius' obsession with a young soprano based on Gaston Leroux's early 20th century novel, as a phenomenon would be something of an understatement. Since its West End premiere in 1986, it has been seen by around 130 million people, earned both Tony and Olivier awards for Best Musical, and amassed a staggering five billion dollars worldwide at the box office. Celebrating its momentous achievement, this unique recording of its 25th anniversary show at London's Royal Albert Hall shows exactly why it's become such an institution, from the horror movie organs and haunting synths of the iconic "Overture," to the glass-shattering vocals and dramatic melodies of the anthemic title number, to the emotive balladry of "The Music of the Night." Featuring all 22 songs from the 2011 Cameron Mackintosh-produced show, which starred Ramin Karimloo as the Phantom, Sierra Boggess as Christine, and Hadley Fraser as Raoul, the first official West End cast recording since 2000 is certainly comprehensive. But while the passages of dialogue on "Think of Me" and "Poor Fool, He Makes Me Laugh" may transmit well to its accompanying DVD, they feel slightly redundant here, and the constant applause, particularly the four-minute standing ovation that ends "Down Once More/Track Down This Murderer," suggests more extensive use of an editor would have been appreciated. Fans who were lucky enough to see the show in person may also be disappointed that the star turn from its most renowned leading lady, Sarah Brightman, on the "Grand Finale" has been strangely omitted, even though the lengthy congratulatory speech from Lloyd Webber himself remains fully intact. An accomplished and impressively performed tribute it may be, then, but those wanting to relive its most glorious moments may find themselves pressing the fast-forward button far more often than was necessary. ~ Jon O'Brien, Rovi

Customer Reviews

Ramin and Sierra = Awesome!

I was lucky enough to watch Phantom 25 in the movie theater 3 times -- yes, 3 TIMES :) It even made me buy the blu-ray, it was THAT good! If you've ever seen the West End production (which I saw in 2006, and the Phantom then was Earl! who makes a cameo here as the auctioneer), there will be some differences (chandelier, etc) due to logistical considerations given the venue for this staging. But the MUSIC is still just as gorgeously sumptuous -- and I've since decided that Ramin and Sierra are my favorite Phantom and Christine pairing -- which is good bec I also like some of their songs in LND :) What I really enjoy about Ramin is the angrier edge his Phantom has, with growls and snarls in all the right places -- on top of his wonderfully powerful vocals! And I thought Sierra was superb -- her sweetness and that lovely voice! (her Think of Me and Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again made me go WOW) perfectly complemented Ramin's edge.

My favorite tracks here are the title song, The Point of No Return, the Overture, Stranger Than You Dreamt It, Why So Silent etc. and lines here and there like when Sierra sang "But in his eyes / All the sadness of the world / Those pleading eyes / That both threaten and adore" -- oh, and Ramin in The Final Lair just broke my poor wee heart -- made me a bit teary =/ I wish they'd show Phantom 25 again in our theaters, 'cause it's BEAUTIFUL on the big screen :)

Let the Spectacle Astound You!

This recording of the entire show/score of Andrew Lloyd Webber's THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA is a must-have for any "phan". Ramin and Sierra give stunning performances in roles that they have certainly done their research and study on; they both played the characters in the sequel, LOVE NEVER DIES. This new album is certainly a keeper and is sure to delight any fan, old and new, of "the music of the night."

THE Definitive Phantom Album

That's right, I'm drawing the line in the sand. Don't get me wrong, the original with Crawford and Brightman is great, but THIS is the best recording I've ever heard of this beautiful, dark, romantic music. Ramin and Sierra give the performance of their career as the title characters, their voices were made to compliment each other. A must have for any Phantom fan, or musical fan in general!

Biography

Born: March 22, 1948 in London, England

Genre: Soundtrack

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Andrew Lloyd Webber (b. 1948) is the most successful composer of musicals of his generation and also a breaker of molds for the type. His predecessors were, for the most part, American: New York-based songwriters steeped in Broadway tradition. Lloyd Webber saw his share of shows as a child, too, but he was born in London, the son of William Lloyd Webber, Director of the London College...
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The Phantom of the Opera At the Royal Albert Hall, Andrew Lloyd Webber
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