Phantom of the Opera
Distributor: NBC Universal
Release Date: October 13
Love Never Dies is the sequel; neither does the original production, it seems. The Phantom of the Opera, the world’s longest running musical, will return to the big screen for at least the seventh time in a new adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s classic work.
Phantom will commemorate its 25th anniversary this year with a performance of the original production in the Royal Albert Hall by the cast of the sequel. The show has been filmed and will be released at key locations around the country, beginning this week with the State Theatre in Sydney. If you’ve managed to miss this classic tale over the past quarter of a century then this is an excellent opportunity to catch up.
The Phantom of the Opera is based on the novel by French author Gaston Leroux, which tells the tale of a horribly scarred composer who haunts a Parisian theatre. The Phantom discovers an unusual talent in the chorus girl Christine and trains her to perfection. When Christine falls in love with her childhood friend Raoul, it becomes clear that the Phantom wants to possess more than the young woman’s talent. Torn between her bewitching tutor and her young admirer Christine must make a choice that could kill the man she loves – but which will it be?
Phantom of the Opera addresses the very familiar theme of love. The Phantom values Christine for her ability to see beyond his scars, and the way her talent gains him the praise he’s been denied. Raoul on the other hand is concerned for the effect this ‘angel of music’ has on his beloved, and is prepared to risk his life to set her free. It’s a classic ‘choice plot’ – will the girl settle for the old master whom she benefits from, or the young man who devotes himself to her? It’s also a clear presentation of the two types of love on offer. The first is the more worldly that characterizes many relationships today, an affection that depends on what the beloved gives to us. The second is more Christian in character. Raoul, like Christ, is more concerned with what Christine needs than what he might receive. Like Jesus, his death is an exchange he’s prepared to make for the sake of his beloved’s safety.