Anonymous → I think that when someone really likes Ramin's Phantom, the best is to advise them to first watch some more violent, yet very interesting actors? Like Gary Mauer and John Cudia, maybe. I think that recommending Hugh Panaro or Marcus Lovett might come more as a shock, you know?

Yeah, that was my train of thought as well, which is why I recommended Phantoms like Earl Carpenter and Gary Mauer first (with some John Cudia if they want that as well) before recommending Hugh Panaro. And as I sort of said after recommending the Hugh Panaro vids, you can then use their reaction to Hugh Panaro as a sort of litmus test to see if they might like some of the more unconventional Phantoms, or if they should just stick to people more in the mold of Ramin, Gary, and John Cudia. You know, if that friend is not completely overwhelmed by so many Phantoms.

Damn, I just realized I forgot to recommend something of JOJ, who is also more along the lines of Gary and Earl. Well, I’ll rectify that here. Watch something of JOJ! Watch the February 25, 2006 show with Rachel Barrell and Oliver Thornton. It’s shot from the front row so it will probably feel like a bit of an odd angle at first, plus there’s quite a bit of obstruction at times, but the cast is on fire, naturally, it being JOJ’s last show of his first run.

7 hours ago with 5 notes
#Anonymous #GP gets asks

Anonymous → Which video do you recommend for the "Masquerade" scene, that conveys the hidden undertone of threat, etc, and how the costumes remind Christine of the Phantom? I keep watching the 25th Anniversary, but I think it's subtle at best? And do you think a lot of it has to do with how the staging-lighting, actually-is done? How bright the lights are, instead of the "black box" effect?

Hmm, well, I’m not sure if I can recommend any video, because they’re all mostly the same? Generally any sort of big, clear, high quality video should show it. I do sort of disagree that the 25th anniversary was subtle about the threat - if anything, it was quite explicit, mostly through Sierra Boggess’s acting. She looked very distressed when surrounded by the dancers, and doesn’t actually do much dancing at all, at least to me - she sort of wandered around the stage in confusion, probably looking for Raoul. In most other productions that I watch, the Christines usually end up dancing through it. So that’s sort of my perception of it.

For me at least, I think a lot of it actually comes down to the choreography: many of dancers’ movements carry a subtle undertone of threat, particularly the man/woman in his cloak and the way he sort of wraps it around Christine, as well as when the dancers surround Christine and turn towards her, best exemplified by this pic:

Though of course, other factors do play a part, lighting and directing and the costumes (in particular the man/woman, the monkey girl, and the person dressed in the Mandarin costume).

8 hours ago with 7 notes
#Anonymous #GP gets asks

Anonymous → Which audio and video bootlegs should I make someone watch, someone who just started to like POTO and still thinks Gerard, Emmy, Ramin and Sierra are the best?

Well, let’s see… I’ll try and go for bootlegs that are clear and high quality (because I’m kind of assuming your friend hasn’t watched many bootlegs) as well as having good performers… though I will be a little biased in favor of my own favorites. I’m mostly focusing on videos here

First, since they like Ramin Karimloo, try and check out the September 2008 of him with Gina Beck and Simon Bailey. The video quality is decent, though the camera tends to wander, but more importantly it’ll introduce your friend to the wonder of Gina Beck… and see Ramin back in his London days, I suppose.

The January 2006 video of Earl Carpenter, Rachel Barrell, and David Shannon is great, mostly for the cast. Rachel Barrell is rather different from Emmy, Sierra, and Gina, so who knows what the reaction to her will be, but Earl Carpenter is fantastic and hopefully a good introduction to the many, many different kinds of Phantoms we have seen over the years in the stage production.

Moving on to the US productions… I would first recommend the May 9, 2007 video of Gary Mauer, Jennifer Hope Wills, and Jason Mills, which is great quality, has no obstructions, and features Mauer and Wills who were fan favorites for a time. If that one goes over okay, you might also show her two videos from the tour: the April 6, 2006 video of Mauer with Elizabeth Southard and Jim Weitzer, which is a two camera shot, almost like a film, and then the July 1, 2006 video of John Cudia with Wills and Adam Monley. Mostly because I think those respective casts are even better.

After that, I might check out the March 2, 2005 video of Hugh Panaro, Julie Hanson, and John Cudia, because they are an interesting trio and to serve as an introduction to Hugh Panaro, who is a huge fan favorite. For his second run… I would watch the April 27, 2013 video of him with Samantha Hill (another big favorite) and Kyle Barisich. Hugh Panaro can be rather interesting, though - a lot of people, including some of his biggest fans, did not like him very much when they first saw him, because he can be sort of odd and topsy-turvy. Some still don’t, so you can sort of use this to judge what your friend likes - somewhat more conventional Phantoms, like Ramin, or those that can get a bit “out there”.

If all of these go over well and your friend isn’t thoroughly sick of POTO, you can start easing the friend into foreign casts and maybe some of the more Leroux-accurate Phantoms. I would recommend starting with one of the videos from the Madrid production, or the 1993 one of Henk Poort, Joke de Kruijf, and Peter de Smet, or the 1995 bootleg of Ethan Freeman, Jill Washington, and Simon Bowman mostly because they’re proshot, though video quality of the last two is mediocre. Some of the Essen bootlegs are also very good, though for the love of all that is holy avoid the Uwe Kroger one, unless you’re looking for a good laugh.

Anyway, I made a list of recommended foreign production videos here, along with some audios, as well as a more extensive list of recommended audios (again, mostly foreign productions) and, just for the heck of it, recommended cast recordings.

And as a little tip - when showing these, don’t be, well, elitist? If your friend watches these and they still love Gerard Butler and Ramin Karimloo, great! Don’t make the friend feel like a bad fan because they do. Make this less “those people aren’t so great, here are better” and more about “here are some Phantoms who are just as good as them and who you might like too!”

12 hours ago with 9 notes
#Anonymous #GP gets asks

Anonymous → Can you please tell me when and where exactly did Marcus Lovett play the Phantom? From the beginning till now

He was the Phantom on Broadway from 1993 (the earliest I’ve seen is March 1993, but it could be earlier) until November 1994. He was in the London production of Phantom from September 3, 2012 until August 31, 2013.

14 hours ago with 3 notes
#Anonymous #GP gets asks

Anonymous → Do you know how much of Leroux's novel is true? Apparently a real Christine Daae singer was kidnapped during a performance and went missing.

I believe it is a mix of what fdelopera would call “faction” - fact mixed with fiction. It takes place in the Palais Garnier, which does have an underground lake and which saw an accident with the chandelier, though in this case it was a counterweight that fell and killed a woman. Christine Daae is also reportedly based on real life opera singer Christine Nilsson (you can read about her here). However, Erik is a made up character, as are most of the events. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a real singer being kidnapped, though. It’s certainly not mentioned in any of the research done by other fans. If you want, you can read some of the research done by fdelopera on what’s fact and fiction here and here.

14 hours ago with 10 notes
#Anonymous #GP gets asks

Claire Doyle, London Christine understudy

14 hours ago with 89 notes
#Phantom of the Opera #POTO London #Claire Doyle

Anonymous → Hi! I looked through your gifts page 3 times and couldn't find these so I was wondering if you would mind gifting them-sorry I've started to really love Paul Schaefer lately! Paul Schaefer (u/s), Samantha Hill, Kyle Barisich from November 29, 2012 and Tim Martin Gleason (u/s), Elizabeth Loyacano, Paul Schaefer (u/s) from April 3, 2008, I'm so sorry if you already gifted these and I've missed them and this is just a big waste of your time! Thank you so much! :)

Tim Martin Gleason (u/s), Elizabeth Loyacano, Paul Schaefer (u/s)
April 3, 2008; Broadway

Paul Schaefer (u/s), Samantha Hill, Kyle Barisich
November 29, 2012; Broadway

1 day ago with 9 notes
#time to live up to my Tumblr blog title #trading #Anonymous #GP gets asks

Anonymous → Hello! I was watching the LND comparison of the phantoms, and I was wondering, what is the trading identification of Ethan Freeman's part? Thanks :)

I don’t even know what “trading identification” means. Help?


oopperan-kummitus said: I’d guess the origin of the clip in question?

thefleetstreetvicomte said: I’m guessing anon wants to know which recording Ethan’s part in the comparison is from

If that’s the case, well… I actually think the original is gone, or at least I can’t find it. But here’s another.

1 day ago with 3 notes
#Anonymous #GP gets asks

Katy Treharne, London Christine alternate, Part 2/2

1 day ago with 122 notes
#Phantom of the Opera #POTO London #Katy Treharne #I kind of liked how this one turned out

Katy Treharne, London Christine alternate, Part 1/2

1 day ago with 57 notes
#Phantom of the Opera #POTO London #Katy Treharne


Rare footage of the original London cast of “Phantom of the Opera”, featuring Rosemary Ashe in “Hannibal”, Steve Barton and Sarah Brightman in “All I Ask of You”, the cast in “Masquerade” (beautifully shot) and Michael Crawford and Sarah Brightman in “Point of No Return”. 

In total 9 minutes of footage, it’s very well worth a watch, despite the annoying voiceovers here and there. 

1 day ago with 369 notes — via operafantomet
#give me this video RUG #I want it #don't make me break into your archives #Phantom of the Opera #POTO London #Michael Crawford #Sarah Brightman #Steve Barton #Rosemary Ashe

Anonymous → Hi! I was wondering if you could do a photoset of Maria Bjornson's designs, specifically Christine's? I've seen some online but I don't know how many there are (and they were pretty bad quality) Thanks!

Oh, if you mean her costume designs, might I direct you to Operafantomet’s fantastic site She’s compiled basically every costume in the show and their original design, and if you click on them you can see more detailed info about it and get tons and tons of costume pics as well. Hope that helps!

2 days ago with 4 notes
#Anonymous #GP gets asks

Anonymous → Apologies if you've answered this before ;) Who is your absolute favourite Christine voice, and why? Specifically what about her voice captures Christine's character the way you envision? Did you know immediately that *whomever* was the most fitting you'd ever heard, or did you decide after several listenings? (I'm trying to decide who best captures Christine for me and the difficulty choosing is KILLING me!)

Oh, I think I did stuff similar to this, but I can talk about it again!

First things first, I don’t think I really have a favorite Christine voice, mostly because I love too many different voices! Sometimes I like a light, delicate voice, other times I want something a bit heavier or darker; sometimes I like an operatic voice, other times I lean towards those that are not necessarily so. Generally, all I ask for is that they’re reasonably well-trained (aka please don’t make me flinch every time you open your mouth) with no weird vocal oddities like crazy diction or something - though even then, I make exceptions, because I love voices with an interesting quirk that makes me sit up and recognize them.

To list some examples… I love the operatically trained voices the likes of Elisabeth Berg, Rebecca Caine, and Elizabeth Welch. They sound clear, well-trained, effortless, like someone who could actually grace an opera stage and not only be a match against Carlotta, but make the audience forget about her entirely. I also love Christines with a lighter voice, such as Joke de Kruijf, Hye Kyoung Lee, Kim So Hyun, Glenda Balkan, and Renee Knapp, maybe because they sound younger, sweeter, and more innocent, though also because it’s just a personal preference. (And I’ve heard Christines with darker voices pull off the innocent part of the character.) And then there are Christines with unique little quirks to their voice, like Sarah Brightman (who is downright polarizing), Rachel Barrell (interesting nasal quality), and Leila Benn Harris (had a tendency to belt, I think, but seemed to make it work for her). Operafantomet said this a long time ago about how Christine represents something new for audiences, and it’s nice to hear a voice that has a little twist to it - you can imagine Paris audiences remembering it long afterwards, and maybe conjecture that it was something that also captured the Phantom’s attention and that he helped cultivate.

Anyway, long story short, I like a lot of people, and they all sort of represent different aspects of Christine for me. For the last part of your question - sometimes all it took was one listen for me to decide, “Yep, I love this” (Rebecca Caine, Joke de Kruijf), other times it took several listens (Rachel Barrell, Sofia Escobar). It all sort of depends.

I’m sure that didn’t help you, ha ha. But yeah - I gave up trying to pick ONE Christine voice a long time ago and just decided to be happy with my many, many different loves.

2 days ago with 5 notes
#Anonymous #GP gets asks

Katie Hall, London Christine alternate

2 days ago with 198 notes
#I ran these through Photoshop and sharpened them #well not the bottom middle one that one was fine #but the rest were so blurry #Phantom of the Opera #POTO London #Katie Hall

Anonymous → Regarding Katie Hall's photoshoot, is there any clearer pictures of her? I mean the one in London of course where she was shot in her negligee, Wishing, and a couple others. Thanks!

Sadly no, other than this one photo of her in her slavegirl costume. It almost made me not post a photoset of her, because the pictures from her photoshoot had all been clumped together, and separating them made their quality shrink even further. But eventually I decided to, for completeness sake… that will go up in just a little bit.

2 days ago with 2 notes
#Anonymous #GP gets asks