I recently had the opportunity (well,.. I paid for it of course) to see The Phantom of the Opera in Her Majesty's Theatre in London, and it was a breathtaking experience. We (my boyfriend and I) went to see it on the 6th of July. Ben Forster played the Phantom and Christine Daaé was played by Celinde Schoenmaker, both of which were amazing but Forster was truly magnificent.
My mother saw The Phantom of the Opera (before I was even born I think..), but she saw it in Dutch (blegh, I know). She and my dayd raised my brothers and I with the pleasures of seeing musicals because to them it was important to teach their kids to enjoy and love music (and considering my youngest brother and I recently went to Hans Zimmer with her, I think she succeeded). So I have seen a lot of musicals, the first of which was Elizabeth when I was only 8 years old (best birthday present yet). Anyway, back to the point; she has told me many many times how amazing the Phantom of the Opera was and if I ever got the chance I needed to go see it.
Since my boyfriend and I decided to go back to London anyway, I figured we might as well go see this musical (it took a little convincing, considering he was a musical-virgin, but in the end he agreed). Those of you unfamiliar with this musical, it is a story about a man (The Phantom) who hides far beneath a Paris Opera House. He haunts the house and tells those who own it how to run it, because in his eyes they are fools and don't know how to properly run an Opera House (he loves music). He falls deeply in love with his protegee Christine, who does not seem to know if she loves or hates him. They share the love of Music and the phantom tries to make her excel in the very art. It's a very sad love story (in my opinion) of a scared (and scarred) lonely man, who is in love with a woman who cannot love him for what he is and what he has done.
Combine the story with intensely emotional music and you have the musical The Phantom of the Opera. In my opinion the Phantom is much like Quasimodo in The Hunchback of the Notre-Dame. A man, born with a different physical appearance and therefore feared and hated by those who are disgusted or scared off how he looks. Due to that the character is very lonely and in the case of the Phantom he finds ways to be less lonely. Making those close to him, fear him so he has some kind of relationship with them or power over them. It's heart breaking and sad and Ben Forster really seemed to capture his essence with his amazing voice. It really carried the pain and despair. It wasn't until the ending of the musical that I realised what was really going on, because at first he just seems evil. I'd like to finish by saying the very thing my mom used to say to me: if you ever have chance to go see it, you should.