Reflections on the Phantom of the Opera
The ‘Phantom of the Opera’ is a novel that two characters i.e. Phantom and Christine are prominently featured. Another character Raoul was in a romantic relationship with Christine. Phantom’s face is disfigured and that is why he puts on a mask. Because of this nature of his face, he is not loved by many and he does not have experience in a romantic relationship in his life. However, he has an interest in Christine but she does not seem to show her feelings. This makes him desperate for love and harsh to other people. This novel uses a lot of symbolism and dialogue. It is a story that was written by Gaston Leroux and it was based in Paris (Andrew, Charles & Richard, 1987).
The opera house was haunted by a ghost that brings disorder if his needs are not fulfilled. He is known as Erik. Phantom was being referred as a ghost. Phantom was still persistent in his pursuit to win Christine but she could not show her love for him. He gets jealous until he Christine takes hostage but still this does not help. When she is abducted, the second time during a performance he intimidates her that he will blow the opera house. This makes her to give in to his proposal. This created a love triangle as Raoul and Phantom had an interest in her but she could not express her feelings because she had given in to both. Generally, the novel is dominated by the theme of love. This is brought to our attention through Phantom who tries anything within his capacity to see that Raoul and Christine separate.
This novel has been produced in a movie that is directed by Joel Schumacher. In the movie, some minor changes were made to the original work. Some songs that were sung in the play were spoken in the movie. In addition, some scenes were added while others were deleted in the movie. Other changes occurred during the crashing of the opera house. In the chandelier crash, the chandelier’s cables break through the ceiling of the opera house. This is impossible during live stage performance. In the movie, there is a sword fight between Raoul and Phantom when Christine visits her father’s grave. This is in contrast to the stage play where Phantom attacks the Raoul and Christine with explosions of fire from his torch. Phantoms behavior such as his unexpected vanishing are well explained in the film as anticipated. There is a difference between how the film and the play ends. In the movie, Phantom breaks all the mirrors. On the other hand, the play ends moments after Christine, Raoul leave the boat, and Phantom says of Christine that it is she only that can make his song take flight, it is over now, the music of the night.
The theme of the music in the opera is based on love. Songs based on this include ‘Think of me’, ‘Wishing you were somehow here again’ and ‘All I ask of you’. They bring out the theme that is well illustrated by the number of character relationships in the novel. The music also brings out the theme of loneliness. We see Phantom behaving in a weird manner because he is rejected by people because of his deformed face (Susan, 2005). People avoid emotional and physical attachment with him and therefore he is lonely. Songs such as learn to be lonely and down once more show this loneliness. There are various voices of people in the film. Christine performs with soprano. When Phantom pretends to be the angel of music, he inspires Christine to be a good singer. In the music that is sung in The Phantom of opera, there is use of repetition. This repetition of themes helps to create persistence on the specific item that is put across by the song.
In the novel Phantom of opera, Christine describes music as awful, long, magnificent sob. However, as it is continually sung she sees it describing emotions and suffering by man. This can be compared with the suffering that Phantom goes through and the music is a way of expressing this feeling. The vocals in the film are clear and therefore they can be easily understood. There is solo singing only because we see the characters performing alone. This therefore means that the voices that are used in music are applied individually. There is no combination of voices such as tenor, bass, soprano and altar. Christine’s voice is soft, pleasing because of soprano. She is taught voice control by the self-proclaimed angel of music, Phantom (Jeongwon & Susan, 2002). This improves her voice greatly.
In addition, there is stage design and the costumes are carefully chosen. They came up with some beautiful clothing that fitted the occasion. This helps to bring out the mood of the story that is being performed on stage. Moreover, this will help the audience to compare with real life situations and see it from a point of view of what is happening in their life. In our context, the mood in our story is emotional and therefore the songs that are performed matters very much. The emotion in the story is brought into light by characters like Phantom who goes through many tribulations in his daily life because of his physical look (Leroux & Namm, 2008). According to my evaluation of this opera, it may be fit in literature field. This is because of the wide use of dialogue, symbolism and imagery. Examples include the mirrors that we see being broken down. This is symbolic of the relationships that exist and are at the brink of ending.
Finally, watching this opera imparted different feelings on people. It changed my perception through viewing the life of Phantom that is a reflection of our daily life. He represents a group of people in the society who face rejection because of their physical disabilities. This is a wrong idea and people should accept people the way they are. Christine represents those people in the society who do not associate with people because of their physical look but because they deserve love just like any other human being. This is shown when she cries to show Phantom that she loves him. Christine also represents those people in the society who lack principles. She falls in love with two men at the same time. Therefore, we can conclude that this novel has brought out various characters showing how people live in the society. It shows the emotional part of human beings and the effects that it impart on people if it is not checked or controlled.
Jeongwon, Joe, & Theresa, M. Between opera and cinema. New York: Routledge, 2002
Kay, Susan. Phantom. Southfield: Media Creations Inc, 2005
Lloyd, Andrew, Charles Hart, & Stilgoe Richard. The Phantom of the opera: Music series. Pittsburgh: Hal Leonard Pub. Corp, 1987
Namm, Diane, & Gaston Leroux. Classic Starts: The Phantom of the Opera. New York: Sterling Publishing Company, Inc., 2008