Copenhagen April 25. 2009 (Kristensen - Karlsson - Kofod)

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Copenhagen April 25. 2009 (Kristensen - Karlsson - Kofod)

Post  operafantomet on Mon Sep 21, 2009 6:06 pm

Re-posting some of the Danish reviews:

Phantom of the Opera, April 2009 (matinée)

PHANTOM: Preben Kristensen
CHRISTINE: Mia Karlsson
RAOUL: Tomas Ambt Kofod
CARLOTTA: Eva Malmgren
FIRMIN: Steen Springborg
ANDRÉ: Morten Staugaard
PIANGI: Fernando Concha

(rest of the cast same as other performances I've seen - I think...)

For this performance I was sitting in front row, all the way to the right. Since Det Ny Teater isn't a very broad theatre it gave me a fine view of the scene and the action wasn't too far away. Actually, it was very, very close! I also had the drums in the orchestra pit right in front of me, so I both felt and heard every drum beat very well - awesome! That, combined with the speakers being 2 meters to the right, gave me a wonderfully audiable performance.

Josefine also sat in front row, right behind conductor Per Engström. In the intermission he claimed to be very disappointed to not get a neck massage during the first act. Laughing That would have given us some memorable conducting. Razz

Before the show Josefine suggested that we should make a documentary of our "double dip day", and we did. We filmed a lot, both before and after both shows. I think it'll make a smashing "documentary" on YouTube (we just have lo learn some basic editing...), so stay tuned for tons of POTO silliness! Laughing

I love watching the portiers. Seems like they are instructed to move a bit in slow motion, their movements are very controlled and slow. I like it. I also like the b/w setting of this scene, it makes the transition to the colourful Hannibal scene very clear.

Eva Malmgren passed us in the hallway after the performance, and I am so sad I didn't get to tell her that she is my fav. Carlotta. She is not just good, she is spectacular. Her coloratura is so light and fresh, her acting so pleasant and amusing, her role portrayal so charming and cool. She can be a BIT quiet in lower notes, but I can definitely live with that, seeing how everything else is so bloody good.

I think the opening of Hannibal is the best I've heard her do, or maybe it was because I was so close to the stage. She sung fantastic at least. It was therefore surprising to hear that when she spoke (the rant) she sounded a bit raspy. It wasn't noticeable at all when singing.

Piangi (Fernando Concha) held the high note for an abnormally long time, making the audience applaud. Coolness!

I like the managers a lot by now, Morten Staugaard (André) get to do all his nervous ticks (think Leo Bloom in "The Producers", although not as nevrotic), while Steen Springborg (Firmin) is the balanced, calm and profit thinking equivalent. Better balanced now that when I first saw them in January.

I had Mia Karlsson (Christine) right in front of me, and it was nice to see how she mouthed the words while Carlotta sang. It was also cool to see how Meg and two ballet girls reacted to this; Meg looked surprised and intrigued, while the ballet girls seemed to signal she was just being odd, as usual.

I noticed that the dresser bringing the grand Elissa skirt out carries it inside out, so only the black netting is visible. Cool way to hide the grand transformation some seconds more.

Nothing new to this scene, but nice to see Tomas Ambt Kofod (Raoul) so close during this song. I've said it before, but there's lots of acting going on in the box, and very interesting to watch them up there.

British Jennifer Wagstaffe (Meg) has such a radically much better Danish pronounciation now than in January. I'm a bit amused by her slender figure with such long legs and arms, rare to see in a Meg, but it makes her very elegant when dancing.

I feel I'm repeating myself for every review I write, but I seriously approve Mia Karlsson's acting. Everything she does seems connected, every movement and emotion has a logical continuation. It is especially noticeable in tender scenes like "Angel of Music", but it's a constand feature. And that lovely voice of hers! She's a super Christine. Very Happy

Nothing new here.

Ooooh, intriguing to hear a new Phantom sing the lines I knew so well! I had seen Preben Kristensen previously, in 2002/2003, but honestly I didn't remember very much of his portrayal. So seeing him again was very cool.

Voice wise, he has a deep and strong voice, very nice. One thing that bugged me is that he doesn't seem to be a well trained singer, so the transitions from head to chest voice haltered at times. He cheated his way through some lines too, and not in a planned Flemming Enevold way. But I did like him very much still.

Not too much to tell of the actual Mirror scene, except that they both sung well and that the "smoke hiding the gliding mirror" once again was flawlessly executed. In West End it has often bugged me that they are a bit cheap on the fog, and in Vegas they tend to drown the room in smoke (which is a pity, as their different mirror effect could benefit from very little smoke...). But in Copenhagen they balance it very well. Kudos!

Yeah... Nothing new here either. Sorry for scarce info, but nothing extraordinary happened. I know it's not bound to happen, but I wish they would re-record Mia Karlsson's high E. It really isn't stellar. She hits it, sure, but unsteady. I'm guessing it is from her understudy days back in 2003, and I'm positive she would sing it a lot better now. Ah well.

Here, on the other hands, interesting stuff happened... Preben Kristensen suddenly transposed down parts of the "I have brought you....", namely the "From the moment I first heard you sing, I have needed you with me to serve me, to sing...". I didn't see it coming! And I liked it a lot. Usually I don't like performers messing with the score like that, but I guess I've become so used to Enevold's ticks....

But OK... Kristensen is so small. Surprised Like OMG small, and especially compared to the other two tall Danish Phantoms. I think he and Mia Karlsson was about the same height (although she wore heels... When Viktoria Krantz performed opposite him she always wore flat ballet slippers, to not be taller than him...).

MOTN was rather good, I must admit. He didn't seem as sure on himself as Jorde and Enevold, not as in control, and the number wasn't as defined. I also think he has certain vocal issues. His booming notes are very good, ditto for soft notes, but his mixed voice halter a bit. Still, MOTN was good.

His STYDI reminded a bit of Enevolds, both in singing and acting, but less manneristic and unpredictable. Mia Karlsson looked very playful when trying to remove the mask, like Christine didn't grasp how serious a thing she was about to do. It made the transition to a furious Phantom chasing her very good.

From my seat I could see the ballet girls standing in the wings, ready for "Magical Lasso". There also seemed to be some issue with getting the Mirror Bride mirror off stage, so when Madame Giry and Meg later stood on the same spot, getting ready for their "Notes" entrance, they had to crawl through the mirror. He-he-he. Razz

One thing I have never mentioned in reviews is how Firmin (Steen Springborg) sings "Wrote.... written!". In Danish the verb doesn't change the stem, but gets a suffix added. This makes Firmin sing "Skrev... *bump* *bump* *bump* ...ed", bumping his head in sync with the music. Rather amusing.

Carlotta (Eva Malmgren) wasn's as audible throughout this scene, but I got to see lots of interaction between Madame Giry (Marie Bo), Meg (Jennifer Wagstaffe) and Raoul (Tomas Kofod).

And I now have decided that I need Carlotta's B/W dress. The Danish version is spectacular, both in front and in behind! Very Happy Or actually, particularly in behind. *le drool*

Always amusing, always lots going on. Again I was amused by Don Attilio wiggle his rear in sync with Serafimo/The Maid. And Carlotta (Malmgren) does some awesome croaks, it really sounds like croaks, and she looks genuinely surprised about the sounds coming out of her throat.

Just.... so... good! Acting, singing, orchestra, sets, costumes.... I'm often bored by this song, because I don't think the song per se is very intriguing. It tends to drag out. But when the acting is good, with lots of emotions and good chemistry, I like it a lot.

Another surprising transposing of notes. Much of this was actually sung an octave down. I didn't like it as much as in "I have brought you...", but I DID like it. Mostly because I've heard the other version a zillion times, and I guess I like changes when it sounds motivated and isn't a sorry excuse for not reaching the notes.

We were told it was originally planned to be performed this way, but that the original/early Phantoms (Crawford and Wilkinson) preferred to sing it falsetto and higher up. Anyone knows more about this?

The Danish chandelier has very visible black legs, more visible than other versions I think. I wonder if this is what allowing them to "slam" the chandelier down like they do?

We continued our filming, mostly from the grand staircase of Det Ny Teater, and Josefine interviewed one of the ushers dressed in a stylish theatre uniform. We also bought tickets for the evening performance, from the same woman selling us tickets probably 50 times already, he-he. She asked if we were under 25 (years, that is), that cute lady! I can see how we might come across as silly teenagers, though.... Hah!

All of you who's done this will agree: it's SOOOO awesome to see the Masquerade costumes close up! Very Happy The details, the sparkle, the variety, the beauty!

Having Raoul (Tomas Kofod) right in front of me for much of this scene allowed me to get a good glimpse of his acting. His facial expressions when suddenly coming up with the clever plan was hilarious, he looked like he had just invented the wheel. Hah!

OMG, small Phantom! From my seat and from that angle, and with such an overdimentioned hat, his legs looked very very short... And I couldn't free myself from my mental image of him setting his hat on fire, ha-ha.

The fire-shooting-stick REALLY malfunction for this performance, it didn't appear to work at all in the beginning. But Kristensen compensated by shooting 12-15 times after the happy couple when they ran off stage, like "Poof! Poof! Poof! Poof! Poof! Poof! Poof! Poof! Poof! Poof! Poof!". This was followed by the "fire" in front stage. Fireworks!! Razz

Josefine had the cute "Policeman in Pit" guy right in front of her, I was very envious at her! His pistol malfunctioned, only at the third attempt did it "shoot". This made Raoul scream an extended "What are you doing? You idiot!!! You could have killed someone!", very nicely saved, no-one had a reason to expect it was a mishap.

Highlight of this scene, which I didn't notice at all (I'm very embarrased!), was that Firmin changed his line to "We trust you a 101%" instead of "We're in your hands" - in honour of Josefine, who saw POTO for her 101 time this performance!!! Very Happy Very Happy He had done the same for the 100th performance, where his line was "We trust you a 100%". Isn't it just too cool? As mentioned I didn't notice. I'm very ashamed. Josefine noticed, but didn't think it was meant for her, ha-ha. 8-) It was Tomas Kofod who told us afterwards that it WAS on purpose. Very Happy

OMG spunky scene! Probably the scene I liked the best. In some earlier Phantom/Christine scenes I kept thinking that I didn't quite feel any chemistry between Kristensen and Karlsson. They largely compensated for that in PONR!! They both seemed to be on fire, Karlsson doing the naughtiest Aminta I've ever seen her do (like Shocked ), and Kristensen being very passionate and cool. There was definitely touching... To me this was the best scene in the whole performance, I gasped of joy.

Unmasking went without a hitch.

Another great scene. Worst thing is that I don't remember very many details. The one I remember the best is that after the kiss, Christine (Mia Karlsson) had gotten lots of red makeup down on her chin, she looked a bit like a vampire where she stood. It reminded me of the vampire picture of Elizabeth Loyacano, and it made me giggle (wrong place to giggle, I know...).

Kristensen was a bit akward in this scene, but akward in a good way. He stole the focus, forced the audience to pay attention to him (if that makes sense?). Whereas I think he was a bit uneven in the first act, I liked him a lot in the second act, especially towards the end. PONR and Final Lair was super strong!

Raoul fighted the lasso as much as before, and it seemed like he added a new detail: at times he almost seemed to loose conciousness, head gradually hanging down, before waking up again by loud screams from the Phantom or Christine. Great acting. I've seen the West End Raouls "slowly dying" in the lasso (Oliver Thornton and David Shannon comes to mind), but they're totally unconcious towards the end. Kofod's Raoul tried hard to stay awake/alive/whatever, but acted like the lack of oxygen got to him at times. So brilliant.

I also liked how he, when he was freed and the Phantom ordered them to take the boat, mouthed "Boat? Boat!", and started looking for the named boat, all while Christine refused to leave the scene.

The red curtain stayed down for a long time, and I watched Meg in the wings looking confused into the stage behind it. It turned out the portcullis wouldn't go up, and was halfway down when the red curtain finally went up. It was lifted soon enough though.

Eva Malmgren tripped at something on her way out, but it wasn't too obvious and only made her giggle. The mentioned Tomas Kofod took a special bow towards Josefine, very sweet! Very Happy

This was my 35th performance, and it was a great one. Seeing Kristensen's take on the role was refreshing and very interesting, and although the first act issues was too big to make him an ultimate favourite, I did like his Phantom a lot.

Mia Karlsson was as gorgeous as ever, I think she might be my favourite Christine as of now. The combination of a portrayal full of nuances and a lovely voice makes her just superb.

Tomas Kofod never seize to impress me with all his acting, he seems to do new stuff every time I see him. That, combined with that lovely warm voice of his, makes his a superb Raoul, he too is one of my favourites (along with Steve Barton and Ramin Karimloo).

There's probably tons of other cast members and details I should mention as well, but... yeah... If I continue it will eventually become a short novel... Razz Heh.

After the performance conductor Per Engström picked us up at the "internal" stage door. Reason is that he had agreed to participate in our "documentary". Little did he know what he agreed on, he-he. Razz When he heard what he was to do, he said something like "Ahem, then I know what level it's on....", ha-ha! On our way out lots of cast members run past us in the staircase, Mia Karlsson, Eva Malmgren, "Passarino", some of the ballet dancers... I wanted to stop them all, but then "Tomas" :mrgreen: showed up...

He asked if Josefine had noticed the line they changed for her sake, looking very pleased about it. We asked if he would be willing to participate in out silly documentary, but he said he had a better idea: he was to give a backstage tour to two American friends after the second performance, and invited us to tag along if we wanted to. IF WE WANTED TO???? Surprised :mrgreen: I could have given a million bucks for that! Then he ran off to grab a bite, while we continued our silly filming of poor Engström (who after all seemed to enjoy our silliness a lot.... Smile ).

After the filming we went down to the "underground" restaurant and bar, under the theatre, where I tasted the exclusive "Phantom drink". It was also documented.... To be continued...


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