Unappreciated/Forgotten Phantoms?

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Re: Unappreciated/Forgotten Phantoms?

Post  TheMaskedLion on Wed Jan 27, 2010 12:29 am

To appease my masochistic side and morbid curiousity, I listened to him and Pia do Totale Finsternis, aaaaaand.. *cringe* I wouldn't wish that on my worse enemy.



You know, my only problem with most German musical performers now is that they are singing in American accents. I don't get that. Why is it that the American peformers who work in Germany (Kevin Tarte, Carla and Michael Nicholson and even Steve Barton) sound..more.. German than their actual German counterparts? It drives me crazy!

I've noticed that with some Phantoms too even as far back as Stuttgart and Hamburg, but they were few and far between.

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Re: Unappreciated/Forgotten Phantoms?

Post  Miss von Krolock on Wed Jan 27, 2010 12:52 am

Count-Alexiel-Ravenswood wrote:To appease my masochistic side and morbid curiousity, I listened to him and Pia do Totale Finsternis, aaaaaand.. *cringe* I wouldn't wish that on my worse enemy.
Oh dear... I feel your pain...

Count-Alexiel-Ravenswood wrote:You know, my only problem with most German musical performers now is that they are singing in American accents. I don't get that. Why is it that the American peformers who work in Germany (Kevin Tarte, Carla and Michael Nicholson and even Steve Barton) sound..more.. German than their actual German counterparts? It drives me crazy!
Why do you say that? Believe me, Kevin Tarte does not sound more German than actual German people... Laughing His American accent is still noticeable even after having lived in Germany for 20 years.

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Re: Unappreciated/Forgotten Phantoms?

Post  MasqPhan on Wed Jan 27, 2010 2:50 am

I'm another who thinks Mike Sterling was under appreciated/under-rated as the Phantom. He was so good that after my friend and I saw him we had to skip a day of our UK vacation plans so we could go and see him again.

I wasn't into writing reviews back then which is a shame because I don't remember a whole lot about him. I remember in places here and there that I was reminded of MC voice wise. His acting was very good. He a lot into the little details of the character that really made the Phantom come alive on stage.

He was paired with my favorite Christine, Charlotte Page, and a sweet Raoul, Gardar Thor Cortes, so they were some wonderful shows. Smile

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Re: Unappreciated/Forgotten Phantoms?

Post  Freyalise on Wed Jan 27, 2010 5:03 am

I've been interested to know what Fernand Delosch's Phantom was like ever since I heard he got the role, considering he started out as Reyer and then graduated to Andre.

I remember Garth Bardsley being a well-liked understudy in London. As well as... oh gosh, what was his name... John Capes? And I remember when Glyn Kerslake took over, too. I think Nicola took a while to warm up to him. (Most of what I remember from London reports back then come from Nicola's incredibly detailed reviews, so. Very Happy) No idea where she went to. Off the internet, I guess!

Too bad you don't like O'Leary much, Swanky.

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Re: Unappreciated/Forgotten Phantoms?

Post  TheMaskedLion on Wed Jan 27, 2010 5:17 am

[quote="Miss von Krolock"}
Why do you say that? Believe me, Kevin Tarte does not sound more German than actual German people... Laughing His American accent is still noticeable even after having lived in Germany for 20 years.[/quote]

For some reason, performers like Borchert and Uwe all seem to..overdo it. I mean in terms of accent and pronunciation. I just don't.. I don't know. I am from Germany, (Hamburg) and I just.. It seems so...overdone.

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Re: Unappreciated/Forgotten Phantoms?

Post  SenorSwanky on Wed Jan 27, 2010 7:04 am

Re: Mike Sterling
MasqPhan wrote:I remember in places here and there that I was reminded of MC voice wise. His acting was very good.
He reminds me a lot of PK.

Freyalise wrote:Too bad you don't like O'Leary much, Swanky.
Very nice guy. Me, my mom, grandma, and brother met him at the stage door afterward. But I remember his voice being a little overbearing, compared to MC, who was the only Phantom I'd known before then, via the OLC. And in more recent exposure to his Phantom, I still find him just...eh...decent but not really my cup of tea. I tend to like darker, older, more seductive yet creepy Phantoms, usually baritones or tenors with nice lower registers.

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Re: Unappreciated/Forgotten Phantoms?

Post  Freyalise on Wed Jan 27, 2010 7:30 am

SenorSwanky wrote:
Freyalise wrote:Too bad you don't like O'Leary much, Swanky.
Very nice guy. Me, my mom, grandma, and brother met him at the stage door afterward. But I remember his voice being a little overbearing, compared to MC, who was the only Phantom I'd known before then, via the OLC. And in more recent exposure to his Phantom, I still find him just...eh...decent but not really my cup of tea. I tend to like darker, older, more seductive yet creepy Phantoms, usually baritones or tenors with nice lower registers.

Aw, you SUCK. *envy* I think I know what you mean by finding his voice a little overbearing, but I've personally never thought of it that way, so to each their own. Just personal taste--mine veer towards higher tenors. Smile

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Re: Unappreciated/Forgotten Phantoms?

Post  Phantomlove on Wed Jan 27, 2010 11:11 am

Yes, I did see Mikael Samuelson quite a lot between 1989 and 1995, 19 times to be exact. It's a bit hard to remember now what made his Phantom so great because it's almost 15 years since I last saw him and there is very little footage of his Phantom in circulation. He worked a lot with his hands, some years even a bit too much as I remember. I think it was the fifth year or something that I thought he looked like he was tying himself into a knot in Music of the Night Laughing . Then he simplified his movements again and overall it was very good. He also displayed quite a lot of intensity by just standing still or walking very slowly and emphatically. And he showed a lot of raw emotion in the angel scene and the final lair, it was a rawness that made you feel that this was not acting anymore, it was real. Of course it was acting, but it felt real. I miss Mikael Samuelson, would like to experience his Phantom again.

When he was paired with Inger Olsson Moberg, who was a Christine with loads of backbone and gumption, they had kind of a power struggle in the final lair. It was always fun to see who would be the angriest at that particular performance afro .

I also saw Glyn Kerslake quite a lot and never really warmed up to him. I like him now based on what I've heard now, but during the time he played at HMT he didn't really suit me. I liked John Capes who was his understudy more, even if he wasn't a favourite with me either.

Simon Bowman: Not unappreciated, he was... indescribable in a bad way. He has a good voice but he used it in such a weird and odd way and his acting was really off. It's not a good sign when you start laughing at the Phantom whenever he is on stage, especially in the final lair. I saw him four times. During his time in the show I actually thought Phantom would close soon because the whole cast (except Jasna Ivir as Carlotta) seemed so uninspired and they had a lead actor who was really bad. Thank God they got up from that low point in the show's London history.

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Re: Unappreciated/Forgotten Phantoms?

Post  justin-from-barbados on Wed Jan 27, 2010 4:04 pm

Oh I remember seeing Simon Bowman, he was my #3. I couldnt figure out why he was singing so wierd, it almost sounded like 2 different people singing when he sang high and when he sang low.

I didn't really care for Glyn Kerslake either, I didn't think he could handle the higher parts very well.

Grant Norman in London was my #2, at first I was in a bit of shock at his heavy vibrato, and actually hated it. But years later I came to love his vocals as the Phantom. Back then I only heard Crawford and Wilkinson on the 2 recordings. I prefered Crawford's smooth voice over WIlkinson's, so to hear Grant's extreme vibrato it was off setting at first.

More Recently, the last phantom I saw was Jason Mills and I thought he was wonderful, but remember seeing some very bad reviews that suggested to me that his vocals were very inconsistent.

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Re: Unappreciated/Forgotten Phantoms?

Post  SenorSwanky on Wed Jan 27, 2010 5:54 pm

Speaking of Jason Mills, he and Richard Todd Adams could qualify as forgotten. While they performed the role only a few years ago, they were in it such a short time, I think most people didn't get a chance to see them or hear about them.

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Re: Unappreciated/Forgotten Phantoms?

Post  justin-from-barbados on Wed Jan 27, 2010 6:32 pm

I thought Richard Todd Adams had fantastic vocals, maybe someday he will come back, didn't he leave to spend time with his family?

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Re: Unappreciated/Forgotten Phantoms?

Post  operafantomet on Wed Jan 27, 2010 9:21 pm

justin-from-barbados wrote:I thought Richard Todd Adams had fantastic vocals, maybe someday he will come back, didn't he leave to spend time with his family?
He did and should originally return in September (or late autumn), but it never happened. His website hasn't been updated since he played the Phantom, so I don't know what he's up to now. But those who saw him as the Phantom seemed to like him a lot, so too bad he did such a short run.

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Re: Unappreciated/Forgotten Phantoms?

Post  MajesticPhantom on Tue Jul 27, 2010 2:48 am

I was incredibly moved by Michael Nicholson final matinee performance in Hamburg. He was a terrifying, haunted beast of a man, and his Final Lair had an extraordinary rawness...he was so open to going wherever he felt himself be taken. One of the best parts about it was that he laughed cruelly at his situation in a pitiful way after screaming at Christine and Raoul to leave.

He also interpreted the role my favorite way: As a man so disturbed by life that he pretended to be something more powerful than human. By him making himself this ghostly figure, his spiraling into the raw well of human suffering is all the more identifiable, as so many of us in real life put up walls to protect our hearts.

It was so moving to watch.


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Re: Unappreciated/Forgotten Phantoms?

Post  operafantomet on Thu Aug 19, 2010 9:05 pm

MasqPhan wrote:I'm another who thinks Mike Sterling was under appreciated/under-rated as the Phantom. He was so good that after my friend and I saw him we had to skip a day of our UK vacation plans so we could go and see him again.
Must agree about this. First time I heard him I couldn't believe I had heard so little of him and about him in the past. He's got it all, in my book.

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Re: Unappreciated/Forgotten Phantoms?

Post  IamErik771 on Fri Aug 20, 2010 2:50 am

operafantomet wrote:
MasqPhan wrote:I'm another who thinks Mike Sterling was under appreciated/under-rated as the Phantom. He was so good that after my friend and I saw him we had to skip a day of our UK vacation plans so we could go and see him again.
Must agree about this. First time I heard him I couldn't believe I had heard so little of him and about him in the past. He's got it all, in my book.

Indeed! At first listen, he does sound a lot like Peter Karrie (which I'm certainly not complaining about Smile), but he brings so many unique touches to his portrayal as well. Wish I could've actually seen him in the role.

And yeah, it really is rather sad that Richard Todd Adams was with the Tour for such a short time. I liked the little I heard of him, and hope he'll get to return to POTO in some form.

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Re: Unappreciated/Forgotten Phantoms?

Post  TheMaskedLion on Fri Aug 20, 2010 11:37 am

Another great Phantom that I am very fond of who doesn't get much notice sadly, is Ben Cramer. I thought he was amazing in the role and IMHO much better than Henk Poort

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Re: Unappreciated/Forgotten Phantoms?

Post  mauerite#5 on Mon Sep 13, 2010 3:49 pm

SenorSwanky wrote:I don't think Steve Barton gets nearly enough recognition as a great Phantom, but a lot of that is due to the fact he's more known for being the original Raoul (and the gold standard in that role).

Peter Cousens, Jeff Hyslop, Cris Groenendaal, Rick Hilsabeck, James Patterson, Timothy Nolen, Kevin Gray, Mark Jacoby, Ron Bohmer, Mike Sterling, Thomas James O'Leary, and Ted Keegan are all, some to a greater extent than others, not quite as talked-about as other, mostly more recent Phantoms.
\

TOTALLY agree on Steve Barton, his Phantom was pretty legite, although clips and sound bytes with him as Phantom are rare.

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Re: Unappreciated/Forgotten Phantoms?

Post  ianjonbourgandethanfreema on Sat Nov 24, 2012 7:19 pm

Bumping an old, but very interesting topic Smile

Thanks to tumblr and people sharing more older and rare recordings, people are starting to discover more and more of these lost, and somewhat forgotten greats. I'm proud to say I was able to create a small group of Ethan Freeman and Ian Jon Bourg worshippers Wink

But more on topic,

It's a shame we have nothing of Martin Smith's Phantom.
There was some talk about him earlier. He actually died from complications of AIDS in 1994. He was taken away from us way too soon, at only a mere age of 37.
He was very popular in London in the 80's/early 90's, playing roles such as Che in "Evita", Marius and Valjean in "Les Miserables", and of course the Phantom. However, his time with Phantom was cut incredibly short. I believe that Martin was an untrained singer, which contributed a great deal to his struggle with the score. So he was actually sent away early to a voice teacher to help him with those higher notes. He was replaced by Dave Willetts, and sadly never returned, and there's no "document", or at least no known one, of him in the show.

I'd give close to anything to see/hear his Phantom. He had such a beautiful, light voice. We're very lucky to have an audio with him as Che, and a video of him as Valjean, he's really just marvelous.

He also released a solo album in 1993 called "Martin Smith & A Handful of Keys". This album receives high praise from the lucky few who still own it, and it's incredibly rare, copies on amazon go up to around US $200! My friend was awesome enough to email a large group of people about finding the CD for me, and someone sent her a link to download it Smile

If anyone's interested in hearing some of Martin Smith, be it his solo album or one of the live performances, just let me know Smile

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Re: Unappreciated/Forgotten Phantoms?

Post  AlwaysChristine on Sun Nov 25, 2012 4:29 pm

TheMaskedLion wrote:Another great Phantom that I am very fond of who doesn't get much notice sadly, is Ben Cramer. I thought he was amazing in the role and IMHO much better than Henk Poort

I liked Ben Cramer later, not at the beginning, but later...I like both now Henk Poort and Ben Cramer.
Both are totally different!

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Re: Unappreciated/Forgotten Phantoms?

Post  NightRachel on Sun Nov 25, 2012 8:59 pm

IamErik771 wrote:Understudies also deserve a lot of credit - I think productions of POTO in particular have been blessed with very good understudies, standbys, and swings for the main roles. (In some cases, I even ended up preferring the understudies to the main performers!) Actors like James Romick, Michael Lackey, and the aforementioned Ian Jon Bourg (loved in Germany but less well-known here in the States... and who happens to be in my av!) are certainly worthy of recognition, as without the understudies, the show would be in serious trouble.

My sentiments exactly!
James Romick, in particular, is one of my fave Phantoms ever (I've seen him numerous times in the role)! Wish he was still with the Broadway company.

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Re: Unappreciated/Forgotten Phantoms?

Post  purplehaze93 on Mon Nov 26, 2012 2:38 am

I read a few posts on the first page, and I may have missed it if someone mentioned these three, but I think Rick Hilsabeck, Ron Bohmer and Grant Norman are all extremely underrated. The earlier-mid 90's Broadway and Nat'l Tour Phantoms seem to not get enough recognition these days, which makes me sad Sad Cause Grant and Ron are exceptionally good, with Ron almost being in another league (IMO Smile )

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Re: Unappreciated/Forgotten Phantoms?

Post  IamErik771 on Tue Jan 14, 2014 7:03 am

A while back, I got to hear an audio of a little-known understudy with the Los Angeles production -- a fellow named Joseph Dellger. I had only heard of him previously thanks to the POTO blooper site A Lamentable Mess; in one of the anecdotes, Dellger was going to be understudying for Michael Crawford, and someone in line was upset at the news and told his wife that "some @$$hole" would be playing the role (while Dellger's fiancé happened to also be in line). In any case, I think (or rather, hope) that fellow ate his words, because I thought Dellger sounded quite good.

I also got to hear James Patterson, who played Passarino in the original London cast, understudying the Phantom. I liked him a lot, as well; very rich baritone voice.

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