Version with Deborah Sasson

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Version with Deborah Sasson

Post  operafantomet on Mon Jan 02, 2012 9:54 pm

When I saw Phantom in Essen, Germany back in 2006, I saw lots of ads for another Phantom musical starring Deborah Sasson as Christine. Back then the Sasson one directly copied the cover for the 2004 movie (and even used pics from it in the background), which I thought was reason enough not to see it...



But now I'm curious. Cause every time I'm on Germany eBay, I see tickets for it for sale (assuming Sasson is doing the same Phantom musical and not another one). Apparently they have toured for 5 years with it, or they're picking it up again now. Cities they are to visit in 2012 includes most of Germany plus a bit of Swtizerland and Austria: http://www.eventim.de/tickets.htm?affiliate=ZEF&referer_info=zanox_Deeplinkgenerator+Veranstaltungsreihe+ohne+Frame&attr=Deeplinkgenerator+Veranstaltungsreihe+ohne+Frame&sort_by=event_datum&sort_direction=asc&fun=erdetail&doc=erdetaila&xtor=AL-6052-%5BAffiliateprogramm%5D-%5BZanox%5D-%5B0x0%5D-%5BDeeplink%5D-%5BVeranstaltungsreihe_ohne_frame%5D%7C%5B%5D-%5B%5D-%5B%5D&erid=194052&zanpid=1589032642412912640

It makes me think.... People must apparently go see it. Have anyone seen it or heard it? Any opinions? There are some videos in Deborah Sasson's site; the second shows a lot of clips. To me it looks like a mixture of quite interesting and goddamn boring. I definitely think the scenes with the Phantom and Christine are the most interesting, though the whole thing has a camp undertone. Disappointing they couldn't stay away from using the "Daaaaah-dah-dah-dah-dah-daaaah...." (ALW title song), though!

VIDEOS: http://sasson.de/deborah_persoenlich/galerie_03.php

The current poster also borrows a lot from ALW's Phantom, but it looks... classier?


Now I kinda regret not seeing it back then. I would like to hear the thoughts of anyone who's seen the whole thing, or is familiar with the libretto and score. Honest opinion? And how close do they stay to Leroux? There are scenes I recognize, but the torture chamber was... erm... unique... Also, though Sasson sings well enough, and is classically trained, I don't think she has a special enough voice to base a show around. She sounds more like your average Carlotta than a voice the Phantom would fall in love with. But that's me.

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Re: Version with Deborah Sasson

Post  Raphael on Mon Jan 02, 2012 10:29 pm

I recall when this production was first promoted. Hadn't realized it had been running for so long.

And how close do they stay to Leroux?
Well, just from the use of the name "Moncharmin" and what appeared to be the Persian, I'd say they're sticking closer than most.

But that dressing room set in the second clip looked like it came out of a low-budget sitcom Smile And the head mics and overall set design makes me compare it to an amusement park or cruise ship production (Not that that's necessarily a bad thing, just an observation, since they apparently can mount the show outdoors as well).

R.


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Re: Version with Deborah Sasson

Post  operafantomet on Mon Jan 02, 2012 10:43 pm

Yea, I agree about the amusement park/cruise ship vibes. The sets are for the most as simple as can be, with projections in the background. It has to be, as they only play for a night or three in each location. But, as you said, it's not necessarily negative. I like that they use Palais Garnier, and the graveyard is quite nice. But it's a hit-or-miss throughout, and for the most it doesn't look... well... expensive. But some sets are effective.

It should be added that Deborah Sasson was married to original German Phantom Peter Hofman from 1983-1990. They separated the same year Hofmann starred as the Phantom. Hofman was then diagnozed with Parkinson's in 1994. He remained active as a singer until ca. 2000, but gradually lost his ability to speak and walk. In the end he couldn't afford his medical expenses. So - if the obituary in The Guardian is to be trusted - Deborah Sasson, his ex wife, launched the Phantom tour in which she starred as Christine, to finance all medical care he needed.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2010/dec/02/peter-hofmann-obituary

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Re: Version with Deborah Sasson

Post  ML6 on Tue Jan 03, 2012 3:43 am

When I took German, this musical popped up (in our textbook) a few times as an exercise. The descriptions from the 'copied' flyers in the book were hilarious. When you posted this I was like, 'is this the musical that was...' and then when I saw the picture my thoughts were instantly confirmed.

Strangely the Webber one was not mentioned. But Les Miserables and other hit musicals were.

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Re: Version with Deborah Sasson

Post  Scorp on Tue Jan 03, 2012 8:37 am

It looks really bad. I've never seen it, but read a lot about it and seen stuff on YouTube and...yeah. Just bad.

What I find rather amusing is that almost every time it plays a city in Germany, the local papers get letters of complaint from angry customers who did no research and thought they had tickets to ALW's version. No joke -- I think this is how this production makes money. I mean, even the posters use the ALW film image; something I'm sure RUG would not allow if they had any idea this was going on. Meanwhile, the publicity material uses misleading phrases, e.g. saying it has been a musical sensation since 1986 and that it is 25 years old...without then saying that this is something entirely different. This particular show seems to have flourished since the Essen production of ALW's version closed. If/when that makes it back to Germany, maybe the powers-that-be will be more in touch with what's going on, and I suspect they will start sending threatening letters to whoever runs this version.

It's not just the obituary in the Guardie that mentions the medical care expenses thing for Hoffmann, lots of German papers did too, so I think it's true. While this is admirable, Sasson is waaaaay past it to play Christine, who is a young ingénue. It's like the polar opposite of Schumacher's casting too young for the role.

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Re: Version with Deborah Sasson

Post  Josephine on Mon Jan 09, 2012 6:38 am

I saw the show a couple of years ago. My mum won the tickets for me in a competition in the local newspaper. I posted a long review on... which was the forum we were all using back then? Phantomfans? Phansonline? I can't recall, and sadly, I cannot access it anymore. Anyway, I mistakenly believed it to be the Wilhelm / Gerber version, for that was what it said in the newspaper, but it was actually this version. There were a few good things about it (having the Persian in it, for instance), but mostly, I didn't like it. I remember the music being rather boring and the lyrics uninspired. Also, there were so pretty cheap jokes, especially from the managers. Overall, I was really happy that I hadn't paid money to see the show. If I remember correctly, the tickets were about 50€ each. For that money, you can see the ALW version here in London.

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Re: Version with Deborah Sasson

Post  Scorp on Tue Jan 10, 2012 1:39 am

...And this is EXACTLY the sort of misleading publicity I was going on about earlier: http://www.mainpost.de/ueberregional/kulturwelt/kultur/Das-Phantom-der-Oper-mit-neuem-Gesicht;art3809,6542182

It basically says Sasson is starring in a new version of ALW's Phantom of the Opera.

With -- surprise, surprise -- a user comment expressing disappointment because they were fooled by the advertising! I kind of feel sorry for the suckers who shelled out money for this expecting ALW's show, but you know, surely just a little research on the Net would help you realise that it is not remotely like the show seen in Hamburg, Stuttgart and Essen all those years ago? Neutral

Oh, and there's a video at the end of this publicity piece here: http://kurier.at/kultur/4480211-phantom-der-oper-einmal-ohne-webber.php

I still think it's shockingly bad. Hal Prince calls these "copy-cat Phantoms". And what is Sasson going on about saying this has got more opera music in than ALW's when all I'm hearing is a keyboard and electric guitars? scratch Oh wait, there's some Verdi at the end. Just after the shirtless Phantom....And I thought LND was bad.....

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Re: Version with Deborah Sasson

Post  Josephine on Sun Jan 15, 2012 9:03 am

The article is very carefully phrased. If you read it thoroughly, you see that it mentions the fact that it's not ALW's music. But I can see how people who only skim the article would think it was, especially given the rather obvious fact that the posters use the 2004 movie pictures as background. Of course Scorp is right in saying that with a little research, they could easily find out that it's now ALW, but I can still understand that people could feel cheated.

The bit about the music almost made me laugh. If I remember correctly, the parts from operas were sung nicely. All the same, taking lots of songs from other works hardly constitues the making of an original new show, does it? And the new songs were nothing to write home about.


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Re: Version with Deborah Sasson

Post  AlwaysChristine on Sun Jan 15, 2012 12:41 pm

She wants to be Christine and she produce it...so all is possible...but this version isn´t the best. Not at all.

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Re: Version with Deborah Sasson

Post  operafantomet on Mon Jan 16, 2012 9:43 pm

Josephine wrote:The article is very carefully phrased. If you read it thoroughly, you see that it mentions the fact that it's not ALW's music. But I can see how people who only skim the article would think it was, especially given the rather obvious fact that the posters use the 2004 movie pictures as background. Of course Scorp is right in saying that with a little research, they could easily find out that it's now ALW, but I can still understand that people could feel cheated.
You who know the language and this version... is this a legit CD release from the musical? I'm just so surprised RUG has not make a big fuzz about them using a movie picture in the background of this movie poster pastiche cover, cause as you say they deliberately try to confuse people here:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/SASSON-DEBORAH-M-LNER-THOMAS-DAS-PHANTOM-DER-OPER-/140515308433?pt=UK_CDsDVDs_CDs_CDs_GL&hash=item20b75d7391#ht_1128wt_870

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Re: Version with Deborah Sasson

Post  Josephine on Wed Jan 18, 2012 6:52 am

It seems to be the real thing. I did a bit of googling and found the same CD on German Amazon:

http://www.amazon.de/Das-Phantom-Oper-Deborah-Sasson/dp/B000JJS4GO

You can also listen to samples of the songs, which should be interesting for those of you who don't know it. Even if you don't speak German, just listening to the music will give you an idea of what it's like.

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Re: Version with Deborah Sasson

Post  AlwaysChristine on Thu Jul 12, 2012 12:53 pm

I decided to see it only one time! I fought again the show, but now I must see it only one time!

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Re: Version with Deborah Sasson

Post  Josephine on Fri Jul 13, 2012 5:08 am

You are a brave girl. Don't forget to let us know how you liked it!

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Re: Version with Deborah Sasson

Post  AlwaysChristine on Fri Jul 13, 2012 6:22 am

Josephine wrote:You are a brave girl. Don't forget to let us know how you liked it!

Thank you! Smile Oh I don´t forget!

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Re: Version with Deborah Sasson

Post  mona lisa on Tue Feb 19, 2013 8:03 pm

Oh god, I'm about to see it tomorrow... affraid
But since I got the front row tickets from a friend who does a business with one of the producers, I thought I´ll give it a chance. When it comes to arts, I like to say: "To trully appreciate a good show, one must see a lot of really, really bad shows"

I was laughing while watching trailer and that weird poster with photoshoped background. But the marketing of this "musical" is no laughing matter, it is disgusting!!!

On a lighter note - in a country where I live, this sort of "professionalism" would go without notice. Not a long ago, we hosted "Les Miserables" in the capital city for the first time ever. It was HUGE event. And imagine, our local agency used Les Miserables SCHOOL EDITION logo on all PR materials, you know, the little girl in MTI jacket... when It definitely wasn´t school edition Sad But I am pretty sure it was unintentional mistake on their part, while Deborah Sasson´s Phantom feels like plain rude cheating on people

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Re: Version with Deborah Sasson

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