Age of Phantom actors

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Age of Phantom actors

Post  operafantomet on Sun Oct 11, 2009 10:54 am

So, in another board I saw someone mentioning Ramin Karimloo as the youngest Phantom ever. This isn't correct, although he of course is a rather young Phantom. Some examples:

Christian Müller (Essen 2005-2007) was 25 when he first did the role

Anthony Warlow was 28 or 29 when he originated the role in Australia way back (1990?). If I remember correctly, he was the youngest Phantom in the world at the time

One of the original Korean Phantoms (can't remember his name) was only a bit over 20 when playing the Phantom, I think he was 21


As for elder Phantoms, there's been a solid bunch there too:

Flemming Enevold was 48 when he first did the role in Copenhagen in 2000, and 57 when he repeated it in 2009. And seriously one of the best Phantoms I've ever seen.

Preben Kristensen (also in Copenhagen) was 47 when he first did the role, and 56 when he last performed it

Robert Guillaume was app. 64 when he performed it in Los Angeles in 1990 - unless I've gotten his year of birth wrong

In comparisation, Michael Crawford was "only" 44 when he originated the role in 1986, while Colm Wilkinson was 45 when he performed it in Toronto in 1989.


Anything to add to this thread?

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Re: Age of Phantom actors

Post  starryeyed on Sun Oct 11, 2009 11:30 am

I don't have anything really to add (and don't want to turn this into a sequel thread) BUT I am going to find it odd in London when the sequel begins and Ramin is 31 and David will be 37 (perhaps 38 by then not sure on his birthday.) To me that just doesn't sit right with me, but I think that is because I am big on continuity lol!

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Re: Age of Phantom actors

Post  operafantomet on Sun Oct 11, 2009 11:43 am

Ditto for Christines... youngest and oldest.

Youngest to date is still Amy Nuttall. She understudied the role in the UK tour in 1998, when she was only 16 years old.

Amy Hudson (now Holden) in South Africa was also fairly young, I think she was 19 when she alternated with Lana English in 2004

In the opposite end of the scale you have Lisa Vroman. Although it's hard to find exact dates online, I think she was 49 when she last did the role. Correct me if I'm wrong, though. And she had such a youthful voice, I was a bit surprised when I was first told her age.

Others?

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Re: Age of Phantom actors

Post  operafantomet on Sun Oct 11, 2009 11:52 am

ruthy wrote:I don't have anything really to add (and don't want to turn this into a sequel thread) BUT I am going to find it odd in London when the sequel begins and Ramin is 31 and David will be 37 (perhaps 38 by then not sure on his birthday.) To me that just doesn't sit right with me, but I think that is because I am big on continuity lol!
I'm a bit curious on how they'll handle making him "old enough" for the role. I think he appears a bit too young for the CURRENT Phantom...

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Re: Age of Phantom actors

Post  Lycanthrope on Sun Oct 11, 2009 1:14 pm

operafantomet wrote:
ruthy wrote:I don't have anything really to add (and don't want to turn this into a sequel thread) BUT I am going to find it odd in London when the sequel begins and Ramin is 31 and David will be 37 (perhaps 38 by then not sure on his birthday.) To me that just doesn't sit right with me, but I think that is because I am big on continuity lol!
I'm a bit curious on how they'll handle making him "old enough" for the role. I think he appears a bit too young for the CURRENT Phantom...

Precisely - and if you consider Nigel Richards, who I think is 43, then the continuity is even worse. But hey, some things do defy logic.

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Re: Age of Phantom actors

Post  Phantomlove on Sun Oct 11, 2009 1:51 pm

Richard Carlsohn was 24 I think when he understudied the Phantom in Stockholm.

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Re: Age of Phantom actors

Post  MlleMusique on Mon Oct 12, 2009 5:38 am

Julie Goodwin, alternate Christine in Australia/NZ production was only 19 when she played the role...and man, WHAT a voice for 19!

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Re: Age of Phantom actors

Post  operafantomet on Mon Oct 12, 2009 5:54 am

I totally forgot about Julie Goodwin! She does have some pipes, that gal.

Katie Hall, who was understudy Christine in West End some time ago and now plays Cosette in Les Mis, isn't too old either. Wasn't she 17 when she started as Christine understudy in 2008?

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Re: Age of Phantom actors

Post  starryeyed on Mon Oct 12, 2009 8:23 am

Yeah Katie Hall was 17 when she started out.

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Re: Age of Phantom actors

Post  SenorSwanky on Mon Oct 12, 2009 6:05 pm

Peter Karrie was 54 when he last performed the role in November 2000.

Howard McGillin left the role at age 55 (he'll be 56 in November).

Anthony Crivello is 54 and still going.

Brent Barrett is 52 now, but I can't remember exactly when he left Vegas, so he was either 50 or 51 (born February 1957).

Timothy Nolen was 47 during his brief run in 1988. So was Paul Stanley in 1999.

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Re: Age of Phantom actors

Post  operafantomet on Mon Oct 12, 2009 9:26 pm

What can I say... I like the ol' guys. Cool

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Re: Age of Phantom actors

Post  MasqPhan on Mon Oct 12, 2009 10:07 pm

operafantomet wrote:What can I say... I like the ol' guys. Cool

Same here. I don't like a young sounding Phantom.

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Re: Age of Phantom actors

Post  phantom10906 on Mon Oct 12, 2009 11:04 pm

MasqPhan wrote:
operafantomet wrote:What can I say... I like the ol' guys. Cool

Same here. I don't like a young sounding Phantom.

I also like older Phamtoms as well. I think that age lends a little more emotional depth to the role. Very Happy

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Re: Age of Phantom actors

Post  Callie Daae on Tue Oct 13, 2009 12:50 am

Phantom10906 wrote:
MasqPhan wrote:
operafantomet wrote:What can I say... I like the ol' guys. Cool

Same here. I don't like a young sounding Phantom.

I also like older Phamtoms as well. I think that age lends a little more emotional depth to the role. Very Happy

I agree. I think older Phantoms play the role better Smile

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Re: Age of Phantom actors

Post  HDKingsbury on Tue Oct 13, 2009 2:41 am

Maybe it has something to do with my own age, but I also prefer an older, more mature Phantom. Make up can only do so much to convey age. There's something about those actual life experiences that a great actor can draw upon...and I never, ever thought of the Phantom as a young man. At least, not by the time he encountered Christine. At the very least, I figured him to be in his mid-40s.

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Re: Age of Phantom actors

Post  Raphael on Tue Oct 13, 2009 3:40 am

Yay old geezer Phantoms! cheers

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Re: Age of Phantom actors

Post  phantom10906 on Tue Oct 13, 2009 3:57 am

I think anywhere from about 40-55 works for me. For some reason though I always pictured the Phantom as about 50.

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Re: Age of Phantom actors

Post  IamErik771 on Tue Oct 13, 2009 5:29 pm

Yeah, I generally tend to prefer older Phantoms as well – anywhere 40 or above tends to do the trick (of course, provided that they still have the vocal and physical ability necessary for the role). However, some of the younger Phantoms like Christian Müller also appeal to me.

By the way, the Korean Phantom operafantomet mentioned was named Young Seok-Yoon, and he was indeed about 21 or 22 when he originated the role in the Seoul production. I also heard that Kevin Gray was fairly young when he first played the Phantom – I don't recall his age offhand, but I remember him saying in an interview that when he first auditioned for ALW's show (after playing Erik in Ken Hill's version), he was told that he was too young for the Phantom, but could come back to audition for Raoul... but even then, he got promoted to playing the Phantom before too long.

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Re: Age of Phantom actors

Post  SenorSwanky on Wed Oct 14, 2009 3:17 am

operafantomet wrote:What can I say... I like the ol' guys. Cool
Me too. Among my top faves, Steve Barton, Davis Gaines, and Kevin Gray were relatively young Phantoms, but they conveyed a much older age through their voice, mannerisms, and physicality. So the age of the actor doesn't necessarily matter, but generally older Phantoms are more believable for their looks, voices, and the gravity of their performance. The Phantom has to appear to be at least in his mid-40s.

HDKingsbury wrote:There's something about those actual life experiences that a great actor can draw upon
Definitely. I'm a big believer in method acting (as I know MC is) and drawing on the emotional memories of one's own experiences. Anthony Warlow has also spoken of how his performance changed and matured from when he was first in the show in his late 20s to when he came back for the recent Aussie/NZ tour more than 15 years later, now a father and a cancer survivor and a bald man. Laughing


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Re: Age of Phantom actors

Post  aussiephan on Wed Oct 14, 2009 3:59 am

I agree.........Anthony Warlow was the first Phantom I saw onstage in 1990 when he was 28 and I didn't like his Phantom that time around, way too youthful with not enough angst from life experience although his vocal performance was wonderful. In fact for many years I rated his one of the worst Phantom's I'd seen because his acting let him done IMHO with very bad memories of an awful final lair I'd seen him do where I wanted Christine to go with Raoul becuase he acted like a spoilt brat Sad It was with some trepidation I went to the first preview of the return tour in July 2007 not knowing what to expect from him. I was wonderfully suprised - the voice was still there, but moreso he finally acted the role how I'd wanted him to do it years earlier, and all I can put that down to was those life experiences. In general older Phantoms IMHO are better for that life experience of the highs and lows life deals to us and they bring it out in their perfromances. It is only in the last two years I have found a younger Phantom (Roy Weiseensteiner) who is able to portray the angst of an older performer for the role.

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Re: Age of Phantom actors

Post  Paula74 on Wed Oct 14, 2009 1:19 pm

I tend to be rather neutral about the age of the Phantom actor on stage. When I'm actually watching the show, I've never really actively thought about his age, as long as the general impression was of a man at least somewhat older than Christine. For example, the first time I saw it live, the concept of age (of any character, really) wasn't in my head at all until the BC/EFA speech at the curtain call when I thought, "OK, this guy is REALLY young." I was honestly quite surprised to find out this Panaro guy was 41 at the time.

That said, when I did *hear* him in the role at 35, my first thought was, "Er...no...sounds far too young."

I do feel that Jeff Keller and Mikael Samuelsson - two of my favorites - sound like older Phantoms.

As for Christines, as long as they look convincingly young enough in costume, I'm not fussy about ages. In fact, some of my favorites - like Kris Koop and Beth Southard - aren't the youngest.

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Re: Age of Phantom actors

Post  Becky on Wed Oct 14, 2009 3:37 pm

I tend to prefer performers who are older. In general I tend to prefer their more mature voices and more experienced acting. However, there have been some pretty young performers that I have absolutely loved.

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Re: Age of Phantom actors

Post  IamErik771 on Thu Oct 15, 2009 2:12 am

Random factoid for anyone who cares... Steve Harley was 35 in 1986, meaning that if he'd originated the role in London, we would have had a Phantom about 10 years younger than MC and Colm were when they performed in their respective productions. And was the music video done in 1986 as well, or a year before?

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Re: Age of Phantom actors

Post  SenorSwanky on Thu Oct 15, 2009 5:02 am

It's hard to find birth dates for a lot of Phantoms. But here are two "older" Phantoms.

Mark Jacoby had just turned 46 when he left the Broadway production.

Jeff Hyslop was 48 when he last performed the role in 1999.

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Re: Age of Phantom actors

Post  phantom10906 on Thu Oct 15, 2009 5:14 am

IamErik771 wrote:Random factoid for anyone who cares... Steve Harley was 35 in 1986, meaning that if he'd originated the role in London, we would have had a Phantom about 10 years younger than MC and Colm were when they performed in their respective productions. And was the music video done in 1986 as well, or a year before?

A little bit OT: I have this feeling that the show would not have been as successful as it is had Harley been the first Phantom.

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Re: Age of Phantom actors

Post  mauerite#5 on Mon Sep 13, 2010 3:59 pm

[\quote]

In comparisation, Michael Crawford was "only" 44 when he originated the role in 1986, while Colm Wilkinson was 45 when he performed it in Toronto in 1989.

[/quote]

The main reason I don't like Colm is he can't "act young". Both his Phantom and Valjean are grandpa's. His Valjean is an old geezer throughout the whole show even though it spans 20+ years and his Phantom is a little dirty-old-man-ish.

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Re: Age of Phantom actors

Post  Callie Daae on Mon Sep 13, 2010 6:39 pm

mauerite#5 wrote:[\quote]


The main reason I don't like Colm is he can't "act young". Both his Phantom and Valjean are grandpa's. His Valjean is an old geezer throughout the whole show even though it spans 20+ years and his Phantom is a little dirty-old-man-ish.

LOL Laughing

I dislike Colm as well. Your comments made me laugh!

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Re: Age of Phantom actors

Post  SenorSwanky on Mon Sep 13, 2010 9:22 pm

Valjean's probably close to 40 if not even a little over 40 when he's released from prison and into his 60s when the show ends, which considering that lifespans were shorter in that time, particularly for the poor, and that 19 years of hard labor and abusive conditions in prison would have aged him further, Colm's portrayal is pretty dead-on in terms of his sound and appearance. He should be bitter, worn, and weathered from the get-go, though gentler toward the end and more weary and resigned and faithful than hardened and grizzled like when he is first released.

Why would you want the Phantom to "act young"? He's another example of an aged character who's seen a lot in his 5 decades on Earth. Living in darkness and social seclusion for most of that time, and considering he probably didn't get good nourishment and health care at a young age (which, along with his deformity, probably led to stunted growth and advanced physical aging), he ought to come across as a man in his early 50s (which, again, would be someone who appears older today since people aged quicker).

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Re: Age of Phantom actors

Post  ML6 on Mon Sep 13, 2010 11:28 pm

I personally go with the 'older' Phantom route. I like my Phantom's to have rich, powerful voices. If they're too young, I cringe because it makes me feel they just picked any random ol' joe who graduated from NYU or something to play the Phantom. (Also, the Phantom is supposed to be a mental replacement of her dead father in the guise of the Angel of Music. And I feel like to play such a 'role' to a girl trippin on her dead father, you have to have some fatherly (or worldly) knowledge. And I just don't get that from a young Phantom.)

But I DO like Christian Mueller! Though he may be young, his voice is very strong for a Phantom. He kind of reminds me of John Owen Jones. Only he's singing in German.


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Re: Age of Phantom actors

Post  mauerite#5 on Tue Sep 14, 2010 12:53 pm

SenorSwanky wrote:Valjean's probably close to 40 if not even a little over 40 when he's released from prison and into his 60s when the show ends, which considering that lifespans were shorter in that time, particularly for the poor, and that 19 years of hard labor and abusive conditions in prison would have aged him further, Colm's portrayal is pretty dead-on in terms of his sound and appearance. He should be bitter, worn, and weathered from the get-go, though gentler toward the end and more weary and resigned and faithful than hardened and grizzled like when he is first released.

Why would you want the Phantom to "act young"? He's another example of an aged character who's seen a lot in his 5 decades on Earth. Living in darkness and social seclusion for most of that time, and considering he probably didn't get good nourishment and health care at a young age (which, along with his deformity, probably led to stunted growth and advanced physical aging), he ought to come across as a man in his early 50s (which, again, would be someone who appears older today since people aged quicker).

I don't want the Phantom to be young, but I certainly don't want a grandpa. I can't sympathize with a dirty-old-man perv.

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