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The London production 2

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Post  Helen Wed Feb 01, 2012 11:25 pm

SenorSwanky wrote:I could definitely see them casting Hadley Fraser. Hadn't really thought of that. I wouldn't necessarily be opposed; didn't hate his Raoul in the RAH concert as much as you all did, and the Phantom's a different role, and he's got a pretty good voice.

I've never thought of him as a possible Phantom. Now that you've mentioned him, I can see it happening at some point. As you say, he has a very good voice. I think Phantom would be more suited to him than Raoul. The Les Mis cast change is June, so if he leaves, the timing would be good.

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Post  phantom10906 Thu Feb 02, 2012 12:23 am

SenorSwanky wrote:
I could definitely see them casting Hadley Fraser.

Here's Raphael having a heart attack in 3, 2, 1

Seriously though. I have a feeling Fraser's Phantom would end up being like TMG's. If anything I'm up for them bring back an oldie but goodie to London. Very Happy
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Post  SenorSwanky Thu Feb 02, 2012 12:40 am

I will point out that it was Anea's thought that they might cast Fraser. Don't throw stones at me. Laughing
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Post  starryeyed Thu Feb 02, 2012 2:36 am

Maybe they'll just sack everyone and cast this guy as everyone:

One Man Phantom of the Opera

Now I don't really expect people on this board to really like his "style" but for what it was I quite enjoyed it. He did annoy me in the fact he did a lot of growling (and did Ramin's version of "stronger") and then was a lot softer within seconds at times in The Phantom bits but I thought it was really well put together.

I especially loved his Christine face.

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Post  SenorSwanky Thu Feb 02, 2012 2:54 am

starryeyed wrote:Maybe they'll just sack everyone and cast this guy as everyone:

One Man Phantom of the Opera

Now I don't really expect people on this board to really like his "style" but for what it was I quite enjoyed it. He did annoy me in the fact he did a lot of growling (and did Ramin's version of "stronger") and then was a lot softer within seconds at times in The Phantom bits but I thought it was really well put together.

I especially loved his Christine face.
Someone posted that in the YouTube thread earlier. The way Ramin does "stronger yet" actually originated with Steve Harley.
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Post  starryeyed Thu Feb 02, 2012 3:01 am

Sorry! I'm tired and hadn't noticed.

I didn't realise that it had originated with Steve Harley despite the fact I've seen that video countless times. Wow, I'm an unobservant phan (incidentally myself and Helen the other week managed to completely mix up what box in Phantom is box 5!!!)

I've just randomly remembered (back to Phantom in London) Katy Treharne definitely did a different cadenza in Think of Me from what I'd heard other previous London Christine's do (and what she did in her understudy days.) Has anyone else seen her since she returned and noticed this? Or was it perhaps unintentional (recovering from a dropped note or such.)

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Post  SenorSwanky Thu Feb 02, 2012 3:03 am

How many different versions of the cadenza are there? At least two obviously. I haven't listed to enough non-English-speaking Christines to know if they had other variations.
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Post  MajesticPhantom Thu Feb 02, 2012 6:01 am

Hadley Fraser is a very skilled actor. His Javert is so utterly compelling, I was crumpling my coat constantly. He's very physically engaged, and really transforms his demeanor. Skills like that are great for someone developing a performance of the Phantom.
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Post  operafantomet Thu Feb 02, 2012 8:34 am

SenorSwanky wrote:How many different versions of the cadenza are there? At least two obviously. I haven't listed to enough non-English-speaking Christines to know if they had other variations.
I've heard four or five different ones, but three main versions:

The original one as done by Sarah Brightman on the OLC CD. I've heard this sung legato (notes floating together) and staccato (notes detached), and with various emphasize on the high note.

The embellished one as originated by Claire Moore, and later perfected by Rebecca Caine and those to follow her. This is the cadenza most London Christines do. Rachel Barrell added some trills to the end, which seems to be favoured by those following her.

The movie one, which started as the original Brightman one, but then did a lot of low notes before the high one. I would assume that was to make Emmanuelle Grey Rossum's high note sound more impressive than it was.

Sarah Brightman has also done some totally different ones at various points. She did one at a concert which basically was just a lot of scales, I didn't particularly fancy it. She also did another one, basically the original cadenza with more trills, which was cooler, but it still kinda felt it didn't lead anywhere. That one was performed in a concert in 1992 and for whatever it's worth it should put her harshest critics to rest. She is an acquired taste for sure, but she could definitely sing back then... (cadenza at 2:38):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PTmfCGB5140

Starryeyed, interesting about Katy Treharne doing a different one! Maybe this is yet another example of the current cast being given more liberty to develop their roles? Originally the cadenzas was shaped after the best features of the singers, and I've always wondered why the most skilled ones (Rebecca Caine, for example) didn't create their own. Seems like the very first ones was allowed to make their own, and then all later ones were stuck with these two... Laughing

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Post  operafantomet Thu Feb 02, 2012 8:45 am

MajesticPhantom wrote:Hadley Fraser is a very skilled actor. His Javert is so utterly compelling, I was crumpling my coat constantly. He's very physically engaged, and really transforms his demeanor. Skills like that are great for someone developing a performance of the Phantom.
Yeah, his Javert is highly praised by all seeing him. And right now he would be a typical choice for the role of the Phantom, seeing he's a successful actor in Mackintosh's stock and seeing how he was just involved in the Phantom anniversary concert. But it's for these reasons I hope he's not starring as the Phantom just yet. I would love to see a brand new face, with none of this "luggage".

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Post  Scorp Fri Feb 03, 2012 1:59 pm

operafantomet wrote:But it's for these reasons I hope he's not starring as the Phantom just yet. I would love to see a brand new face, with none of this "luggage".

Not to mention the luggage of being one of the worst Raouls ever to (dis)grace the stage (IMHO)... Yeah, sorry. I know he's talented and everything, and I'm sure he's very nice. But God, I hated his Raoul.

Warlow got a very good reception at the RAH event; I think he would go down a storm in London. Sadly, I don't think he'll ever do the role again. But I would be at Her Majesty's like a flash if he were cast as the Phantom.

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Post  AlwaysChristine Fri Feb 03, 2012 7:13 pm

Scorp wrote:
operafantomet wrote:But it's for these reasons I hope he's not starring as the Phantom just yet. I would love to see a brand new face, with none of this "luggage".

Not to mention the luggage of being one of the worst Raouls ever to (dis)grace the stage (IMHO)... Yeah, sorry. I know he's talented and everything, and I'm sure he's very nice. But God, I hated his Raoul.

Warlow got a very good reception at the RAH event; I think he would go down a storm in London. Sadly, I don't think he'll ever do the role again. But I would be at Her Majesty's like a flash if he were cast as the Phantom.

Oh his Raoul wasn´t good!

I would love to see Anthony Warlow as Phantom. That would be a great reason to see Phantom again.
I was so happy to see him at RAH. For the first time so near...
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Post  operafantomet Mon Feb 06, 2012 7:45 pm

SenorSwanky wrote:
Scorp wrote:Gerard Butler? Wink
Yes, he's definitely what I meant when I said "great" former Phantoms.
Hahahahahahaha!!!

As for Earl Carpenter, I once saw three performances a row, all with Rachel Barrell as Christine. Originally I planned to see "only" two performances; Monday and Tuesday. But he floored me the first performance, and I went back for the second one and was surprised to see he changed a lot of details. It intrigued me. Usually people tend to do more or less the same, though their energy might change. But Earl Carpenter was very unpredictable, in a good way. It was this that made me go buy a ticket for the evening performance too. I was curious on whether the third performance would be different as well. It was. I've rated Earl Carpenter as one of my top 3 Phantoms ever since.

I can't tell how he is in his current run, and whether he change his performances from day to day. But in the past he definitely did. That said, he had his tradesmark which he always repeated - the "No, Christine" instead of "Oh, Christine" in STYDY, the giant leap at the end of Wandering Child etc. And I think the "patting the bench" to almost command Christine to sit down also was a "thing" of his.

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Post  operafantomet Tue Feb 07, 2012 7:47 am

Earl Carpenter is off from today (February 7th) to February 11th, because of rehearsals.

And future Phantom Peter Jöback has announced his vacation dates: June 3rd to 10th.

I assume Scott Davies performs on these dates? Or is that the job of the understudy/understudies?

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Post  MajesticPhantom Tue Feb 07, 2012 2:31 pm

Nope, Scott Davies, as standby, is the first choice for vacation covering.
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Post  starryeyed Wed Feb 15, 2012 4:15 am

Right, it's 4.10 am and I can't sleep so I've decided to speculate.

The Simon Bowman taking over The Phantom in September rumour has taken off again. I didn't pay much attention to it until I realised, I had originally heard a rumour about Simon Bowman taking over as The Phantom for a limited run from December 2011. Now we know that Earl Carpenter ended up doing this run but it struck me as a coincidence I'd first heard the rumour about a "fill in" Phantom being Simon Bowman. I'm almost certain he in fact told someone about this arrangement and that's how I heard it but this was last year and I've now completely forgotten the ins and outs. So for whatever reason (maybe to get him "tour ready") Earl Carpenter is doing the fill in run now so perhaps it isn't so far fetched that Simon Bowman would take over in September.

Sorry this is a ramble, I'm half asleep, but since this rumour took off (again) the "he's a bit old" argument (also in the past used about Scott Davies) has reared its head and has really annoyed me. Seems the "young and sexy" thing is becoming really engrained in peoples heads.

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Post  operafantomet Wed Feb 15, 2012 7:55 am

What bothers me about Simon Bowman returning as the Phantom is definitely not the age! That's a plus, in my book. But I thought he was very bad back in 1996-97. I liked him well enough as Raoul, he was a super!Raoul with lots of energy. But I think he fell flat as the Phantom. He would definitely not be on my list of who I would like see repeating the role...

But: it's some 15 years since he last did it, and maybe he would have a different take on it this time around.

Any rumours of what's going on in Christine land? If Sofia Escobar is staying, I mean?

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Post  London-Phan Wed Feb 15, 2012 8:44 am

I would happily go and see Bowman as the phantom mainly because I thought he was brilliant as Valjean and I've heard a recording of his phantom and thought he had a great phantom voice and he sounded good at the royal variety. But I heard that it's his acting that is strange as the phantom. But I think it would be cool if he did come back.
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Post  AlwaysChristine Wed Feb 15, 2012 9:11 am

operafantomet wrote:What bothers me about Simon Bowman returning as the Phantom is definitely not the age! That's a plus, in my book. But I thought he was very bad back in 1996-97. I liked him well enough as Raoul, he was a super!Raoul with lots of energy. But I think he fell flat as the Phantom. He would definitely not be on my list of who I would like see repeating the role...

But: it's some 15 years since he last did it, and maybe he would have a different take on it this time around.

Any rumours of what's going on in Christine land? If Sofia Escobar is staying, I mean?

I think similar about Earl Carpenter, but maybe he has changed now.
Second chance for everyone...!

It´s better that the Phantoms have the right age. Too many young ones..!
Simon Bowman has the look and the voice.
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Post  AlwaysChristine Wed Feb 15, 2012 9:12 am

Why is there a trend to younger Phantoms?
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Post  London-Phan Wed Feb 15, 2012 11:30 am

I never really got why people think there is a young phantom trend recently, ok ramin was young when he was the standby but if you look at all of the London Phantoms including understudies/standby's since the show opened most of them were between 30 and 35 when they first played the role some slightly younger. So I don't really get the whole thing about young phantom's.
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Post  operafantomet Wed Feb 15, 2012 12:12 pm

I think it's fair to say that it started with the 2004 movie, and people thinking a handsome face and a naked chest was what made the Phantom attractive. It's a very obvious (and in my opinion, unfitting) sort of sexuality which slowly has started translate into the stage version by the casting of young and handsome blokes. LND also gave it a push, seeing how their 30-something Mr. Y's ideally shouldn't appear as the original's Phantom SON...

Much of the beauty with the vision of ALW/Prince/Bjørnson/Lynne was that it was everything BUT his face and naked skin that made him appealing. They deliberately made the sleeves of his clothes short, so they would feature the hands, and much emphasize would be put on making them seducing. Maria Bjørnson surrounded him with details which the audience would understand, but not realize they understood, as erotic. The fog of the boat scene, the rising candelabras, the haunting proscenium, the commanding hands, it all tells of sex. But not in an explicit way. She wanted to make the audience FEEL that way, but not think about why they felt it. And the Phantom tells all we need to know and feel through his voice. You're surrounded by sensuality, but not one that could be explained by to the handsome face of the man behind the mask.

I don't think young age automatically equals "young and sexy". I think Christian Müller in Essen did very well, and Jonathan Roxmouth in South Africa is incredibly convincing. But some performers comes across as "sexed up", without the gravitas the role needs. And it's basically always the young or "sexy" ones that gives me these vibes. My biggest fear is that Peter Jöback will be one of them. He has this... appearance. But I hope he'll dig deeper and find the gravitas needed.

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Post  Madame Giry Wed Feb 15, 2012 2:34 pm

operafantomet wrote:I think it's fair to say that it started with the 2004 movie...

http://www.ebay.com/itm/L-K-RARE-PHANTOM-OPERA-ROSE-BATH-CANDLES-GERARD-BUTLER-FILM-/200714094387?pt=UK_Collectables_Theatre_Opera_Ballet_Theatre_Programmes_Brochures_Flyers_CV&hash=item2ebb7e0733

Enough said.

Great post, Anea.

~Madame~
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Post  SenorSwanky Wed Feb 15, 2012 2:57 pm

Yeah, it's not about the age of the actor but about how old he comes across as. Steve Barton is another example of a guy who was under 35 when he played the role but was incredibly convincing (not to mention incredible in general). But Gerry, Ramin, Joback, etc., plus a lot of the Phantoms in the last decade over here in the US (not including the Vegas ones), are attempts to lower the age of the Phantom character himself, from 50ish to more like 30.
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Post  London-Phan Wed Feb 15, 2012 2:59 pm

But these young sexy phantoms, who are they because the only one I can think of is Ramin, well in the London production anyway, not sure about other productions.
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Post  SenorSwanky Wed Feb 15, 2012 3:01 pm

Part of it is just Ramin's ubiquity and the fact he's trotted out there as the gold standard by ALW, which is ridiculous and offensive to longtime phans who have higher taste.
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Post  operafantomet Wed Feb 15, 2012 3:16 pm

London-Phan wrote:But these young sexy phantoms, who are they because the only one I can think of is Ramin, well in the London production anyway, not sure about other productions.
In London Ramin Karimloo has became the prime example, definitely. He's kinda set a standard, being in both the original production, the sequel and the world-wide broadcast RAH concert. What I fear, and possibly others, is that Peter Jöback is continuing down this track instead of that of say Peter Karrie, John Owen Jones and even David Shannon, and that later casting might be like that too. Cause internationally there's also been younger casting recently. Maybe by accident, maybe inspired by the new trend, impossible to say. In Germany there's Uwe Kröger (which, like Peter Jöback, is no youngster, but comes across as one) and Christian Müller from the Essen production, and in South Africa there's Jonathan Roxmouth and Nicholas Nkuna. That's the examples on the top of my head.

But there's also been people in the other end of the scale - Flemming Enevold, Preben Kristensen and Peter Jorde in Copenhagen, Scott Davies and Earl Carpenter in the UK, basically all the Las Vegas Phantoms etc. So it's not fair to say "young and sexy" is the new casting. We have both. But it's just that the "young and sexy" has been so available to the public, through the 2004 movie, the LND hype and the RAH DVD.

SenorSwanky wrote:Part of it is just Ramin's ubiquity and the fact he's trotted out there as the gold standard by ALW, which is ridiculous and offensive to longtime phans who have higher taste.
Agreed.

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Post  PhantomsGhost Wed Feb 15, 2012 3:43 pm

operafantomet wrote:What bothers me about Simon Bowman returning as the Phantom is definitely not the age! That's a plus, in my book. But I thought he was very bad back in 1996-97. I liked him well enough as Raoul, he was a super!Raoul with lots of energy. But I think he fell flat as the Phantom. He would definitely not be on my list of who I would like see repeating the role...

But: it's some 15 years since he last did it, and maybe he would have a different take on it this time around.

I remember those days of Simon Bowman hate. OOohwe! The mailing lists were full of dislike for his Phantom. There was lots of disappointment that he was the Phantom during the 10th anniversary of the show.

Reviews from Phantom fans back then were pretty much scathing. I don't remember one good one.

I'm sure he's grown since then as an actor and I'd bet he'd do much, much better now.

--
Younger/sexier Phantoms. Yeah, there is a trend, but I'm not sure it really began with the movie. I think the movie enhanced the young/sexy version of the Phantom. (Damn you Schumacher!) As Swanky mentioned, I believe it had its beginnings earlier on possibly starting around the turn of the century.

Look who's in charge of corporations, nowadays. It's more and more the Baby Boomers who are getting up there in age and don't want to be reminded that they're getting older. They are the ones going for younger/sexier looks in just about everything, and although Hollywood has always been about the young/sexy, it's been bleeding over in to the world of Broadway/West End more and more, and that's because it's so much more corporate than it used to be. It's not about the art, it's all about the money.

--
I personally don't mind Ramin's Phantom, at least from the 25th anniversary. (I haven't seen any other 'clips' of his Phantom). And since he's covered in a ton of make up, I can believe his Phantom is older than he actually is. I do agree that Ramin is the favorite of ALW at the moment, but his flights of fancy change quite a bit, so it will be someone new soon, anyway.

If we're going to talk about making characters younger/sexier, let's also not forget Jean Valjean. There's a role that's definitely going for a younger actor than it should.

--
Peter Jöback is older than he appears. He's 41. Crawford was 44 when he took on the role. Jöback has a set of those amazing genes that makes him seem younger than he is. Good looking? Yes, he is. But then many of the men who have played the Phantom are good looking (Peter Karrie, Michael Crawford, Grant Norman, Brad Little, Ted Keegan, John Owen-Jones, Earl Carpenter..I could go onandonandon...). I don't know how Jöback's Phantom will be, could be awesome, could be terrible. But we'll all know more once he starts in March.
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Post  SenorSwanky Wed Feb 15, 2012 3:49 pm

PhantomsGhost wrote:If we're going to talk about making characters younger/sexier, let's also not forget Jean Valjean. There's a role that's definitely going for a younger actor than it should.
Yes, and partly because of Ramin! Laughing Also Drew Sarich. And I'm honestly not the biggest ValJOJ fan. For some reason, he's more convincing to me as the Phantom than as Valjean.
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Post  London-Phan Wed Feb 15, 2012 3:58 pm

Yes I do understand what you mean Operafantomet and yes there does seem to be a few young actors cast recently in other productions but that's happened lots over the years. To me it just seems that if they think someone is good enough to pull off the role convincingly they will cast them regardless of age, so to speak. Also another thing I never understood was Ramin being referred to as a young rocky Phantom, I get the young part but rocky? I definitely don't think his voice sounds rocky, Steve Harley, Gerrard Butler, Paul Stanley, I would class them as rocky/pop sounding phantoms.
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