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Re-staged Phantom in 2012

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Post  PhantomsGhost on Fri Mar 23, 2012 7:37 pm

operafantomet wrote:We all agree that Carlotta is photoshopped into that Hannibal picture, right?

You're right. I didn't even think about it until I saw this posted.

That male dancer is also photoshopped in.
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Post  operafantomet on Fri Mar 23, 2012 9:15 pm

thephanfullerton wrote:
operafantomet wrote:We all agree that Carlotta is photoshopped into that Hannibal picture, right?
Depends whether Dewynters is involved...!
OG
Hahaha! Too true. Usually their photoshopping consist of rearranging bodies and heads, but they have had some cases of cut-out Christine and Raoul in Masquerade. The Hannibal one looks like it's in that style. Or someone just learned the tricks from Denwynter's. Laughing

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Post  LadyCDaae on Fri Mar 23, 2012 9:48 pm

I don't think it looks too terrible...but they really need to lose the floating candles in the lair, it just looks silly. The staircase and torch are plenty evocative enough.

~LCD

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Post  Madame Giry on Sat Mar 24, 2012 2:19 am

Wow, there's some tool over on the Broadwayworld photo flash article ranting about how Carlotta should not be black because the character is Italian and that this is Phantom, not The Color Purple, and that Europe and Africa are two different continents....

Someone needs a good punch in the face. Jerk.

Anyhow, re the new pictures, I kinda dislike how bright and saturated the lighting is - although it works for the Hannibal scene, I suppose. Can't see enough of the lair set to really comment - and still really hating the Phantom's wig.

~Madame~
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Post  MajesticPhantom on Sat Mar 24, 2012 4:51 am

Looking forward to seeing more photos that give better detail. Must say that the Music of the Night photos really intrigue me...
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Post  StrangerThanUDreamt on Sat Mar 24, 2012 5:34 am

Certain elements I do like...but as a whole it looks like it's just a mixed bag of "this is pretty, we'll put this here!" i.e. nothing flows...at all...and thats not good; Im sure they meant well, but the designs are all over the place and frankly the butchering of the costumes is worse than I feared, although it seems the principal characters were left untouched, but that any other character was reduced to mere "bare-bones" versions of Marias designs...as I said I see a few things I do like, but it just doesnt have a finished look to it...
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Post  operafantomet on Sat Mar 24, 2012 6:52 am

Madame Giry wrote:Wow, there's some tool over on the Broadwayworld photo flash article ranting about how Carlotta should not be black because the character is Italian and that this is Phantom, not The Color Purple, and that Europe and Africa are two different continents....
Then shove this down their throat: Afro-Italian Alessandro de' Medici, Duke of Florence in the 1530s:

Re-staged Phantom in 2012 - Page 13 Th_bronzino1555-65alessandromediciuffizi

It just shows how little the person knows about Europe and European history. Moorish Spain, Greek/Christian North Africa and close relation with the Ottoman empire ensured Southern Europe had a constant flow of races, religions, skin colours, goods and whatnot. Europe had strong segregation in terms of religion, but not of skin colour as in America. It seems to me the person is thinking in "American terms".

Does Leroux describe Carlotta as black? No. He describe her as Spanish, coming from a dubious background of brothels and bars, working her way up. But that is not to say a dark skinned Spanish or Italian opera singer was impossible in 19th century Paris.

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Post  operafantomet on Sat Mar 24, 2012 10:39 am

Oh, definitely the same skirt! The bodice is different, but the skirt is identical, apart from an added belt:

Re-staged Phantom in 2012 - Page 13 Valdaavikswestend1995 Re-staged Phantom in 2012 - Page 13 Angelacaesaruktour2012
Valda Aviks from West End (1995), Angela Caesar from UK tour (2012).

I can't believe the skirt looks so pristine. Had it not been for some very recognizable materials (the round "gems" around the apron and the red/green tassel trims in particular), I could just as well have thought it was brand new and not a vintage piece. I wonder how many other pieces are vintage stuff. I've read something really odd is going on with Carlotta's manager's dress. Maybe it's just because it's an old piece?

The Elissa skirts the Christines wore around the same time were almost identical. Same ribbed olive/metal fabric for the main skirt, same stripy fabric over the hem, same "jewel" trim on the apron. It would be awesome if they've put the tour Christines in this skirt, so Carlotta and Christine fully matched eachother. But they've probably went for the new style with GREEN skirts and more saggy apron, as seen in the RAH concert. I like those too, I just like it so much when Christine's costume echoes Carlotta's. Here's 1996 alternate Josie Walken in that skirt:

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Post  Callie Daae on Sun Mar 25, 2012 12:06 pm

I'm sick of the biracial casting that musicals have been doing lately. I don't mean that in a racist way, I just feel when a character is supposed to be caucasian, then they should be caucasian. I think nowadays everyone is trying to be "politically correct", same with Les Mis. In London and the US they keep casting Eponine as black and it looks really stupid especially when the actors who play the Thénardiers are white. Mad
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Post  Guest on Sun Mar 25, 2012 1:00 pm

Maybe Madame Thenardier fooled around on Thenardier. Race isnt a problem for me on these shows. What pisses me off is when someone decides to mess with the melody of a song, like "On My Own". The gal on the US tour does this vocal run thing on the word "pretending".... Evil or Very Mad There's a melody, lady! Evil or Very Mad Stick to what the composers wrote! Same with the Star Spangled Banner! Sing the F-ing melody that was written. I don't care what clever crap you can do with a song. Wow me with your technique, but stay within the confines of the original material. Oi!

You may now return to your regularly scheduled thread....

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Post  SenorSwanky on Sun Mar 25, 2012 1:24 pm

Callie Daae wrote:I'm sick of the biracial casting that musicals have been doing lately. I don't mean that in a racist way, I just feel when a character is supposed to be caucasian, then they should be caucasian. I think nowadays everyone is trying to be "politically correct", same with Les Mis. In London and the US they keep casting Eponine as black and it looks really stupid especially when the actors who play the Thénardiers are white. Mad
Why are you taking issue with just biracial casting? What about Filipino Eponines or other Asian Eponines? There've been several in non-Asian companies, starting with Lea Salonga, who may be the definitive Eponine, and I don't remember anyone batting an eyelash. Now, you might not cast her in the movie, which is a definitive account where continuity matters more. But there aren't enough Asian and black roles in musical theater to go around for all the talented non-white performers because most of the shows are written by and about white people. Sadly, that's also most of the audience (though Asians love their musicals too), but there are a lot of great performers who should have shots at roles that might not make sense for them to sing simply because of the color of their skin, but they also shouldn't be relegated to regional productions of Porgy and Bess and Ragtime.

Also, I didn't see her live, but the clips I've seen of Chaston Harmon (or whatever her name is) suggest she's a very good Eponine. She also wasn't the first to change the melody on "pretending"--that's been done for some time by most Eponines.

NOW back to talking about this lamentable mess of a tour....
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Post  operafantomet on Sun Mar 25, 2012 3:02 pm

Callie Daae wrote:I'm sick of the biracial casting that musicals have been doing lately. I don't mean that in a racist way, I just feel when a character is supposed to be caucasian, then they should be caucasian. I think nowadays everyone is trying to be "politically correct", same with Les Mis. In London and the US they keep casting Eponine as black and it looks really stupid especially when the actors who play the Thénardiers are white. Mad
Well, we could turn it around and say "Elissa is an African queen, and Hannibal an African general, it looks SOOO silly to have white actors play them".

(yeah, yeah, they're roles in a play within a play, but still)

I can see what you mean about the (dis)logic of having two caucasian parents and a black daughter. But on the other hand, I'm totally willing to buy phantomfett's explanation of Madame Thenardier having a little affaire... Laughing

As for Carlotta, I don't think Leroux ever describes her looks? I can't remember. But he writes she's Spanish. She could originate from the Moorish Iberia, that is the Spain formerly under African-Muslim domination. Around 8% of modern Spanish people have Moorish lineage. So again, TECHNICALLY Carlotta could have darker skin, as featured by Angela Caesar.

To be dead honest, I don't think it's likely a black woman would become the leading prima donna at the Paris Opera within our time frame - BUT that is not to say it was impossible. Keep in mind American Sisseretta Jones, who sold out Carnegie Hall, sung for the English queen, was Dvořák's muse, and the toast of Paris in the late 19th century. Because she was black, she was nicknamed "Black Patti" (as a nod to the Italian opera singer Adelina Patti, because their voices resembled eachother):

Re-staged Phantom in 2012 - Page 13 Sissijones

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Post  SenorSwanky on Sun Mar 25, 2012 3:06 pm

Anea, always with the historical context.

Why does Carlotta have an Italian surname if she's supposed to be Spanish?
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Post  operafantomet on Sun Mar 25, 2012 3:13 pm

SenorSwanky wrote:Anea, always with the historical context.

Why does Carlotta have an Italian surname if she's supposed to be Spanish?
That's what 6 years of art history will do to you...

As for the name, it was the stage version that made her Spanish. Giudicelli is not a name from the book, she only goes by the splendid title "La Carlotta". I rather see it as an in-joke to her opening scene, where she appears with a severed head, like the biblical Judith (Giuditta). Similarly Ubaldo Piangi's last name is probably a pun on the Italian verb "Piangere"; to lament, to cry, to bewail. He does that a lot...

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Post  SenorSwanky on Sun Mar 25, 2012 3:20 pm

operafantomet wrote:
SenorSwanky wrote:Anea, always with the historical context.

Why does Carlotta have an Italian surname if she's supposed to be Spanish?
That's what 6 years of art history will do to you...

As for the name, it was the stage version that made her Spanish. Giudicelli is not a name from the book, she only goes by the splendid title "La Carlotta". I rather see it as an in-joke to her opening scene, where she appears with a severed head, like the biblical Judith (Giuditta). Similarly Ubaldo Piangi's last name is probably a pun on the Italian verb "Piangere"; to lament, to cry, to bewail. He does that a lot...
Clever. Bet you're right. "Giudicelli" also reminds me of "guillotine," though I know they're not related.
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Post  Madame Giry on Sun Mar 25, 2012 3:42 pm

SenorSwanky wrote:
Callie Daae wrote:I'm sick of the biracial casting that musicals have been doing lately. I don't mean that in a racist way, I just feel when a character is supposed to be caucasian, then they should be caucasian. I think nowadays everyone is trying to be "politically correct", same with Les Mis. In London and the US they keep casting Eponine as black and it looks really stupid especially when the actors who play the Thénardiers are white. Mad
Why are you taking issue with just biracial casting? What about Filipino Eponines or other Asian Eponines? There've been several in non-Asian companies, starting with Lea Salonga, who may be the definitive Eponine, and I don't remember anyone batting an eyelash. ... But there aren't enough Asian and black roles in musical theater to go around for all the talented non-white performers because most of the shows are written by and about white people. Sadly, that's also most of the audience (though Asians love their musicals too), but there are a lot of great performers who should have shots at roles that might not make sense for them to sing simply because of the color of their skin, but they also shouldn't be relegated to regional productions of Porgy and Bess and Ragtime.

Well said, Dustin. My thoughts exactly.

I also don't remember anyone complaining when they cast Caucasians, African-Americans, and Latinos as Vietnamese characters in Miss Saigon. Or how about all the non-Asian performers who were ever cast in Asian-set operas like The Mikado by Gilbert and Sullivan, or Madama Butterfly by Puccini? Surely you're not suggesting a double-standard of acceptability with regard to racially-inconsistent casting simply because there are more white performers available to fill traditionally-Caucasian roles?

Also keep in mind, as Anea alluded to, that some of the finest operatic performers in history were black, particularly with regard to female performers. See: Jessye Norman, Grace Bumbry, Leontyne Price, etc. They were cast in non-black roles in the highest calibre of operatic productions long before this alleged "politically correct" modern casting trend in musicals that's troubling you so.



EDIT: Links added to examples of black female opera singers in non-black roles.

~Madame~
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Post  PhantomsGhost on Sun Mar 25, 2012 4:52 pm

Madame Giry wrote:

I also don't remember anyone complaining when they cast Caucasians, African-Americans, and Latinos as Vietnamese characters in Miss Saigon.

(snip)

There was an outcry when the role of the Engineer in Miss Saigon went to Jonathan Pryce instead of someone of Asian descent. I think that happened when the show was transferred to Broadway, though, not when it opened in London. I think he was the only one that people complained about, though, because that role was such a large one.

Callie Daae wrote:
I'm sick of the biracial casting that musicals have been doing lately. I don't mean that in a racist way, I just feel when a character is supposed to be caucasian, then they should be caucasian. I think nowadays everyone is trying to be "politically correct", same with Les Mis. In London and the US they keep casting Eponine as black and it looks really stupid especially when the actors who play the Thénardiers are white.

There is nothing in these roles in Phantom that says they should be white. It's not in the description when casting, from some of the descriptions I've seen when reading casting calls. They usually say they're looking for a specific age range and have to have a certain type of voice, and/or reach a certain note. I'm sure there are times when ethnicity is very specific to the role, but not in this case. If the person has the talent to sing and act the part why should they be denied the chance to be in it? What about all the amazing Japanese casts of the Phantom? Should Caucasians be flown in to play the parts only? Or Brazil? South Africa?

This isn't about political correctness at all. This is about talent. These roles in Les Miz, Phantom and the other top musicals pay very well and no one should be denied that chance which could launch them to bigger or better things based on the color of their skin.
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Post  Callie Daae on Sun Mar 25, 2012 6:07 pm

I'm for historical accuracy also. In my defense, if I saw The Lion King, The Color Purple, or Dream Girls I would wanna see a black cast. So what I said I DID NOT mean in a prejudice way and DO NOT bash me just because I have the guts to say what a lot of people think but are too afraid to say!

Also I haven't posted in quite a while, what a nice "welcome back"!


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Post  Raphael on Sun Mar 25, 2012 6:35 pm

I don't think anyone is bashing you, Callie. They simply have a different opinion than yours.

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Post  Madame Giry on Sun Mar 25, 2012 6:44 pm

So, Callie. First, welcome back. Wink

Second, I'm curious. You seem to be basing your vehement opinion that Phantom should only feature European-looking actors on a (questionable and somewhat discredited) belief that 19th century Paris was exclusively Caucasian with few, if any, ethnic minorities in positions of affluence and fame. My question is, then, whether you would be more comfortable with actors from ethnic groups in Phantom who could be easily made up to give the illusion that they are 'white'? For example, Latinos, Asians, and even lighter-skinned Africans? Or would that, too, be objectionable to you?

~Madame~

PS - PhantomsGhost, thanks for informing me about the Jonathan Pryce controversy.
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Post  SenorSwanky on Sun Mar 25, 2012 7:01 pm

PhantomsGhost wrote:What about all the amazing Japanese casts of the Phantom? Should Caucasians be flown in to play the parts only? Or Brazil? South Africa?
Good point.

Callie Daae wrote:In my defense, if I saw The Lion King, The Color Purple, or Dream Girls I would wanna see a black cast.
Fair point, though those are very specifically about African and African-American characters, and they're some of few (though growing) roles available for black performers, so it's less appropriate than to allow them opportunities to play traditionally Caucasian roles. Even still, there are lots of non-black performers in The Lion King for sure.

So what I said I DID NOT mean in a predigest way and DO NOT bash me just because I have the guts to say what a lot of people think but are too afraid to say!
I'm prejudiced against people who misspell words. Wink
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Post  operafantomet on Sun Mar 25, 2012 7:24 pm

SenorSwanky wrote:
Callie Daae wrote:So what I said I DID NOT mean in a predigest way and DO NOT bash me just because I have the guts to say what a lot of people think but are too afraid to say!

I'm prejudiced against people who misspell words. Wink
Oh, be kind and get back on topic.

Callie Daae has a point about raising the question on historical/logical plausibility on skin colour in certain roles. For example caucasian Thenardiers with a black daughter. It's allowed to mention this and to voice an opinion on why this doesn't makes sense. But opposite, people are also allowed to discuss why it might still be plausible, or why it in some roles doesn't matter.

Within the context of what Leroux described, the Phantom would not be black. Simply because poor Erik is described as having a yellowish white festering skin. But within the limits of what the role should contain, there's nothing speaking against the Phantom being black. He's an outcast, we don't know why his parents were or which nationality he has. All we know is that he calls himself Erik, and speaks French. He has the voice of an angel, and he's a genius. There's nothing speaking against that a black Phantom. It doesn't change the premises of the role in any way. Ditto for Carlotta, as I wrote in a previous post.

With Christine and Raoul, on the other hand, we're given so much background info on them and descriptions of their appearance that their looks MIGHT matter to some. I don't necessarily agree, but I think it should be allowed to mention. As long as an opinion is well explained and respectfully presented, I think it's a welcome contribution to the debate.

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Post  Callie Daae on Sun Mar 25, 2012 10:57 pm

Madame Giry wrote:So, Callie. First, welcome back. Wink

Second, I'm curious. You seem to be basing your vehement opinion that Phantom should only feature European-looking actors on a (questionable and somewhat discredited) belief that 19th century Paris was exclusively Caucasian with few, if any, ethnic minorities in positions of affluence and fame. My question is, then, whether you would be more comfortable with actors from ethnic groups in Phantom who could be easily made up to give the illusion that they are 'white'? For example, Latinos, Asians, and even lighter-skinned Africans? Or would that, too, be objectionable to you?

~Madame~

Yes, I think that would be acceptable.

Also, I have a question about the tour. I thought they were keeping all the original costumes? I don't get why they decided to keep a few, and then make some look like crappy knockoffs.
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Post  LadyCDaae on Sun Mar 25, 2012 11:46 pm

PhantomsGhost wrote:
Madame Giry wrote:

I also don't remember anyone complaining when they cast Caucasians, African-Americans, and Latinos as Vietnamese characters in Miss Saigon.

(snip)

There was an outcry when the role of the Engineer in Miss Saigon went to Jonathan Pryce instead of someone of Asian descent. I think that happened when the show was transferred to Broadway, though, not when it opened in London. I think he was the only one that people complained about, though, because that role was such a large one.

This is correct. As Swanky pointed out earlier, good minority roles in musicals are few and far between, so Asian-American actors were incensed at being passed over for a plum (and potentially star-making) role.

Generally speaking, I don't mind ethnically creative casting--it's just something I suspend disbelief over along with the whole spontaneous singnig-and-dancing thing. (Although I did have a good chuckle at a local production of A Christmas Carol where Tiny Tim was the only black member of the Cratchit family...)

~LCD

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Post  SenorSwanky on Sun Mar 25, 2012 11:49 pm

LadyCDaae wrote:Generally speaking, I don't mind ethnically creative casting--it's just something I suspend disbelief over along with the whole spontaneous singnig-and-dancing thing.
Exactly.

(Although I did have a good chuckle at a local production of A Christmas Carol where Tiny Tim was the only black member of the Cratchit family...)
My dad directed a school production of a Rip Van Winkle play, and a white kid played Rip when he went to sleep, and when he woke up, he was played by a black boy (or might've been the other way around). Laughing
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Post  StrangerThanUDreamt on Mon Mar 26, 2012 10:03 pm

FINALLY GOT A REPLY FROM THE MARIA BJORNSON ARCHIVE

The response reads;

Thank you very much for your email. We have not managed to view the latest touring production of PHANTOM yet and are alarmed to hear what you say.
We do know however that the set has been completely re-designed. We were told that the costumes were unchanged.
I will let you know more when I have spoken to the touring company producer. Thank you again,

Olivia Temple
The Maria Bjornson Archive


Im very happy this is being taken seriously
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Post  SenorSwanky on Mon Mar 26, 2012 10:03 pm

Wow, that's very frank.
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Post  PhantomsGhost on Mon Mar 26, 2012 11:06 pm

Wow. WOW! Way to go! So glad you got an answer. Wonder what will happen now.
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Post  Viscountess on Mon Mar 26, 2012 11:15 pm

OH SNAPS. I am loving this right now.
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Re-staged Phantom in 2012 - Page 13 Empty Re: Re-staged Phantom in 2012

Post  Madame Giry on Tue Mar 27, 2012 12:33 am

StrangerThanUDreamt wrote:FINALLY GOT A REPLY FROM THE MARIA BJORNSON ARCHIVE

The response reads;

Thank you very much for your email. We have not managed to view the latest touring production of PHANTOM yet and are alarmed to hear what you say.
We do know however that the set has been completely re-designed. We were told that the costumes were unchanged.
I will let you know more when I have spoken to the touring company producer. Thank you again,

Olivia Temple
The Maria Bjornson Archive


Im very happy this is being taken seriously


EXCELLENT work, STYDI!

I have a sneaking suspicion that some attorneys are going to be putting in some extra hours in the very near future. Wink

Thanks for keeping us updated!

~Madame~


Last edited by Madame Giry on Tue Mar 27, 2012 1:18 am; edited 2 times in total
Madame Giry
Madame Giry

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