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Phantom in Sweden spring 2020 - non-replica production in Kristianstad

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Post  Jennie Mon Mar 23, 2020 8:46 pm

I was a non-replica virgin, hesitating whether to take the plunge or not. But the decision was made for me by my husband, who'd seen that Phantom was going to be set up in Kristianstad... How could I have missed that announcement, I must be losing my touch.... or rather, I'd had a tough autumn work-wise and with some family issues too.... Soooo.... my husband bought tickets for my birthday present in March this year, and we saw it. On my birthday. Just in the nick of time, before it closed prematurely as the tide of Corona-preventive measures closed cinemas and theatres.

Will be posting my reflections, reviewing as best I can after seeing it only once....  I would have gone again, had it not closed.

Phantom in Kristianstad was such a different experience from the original production as seen in London or at Det Ny Teater in Copenhagen, but it was still Phantom. The singers knocked my socks off, gave me goosebumps. The theatre is smaller than any other I've seen it in, and the production was so clever in working around the practical problems and finding ingenious solutions to the technical limitations. Such as the gondola ride, or candles rising from the floor of the Lair … more about those later.

Jennie

Posts : 149
Join date : 2009-09-25

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Post  Jennie Mon Mar 30, 2020 8:32 pm

Posting some reflections about the Kristianstad production, more another time...

First of all, some general reflections… this was a very different Phantom in many ways, I was worried about how I’d react to a non-replica production, and am both happy and surprized that I enjoyed it very much. I was impressed with so many aspects of it. I am going to mention differences between this and other “original” productions, and these will be DIFFERENCES, it’s not a question of better or worse, or right or wrong. I don’t want to pass judgment or compare or weigh them against each other . I love all my Phantoms, and as I once said in Operafantomet’s and Josefine’s Mockumentary about Phantom in Copenhagen, “I want them all”. To complain about difference would be like criticizing vanilla ice cream for not tasting of chocolate.
The MUSIC.
Orchestra was good, pre-recorded music uneven. The overture a disappointment, I don’t know if something was wrong or if it was just the capacity of the sound system…
All the singers were very good, but Don Attilio did not hold the long note, and I missed that…. The Phantom, Joel Zerpe, has a lovely deep rich voice, really filled the auditorium. His “Insolent boy” (in Swedish, but I can’t remember the text) was very angry and powerful indeed. Wheee! Christine was warm, strong, faultless. Some Christines feel a little “sharp” or “thin”, but not Sara Ollinen. And for some reason, it wasn’t until after the show, when I was looking through the programme, that I noticed she was golden blonde, and not brown haired. Rrrrraoul: my first bearded Raoul, hmm… Voice a little “lighter” less dark than Phantom, but I still found it difficult to separate them during the Lair trio. Carlotta and Piangi were absolutely smashing. Loved them both to bits. The Scandinavian Carlottas have made me realize that Phantom has very strong female characters. Both Christine and Carlotta are major protagonists here. Madame Giry played her part well, the one thing that jarred on me was her age. She felt too young to be Meg’s mother, but then again, she might well have been in her mid-thirties. For some reason I want Mme Giry to be a Mrs Danvers…. I think.
Lovely interaction between Carlotta and Piangi, neither of them came across as ridiculous, which has sometimes been the case in London productions. In fact, Piangi was rather … er.. yummy with an absolutely loverly beard and perky moustache. In Real Life, Filip Barna who plays Piangi is the manager in a paint shop. And Anna Hammarqvist, Carlotta, is a controller in a truck company. Who would have guessed. Piangi / Hannibal came out with napkin tucked under chin, which Carlotta snatched away with a toss of the head “Oh you’ve been eating again” kind of look.
André and Firmin: I can’t recall any particularities in their voices, but they characterized the managers very nicely.
Costumes: different, in general less lush and blingy than the original. TOM Carlotta/Christine: a kind of goldy satin “wrap”, Christines dressing gown a smooth cream satin. Ballet rats in simple tunic-like things, not at all the classical tutu ballet stuff. More à la Isadora Duncan. Masquerade costumes completely different, one of the managers was a white rabbit, the other had some kind of mask I cannot really define. Raoul in white uniform and gold braid, echoes of Vronsky in Anna Karenina. Hannibal Piangi: some kind of brown leather smith’s apron / costume. Il Muto: was pastel, a bit of glitter and OTT wigs. DJT a surprizing monochrome, black cloaks and masks. Christine in DJT and final Lair: a simple sleeveless white dress, almost like a peplos, making her look very vulnerable.

Jennie

Posts : 149
Join date : 2009-09-25

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Post  Jennie Mon Jan 31, 2022 8:17 pm

I never finished this review, will see if I can find my notes somewhere. Well, I saw the production in 2020, two years ago, and bought tickets for a significant birthday in March 2021..... but the production was postponed until 2022, this year because of Corona. And now, a few days ago, I received notification that the production is put off for another year.... It's made me feel very low, I was looking forward to it more than I realized.

Last year was hard, too, it was the first time I celebrated my birthday "alone". My mother and I were born on the same date, so we'd always had "our" birthday. She passed away in the summer of 2020, and March 2021 was my first birthday "on my own". So to have something to look forward to, I'd booked Phantom in Kristianstad on my birthday, and then.... it was cancelled. Lockdown and birthdays parties (for ordinary people... ) do not mix... So.... after crying and moping for a while I pulled my socks up and decided to get on with life and Do Something.....

Sooo.... I held a zoom drop-in celebration with "fix-your-own-food-and-drink" for friends and relatives, with a mystery guest.... the incomparable John Martin Bengtsson who sang Music of the night and All I ask of you for us. John Martin had been scheduled to play Phantom in Kristianstad, he has a wonderful presence and beautiful voice. Check him out on youtube..... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PwPHciacC04 So I had a different, but good birthday. Am regrouping now for THIS year's birthday.

Of course, my disappointment as a spectator cannot match the disappointment of all those who put so much work into entertaining us, and make their living from the arts....

On a brighter note, John Martin also had a Valentine's Day karaoke last year, almost 11 months ago, it's still up on youtube, so have a listen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mzh6UGP_Jx0&t=251s if we ask nicely, perhaps he'd do it again this year...

Jennie

Posts : 149
Join date : 2009-09-25

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