‘The Phantom of the Opera’ is the classic Andrew Lloyd Webber musical based on the French novel ‘Le Fantôme de L’Opéra’ written by Gaston Leroux. The show opened on the West End in 1986 and on Broadway in 1988 both with the title roles being played by Michael Crawford and Sarah Brightman. Some other big names who have taken on some of the characters include, Sierra Boggess, Michael Ball, Norm Lewis, Ramin Karimloo and Anna O’Byrne. Dozens of productions of ‘Phantom of the Opera’ have been performed since then, and within in that time has won over 70 major theatre awards and has been watched by over 140 million people worldwide!
The story follows a disfigured, masked man, known only as the Phantom, who lurks in the catacombs of the Paris Opéra House. This “opera ghost” spends his days terrorizing the cast and crew who work there. However, things get interesting when he falls in love with young, soprano, chorus girl Christine Daaé. He makes her his protégé, tutoring her while demanding she receives all the lead roles. She becomes his obsession. But what happens when Raoul, a childhood acquaintance of Christine’s, also falls in love with her? What consequences spin out from the Phantom’s rage?
The Phantom’s white mask is one of the most well-known icons in the history of musical theatre. When anyone thinks of musicals and the theatre, it’s probably one of the first things that comes to mind. He uses this mask to hide the disfigured part of his face and his insecurities along with it. The original costume design featured a mask that covered the majority of the Phantom’s face and this is the mask used on the poster for the show, but this made bringing this very intense character to life difficult so the decision was made to alter the mask so it only covered one half of the face. Also featured on the poster is a red rose which is a universal symbol of love and beauty so it makes sense for it to be included.
You can find out more about the show and the various worldwide productions at https://www.thephantomoftheopera.com/