Tonight the curtain will fall on the last NAC Ottawa performance of the Cameron Mackintosh production of Broadway’s musical success, THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA.  Two weeks of sold out performances! Hopefully, you had the opportunity to see it.

I have to say that THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA is my all time favourite Broadway musical and it’s no surprise that Andrew Lyod Webber’s classic tale won the hearts and minds of musical theater goers across the globe.  This haunting and romantic tale was originally a French novel  “Le Fantome de Opera”, written by Gaston Leroux and first published in late 1909.   The story of a disfigured and bitter man, known only as the Phantom, lives in the sewers underneath the Paris Opera House. He falls in love with the obscure chorus singer Christine, and privately tutors her while terrorizing the rest of the opera house and demanding Christine be given lead roles.  THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA invokes not only mystery and horror but also compassion, romance and love.  What a show!

Here in Ottawa, we are so fortunate to have the National Arts Centre and to experience world renowned Broadway classics brought to us by Broadway Across Canada.  Usually reserved for our date nights, we decided to bring the entire family (8 of us) to see the performance.  From Grandma to our youngest teen, all were mesmerized by the brilliant new scenic design by Paul Brown.  The rotating stage with it’s scene inside a scene drew the audience into a fantasy world that oscillated between the glamour of the opera and the dark subterranean life of the Phantom.  Not to mention the chandelier, complete with pyrotechnics and plenty of drama!  The entire audience jumped in their seat several times during the performance.  I admit, I let out a few screams as well!

Original costume design by Tony Award-winning Maria Björnson was spectacular as well as the  lighting design by Tony Award winner Paule Constable.   New choreography by Scott Ambler, and a new staging by director Laurence Connor created a lively and highly engaging dramatic performance.  And of course … the music!  The thrilling score – with songs like Music of the Night, All I Ask Of You, and Masquerade was performed by a cast and orchestra of 52, making this PHANTOM one of the largest productions now on tour.

The Phantom of the Opera

Derrick Davis as the PHANTOM and Eva Tavares as Christine are truly spectacular in their performances.  Their voices are haunting and beautiful and capture the intense emotion of this love and hate dilemma.  The graveyard scene was one of my favourites.  THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA will definitely live on in the hearts and minds of all that have seen this performance.

Next up for Broadway Across Canada at the NAC in Ottawa, is the new Cameron Mackintosh production of Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg’s Tony Award-winning musical phenomenon, Les Misérables from Feb. 13th to 18th, 2018. Direct from an acclaimed two-and-a-half-year return to Broadway, this breathtaking new production has left both audiences and critics awestruck, cheering “Les Miz is born again!”

Stay tuned for pre-sale tickets … what a great holiday gift for the entire family!

Photo Credit: Matthew Murphy