Inspiration: The Underlining Message Behind Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera

By:
Tommy Hughes

 

When was the first time, through the art of fiction, an individual genuinely felt that one good scare?

When was the first moment where they felt a cold shiver of fear running through their body, causing them to crawl up into a ball on the floor?

In the case of an operatic soprano, it was her mysterious angel of music. A guide toward glory. The unseen genius.

 

After 35 years, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s: The Phantom of the Opera will close it’s record run at Broadway’s Majestic Theater on April 16th, 2023. A timeless classic that not only set the bar high for musical storytelling, but also set the bar for theatrical productions as a whole. As was the Winter Garden Theatre with the original run of Cats, the Majestic Theater has evolved to Broadway what Augusta National Course has become to the sport of golf. An equivalence of what Williamsport, Pennsylvania has become to the sport of baseball. What the Rose Bowl is to NCAA Division I football, and what the city of Indianapolis is to open-wheel automobile racing.

While New York City will move on and keep going, the closing of this record run is something no one thought they would ever see. The musical has become a staple for the city. A timeless classic, the musical has spanned the globe having evolved into a phenomenon. Relatable, the power within emotionally connects viewers in mannerisms reminiscent of what led them toward their love for a particular craft.

The gifts of the title character engulfed in a tragic love story by a path of fantasy.

An evolution, it is a story that began through the writings of a journalist. Upon retirement, the journalist took inspiration through in-depth investigation of the Paris Opera House, and it’s basement cell that housed prisoners of the Paris Commune.
Gaston Leroux.
His inspiration told a story of both fear and irrelevance.  A horror story of underlying meaning.
Fear, not due to the story or subject matter, nor because of the closed-minded onlooker and their reaction to the title character.  A fear of the individual taking the next step forward due to internal fear placed in them by society.  Shamed into solitude.  Shunned by the multitude.

Irrelevance, because the story serves as a reminder that talent is profound irregardless of what one looks like.  While the story’s main theme is surrounded by romance, it’s underlining focus is a title character and their gift of music.
It was a gift discovered on their own.  The music, there.  The passion, undeniable.  They had no way of sharing this gift with the world until they heard the voice of Christine Daaé.  A voice imagined by the Gods.  A reason and platform to share his gift with the world.

And a gift the world received.

When the final curtain falls inside the Majestic Theatre on April 16th, the chapter may fade, but the story will live on.  An ending that may be scary.  Fear of the unknown.

Yet, if the title character’s fear is felt, it is a fearful wonderment of what will happen next.  An individual cannot simply hop aboard César and set a course for Coney Island.  Though, if the individual’s gift lives within them, they will find further inspiration to make their song take flight.

 

The power of the music of the night. 

 

The Phantom of the Opera runs until April 16th, 2023 at the Majestic Theatre on 44th Street in New York City.
Tickets Available through: mtc.telecharge.com

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