Phantom of the Opera 25th Anniversary

On a night most people in Hong Kong are observing the lunar eclipse, I went to the cinema and watched the video recording of this classic musical at Royal Albert Hall.

The leading roles are Sierra Boggess (Christine) and Ramin Karimloo (Phantom). Sierra’s voice is gentle and natural, fitting the character of Christine. She is very expressive as an actress, fully prepared for every scene and every sentimental reaction. I nearly cried when I heard her sing “Wishing you were somehow here again” (video). She showed perfectly how a young girl was hoping for some guidance from her beloved father. It is a general fear about the future shared by many young people who are about to explore their own world.

Good singers have to be in the music, feeling what the roles feel. Then they can bring out the best of them and shine on the stage. Sierra was doing a good job. However, I do not like Ramin that much. For one, his voice is too perfect technically, but lacks the natural flow of emotions. For another, he didn’t seem to exhibit the strong hatred for the people around him and the distorted love for Christine. He acted more like an authoritative parent than an exhausted lover.

As I grow older, I learn to appreciate music in a deeper way and get more out of it. As the phantom said, a singer should feel free she sings. Only then can her voice soar. I’ve had my voice soar one or two times in my life, and that happens only when I’m fully immersed in the music and let myself embrace the rich emotions in the melody.

To feel free and unafraid is indeed important to realize dreams of any kind. Thanks to music for always lighting up my life.

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