Phantom of the Opera at the Royal Albert Hall Comes to the Philippines!

When in Manila,for a limited time only, you can and should go to any of the selected cinemas that will show the movie of the Phantom of the Opera, the longest running Broadway show since it had its 7,486th performance on the 9th of January 2006. Be one of the lucky people like me who got to watch the world’s greatest love story which will only be shown for a week or so here in the country. Phantom of the Opera at the Royal Albert Hall is the first of its kind, an actual theatrical play that was recorded and made into a movie.

I’m in love with theater. Watching actors and actresses deeply focused on their portrayal of their characters, listening to the musical accompaniment that goes with thoughtfully written lines, observing the change of sets, props and reaction of the audiences – these are the reasons why theater will always make me come back for more. I’m an avid fan of my school’s Dulaang UP and UP Repertory Company. I’ve watched great theatrical plays such as Maria Stuart, Orosman at Zafira and Amphitryon but I’d say that Phantom of the Opera at the Royal Albert Hall, if it wouldn’t be categorized as a movie and only as a theatre play, is the best I’ve watched so far.

The excitement me and my friend had when we were approaching Glorietta 4 reached its prime when we took our seats. I was surprised when at 9 a.m. which was supposed to be the start of the film, there were no people yet save for the organizers. What I thought was the event was similar to those being given away by radio stations where in people call and win tickets to advance screening of movies. Little did I know that it was actually a private screening for MTRCB’s deliberation of the film. What an honor it was to be one of the first people to watch the film in the country! There were only 15 of us, seated far from each other that only aggravated the coldness of the cinema. One even joked that she should have brought a winter coat. Good thing the organizers gave us some hot chocolate.

What made this experience more special is that we got to see the documentary/making of the Phantom of the Opera at the beginning of the film. I suggest that it’s best to watch the movie tomorrow because in the succeeding days, the said part will not be shown anymore.

Phantom of the Opera started way back in 1986. Now on its 25th celebration, the play was even more grandiose. I remember when I was in fourth year high school, we had to watch an old film of the Phantom of the Opera. I forgot what year the film was produced but I guess it’s a long time ago based on the film’s lack of sophisticated editing techniques and special effects. I knew by then there’s a story about a “phantom” but I just started to care well enough when we were required to do our own play after watching the film. And guess whose character I played? Of course, Christine, Phantom’s protégée and love interest!

The truth is I was only chosen at face and height value. I only “sang” three lines because we’re all required to sing or we’ll fail. I lip-synched the rest because everyone, including myself, says I’m too good to sing.

Watching the movie however made me shy of what I did to the role. I didn’t give it my best shot because I was so insecure of my voice. I gave my best in the acting part though. But the movie’s Christine! Oh she’s an angel of music indeed! Sierra Boggess gave justice to the character, did no single mistake with her lines and she’s just perfect for the role with her lovely face!

Insecurity is really one great obstacle to anybody. It hinders you to showcase your talent or worse, to take a step higher for your love like the Phantom.

Phantom, portrayed by Ramin Karimloo, was just as perfect as Christine. The prosthetics and the make-up which needed 2 hours to put on and 30 minutes to take off added to the power of his presence. His voice created goosebumps in me.

The set was beyond description. 230 costumes, 14 dressers, 120 automated cues, 22 scene changes, 281 candles,  250 kg of dry ice, 10 fog and smoke machines now isn’t that a lot?! Each of the characters’ costumes has a style of its own. Glory to the original designer Maria Björnson who inspired Matt Kinley’s execution and own added style. The props and set were superb that nothing seems to be out of place. What an excellent production by Cameron Mackintosh! But of course, Phantom of the Opera would have never reached our country if not for Andrew Lloyd Webber’s exceptional musical score and the legendary and multi-awarded Harold Prince.

Everything in the film is something to look forward to. But the last part is something that could make you cry. You’ll get to see everyone that has been part of the history of Phantom of the Opera. I’d love to describe it in detail but that’s something that should be left for you. One thing I could say is the film will surely give you the feeling that you’re with the audience there in the Royal Albert Hall. The movie is a unique piece unless you’ve experienced having a 20-minute break in the cinema exactly as how theater does it.

Phantom of the Opera is a classic that everyone should watch. Now that an actual play, an excellent one at that, was made into a movie and is now here in the Philippines, don’t miss the rare chance of watching it. Watching Phantom of the Opera at the Royal Albert Hall is one memorable experience that will make you appreciate the arts, the beauty of theater.

 

When In Manila, you need to get your theatrical side out more! Come and see this limited screening of “Phantom of the Opera at the Royal Albert Hall“! It’s a classic that all true theater lovers should experience!

Phantom of the Opera at the Royal Albert Hall will be shown in the ff cinemas:

 Alabang Town Center

Eastwood Cinema

Greenbelt 3

Glorietta 4

Newport Cinema

Shangri La Cineplex

Powerplant Cinema

Robinsons Galleria

SM Mall of Asia

SM Megamall

SM North EDSA

Trinoma

Greenhills Promenade

Tickets are said to be priced at P250-P300.

 Phantom of the Opera at the Royal Albert Hall Comes to the Philippines!






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