PHANTOM OF THE OPERA: Broadway’s Longest Running Musical

By Anja Pollozi, Assistant Editor

If anyone wishes to have time traveling experience, “The Phantom of the Opera” will transport you to the glamorous 1900s. With its glittering gowns, surrealistic masquerade ball and the impossible love of a deformed composer, this musical is Broadway’s longest-running hit ever.

The Majestic theatre, located on 44th Street and Broadway, brought more than 1,500 spectators together to enjoy the two-and-half hour operatic show. MC Student Engagement made it possible for students to purchase the tickets for as low as $20 dollars and enjoy the performance from the balcony.

“The Phantom of the Opera” started to show on Broadway in 1988 and it is based on the horror novel by Gaston Leroux which tells the story of a deformed composer who haunts the grand Paris Opera House. The main character, known as “The Phantom,” composes operas for Christine, a beautiful young soprano star-to-be. However, his intensive love turns into a dangerous jealousy which leads to terrorizing the opera house with his murderous ways of expressing his pain.

This breathtaking performance played by James Barbour attracts the audience into a world of mystery and glamour. His lustrous voice booms down from the heavens and causes a feeling of eternal living. What makes his execution special is his displacement offstage, unexpectedly darting around the rafter and causing trouble.

Christine Daaé, played by Ali Ewoldt, is mesmerized by the mysterious character of the Phantom, and is left breathless by the emotional impact of his voice. The entire theatre echoes as you hear every word clearly and beautifully sung. Accordingly, this musical is an example of Gothic theatricality that drives the audience into a lavishing, spooky and dark world.

The orchestra and the entire cast effortlessly transport you to the Paris Opera House where you sit and experience the majesty of the musical. The scenery fills the stage and delights your eyes as the music fills the house and delights your ears. The reek of gunpowder and the impact of a chandelier crashing from the roof above the stalls to the stage, produce a dramatic panorama that will make this experience unique and unforgettable.

The beauty of “The Phantom of the Opera”, is that it attracts tourists as well as people who are not regular theatre goers. It is a mélange of an opera and a musical that gives the desire to come back for more Broadway shows.

In the end, the actors and the orchestra were saluted with thunderous rounds of applause. Since 1988, this bittersweet beautiful love story maintains a timeless classic that brings divergent audiences together. “The Phantom of the Opera” was a show that filled MC students’ Saturday afternoon with musical magic.