P: “Phantom of the Opera” – A Haunting Reminder

Phantom of the Opera Picture

In his eyes, all the sadness of the world.”

Christine – Phantom of the Opera

 

 

“Pitiful creature of darkness, what kind of life have you known? God, give me courage to show you.

you are not alone!”

Christine – Phantom of the Opera

In its day, French Grand Opera was the single greatest form of entertainment in the world. People would travel across the globe to see these spectacular performances, and now Phantom of the Opera – the 1986 Andrew Lloyd Weber musical – has taken the world by storm by bringing a taste of French Grand Opera to the modern Broadway stage.

Phantom delivers French Grand Opera in all its decadence… the elaborate scenery and costumes, the special effects (recall a chandelier that swings over the entire audience before crashing into the ground, anyone?), the first class music, talented dancers, even more talented singers, and a storyline that is simply unforgettable. No wonder this is the longest running show in Broadway history (no other show even comes close).

While based on the French novel, Le Fantome de l’Opera, by Gaston Leroux, the musical tells a slightly different story… a more human one. When I was a teenager I read the original novel, and was shocked to find it in the horror section of the library. “Isn’t this a love story?” I thought to myself. But the original book was much darker, and the Phantom was much more sinister.

The Broadway musical, however, reveals a softer side of the man who haunts the opera house. It shows us that the Phantom was once an innocent child who suffered torment and the cruel hatred of others simply for looking different. And it makes us understand that behind the monster was a human soul, simply begging to be loved.

The show will delight your eyes, and the music will dance through your mind for a lifetime. But the message of this story… that even the most tormented souls still long to be understood and still need loving relationships… will take root deep within your heart.

When Jesus looked out over the crowds and multitudes, He wasn’t appalled at their sinful attitudes or hateful actions. Instead, “he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd.” If only we could learn to view the people in our lives through the eyes of Christ, and reach out to them in compassion…

…Then there might be hope for the “Phantoms” of this world, after all.

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Photo Credit:  Majestic Theater, NYCBy Summ, Creative Commons 2.0

 

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The Classics.jpg

This post was submitted as part of the A to Z Challenge, where participants agree to write an article that corresponds to each letter of the alphabet, posting every day of the month of April (except Sundays).

Here on The Artistic Christian,  my theme for the month is The Classics.  Each day I’ll examine a book, film, or work of art that has become a beloved classic and discuss what has made it such a success, and what eternal themes it contains that Christian artists can use as modern illustrations.

For daily reflections from my personal travels around the world, check out my companion blog, Everyday Musings, where my theme for April is Reflections From Around the World.

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13 thoughts on “P: “Phantom of the Opera” – A Haunting Reminder

  1. This really touched me. I’ve never seen the Phantom of the Opera. I didn’t know it was a book either. What touched me is your sentiment that so closely aligns with what I believe. “If only we could learn to view the people in our lives through the eyes of Christ, and reach out to them in compassion…” There would be no bullying, there would be no bullies if we could all do that. You’re an awesome writer.

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    1. Thanks so much – I’m so glad my point came across here! And if you’ve never seen “Phantom,” you should try to see the Broadway version sometime (or the movie at the very least)…it’s the longest running Broadway show for a reason!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. One of the things I love about comparing Phantom the book to Phantom the play is seeing how two different creative people can tell the exact same story in completely different ways.

    I also love your spiritual insight into yet another of my favorite works of fiction!

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  3. I have never read the book, although I know that plays and films are often quite different to the original stories. I like the way you compare the treatment of the tormented and shunned soul in the show to the compassion shown to all “sinners” by Jesus.

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    1. Yes, not too different from the students at Columbine who were bullied and chose to plan a school shooting…it just goes to show how desperate people are for love and acceptance these days! If only we could reach them before they lash out in these terrible ways…

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  4. I read the novel about ten years ago, and really liked it, though I felt the part where Raoul and the Persian are escaping from the Phantom was a bit anticlimactic, since it’s related after the fact instead of depicted right as it’s happening. I love the 1925 film version, with Lon Chaney, Sr. The unmasking is one of the most chilling moments in movie history, even if it might seem like no big deal in the era of CGI. I love how Lon portrayed all these outcasts and so-called monsters, bringing such humanity and depth to his characters, and helping the viewer to understand a little bit why they might’ve turned away from goodness and virtue.

    Liked by 1 person

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