The Phantom of the Opera 30th Anniversary on Facebook Live
And the Phantom swept not only across the theater, but also into our seeming humdrum Facebook feed.
October 10th marked the thirtieth year of the Phantom of the Opera in the West End. To celebrate the momentous occasion, a 30th Anniversary Gala was organized, together with a special charity performance of the finale broadcast live on The Phantom of the Opera’s Facebook page.
The finale featured both the original and current cast members.
The first performance featured Cameron Mackintosh and Andrew Lloyd Webber who both spoke about the adventures in creating the second longest running show on West End. From the set (which involved trial and error to find what worked and didn’t), to the creation of Music of the Night, the duo entertained people with firsthand tidbits of the musical They also spoke about how Michael Crawford was cast as the original Phantom.
After the talk, Sierra Boggess followed with an impressive performance of Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again. As if her voice was not a treat in itself, she sang the song both in English and in French.
At that point of the live broadcast, viewers were already in frenzy. The event never gave us a break, and our fanboy and fangirl hearts rejoiced as Michael Ball sang All I Ask of You with West End’s current Christine Daae, Celinde Schoenmaker, and Raoul, Nadim Naaman.
There was no stopping the excitement that came afterwards when the iconic “The Phantom of the Opera” was performed with four Phantoms, including the current one in West End, Ben Forster, John Owen-Jones and Gardar Thor Cortes who plays the Phantom in Paris. The four Phantoms sang to two Christines, Celine Schoenmaker and Sierra Boggess. The energy of the crowd was beyond palpable – it was truly a once in a lifetime event shared to us, all thanks to social media.
The performances ended with the entire company singing Happy Birthday to the Phantom.
Prior to the finale performance, we were treated to the red carpet interviews. Among those who were interviewed were Andrew Lloyd Webber, John Owen-Jones, who has played the Phantom for 2000 performances; and Michael Ball who played Raoul in 1987. Fans from around the world were also interviewed, some revealing that they have seen the musical for about thirty to sixty-six times.
The highlight of the interview was perhaps that of Sierra Boggess, who has played Christine for ten years. In the interview, our hearts fluttered when she revealed that her favorite Phantom to date is Ramin Karimloo.
That makes her one of us!
The Phantom of the Opera is still playing both in Broadway and West End.