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Phantom of the Opera

The Phantom of the Opera

4.6 73

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Good old-fashioned movie musicals are all too rare these days, but it's still surprising that it took so long for Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom of the Opera to leap from stage to silver screen. After all, this wildly popular musical was almost tailor-made for celluloid: It shares its


Good old-fashioned movie musicals are all too rare these days, but it's still surprising that it took so long for Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom of the Opera to leap from stage to silver screen. After all, this wildly popular musical was almost tailor-made for celluloid: It shares its plot with a classic horror movie; its setting in (and beneath) the opulent Paris Opera invites spectacular cinematic grandeur; and Lloyd Webber's music itself owes much to Hollywood's lush scores. Phantom fanatics may debate the merits of Joel Schumacher's 2004 film, but it's clearly a must-see. The soundtrack, featuring all of the highlights of the romantic score, is no less essential. Longtime aficionados shouldn't discard their copies of the original-cast album - Michael Crawford and Sarah Brightman were iconic as the Phantom and Christine, and newcomers Gerard Butler and Emmy Rossum have their work cut out for them in assuming the roles. But these talented singer-actors ride the surging waves of Lloyd Webber's melodies with confidence, and they use their voices dramatically to invest the characters with convincing flesh-and-blood personalities. Best of all, the rich orchestrations sound absolutely gorgeous here -- more spine-tingling than ever. To listen to this soundtrack is to remember all over again why the musical became such a phenomenon: With its thematic mix of thrills, chills, and romance, Phantom holds the audience's emotions firmly in its grip from start to finish, and this performance never fails to hit the right dramatic chord.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical adaptation of Gaston Leroux's 1911 gothic mystery novel The Phantom of the Opera proved to be at least the composer's second most successful project, behind only Cats, and with the potential to outdo even that blockbuster. The musical opened in London in October 1986 and in New York in January 1988, and both productions were still running (along with many others around the world) when the film version finally premiered in December 2004. Because the same starring performers, Michael Crawford and Sarah Brightman, moved from the West End to Broadway, there was no original Broadway cast recording, the original London cast album serving to represent both stagings. In line with the success of the show, that album, a double-disc set, was also a hit, selling four million copies in the U.S. alone by 1996, with another four million copies of a single-disc highlights version as well. Although there was also an original Canadian cast album (not to mention foreign-language versions from such countries as Japan and Austria), the movie soundtrack represents the first major re-recording of the score since 1986. Again, Lloyd Webber has opted to issue it in two versions, but this time, the 63-minute single CD is considered the standard release, with the double-disc set billed as the Special Edition version. Even fans of the show and the film may want to stick with the shorter one, however. The two-hour special edition is that rarity, a soundtrack album that actually contains the complete, unedited film soundtrack, including dialogue, incidental background music, and sound effects. This, of course, makes it something of an odd listening experience, especially because there doesn't seem to be any reason why some dialogue is spoken and some is rendered in singsong recitative. Lloyd Webber has written some extra background music here and there, as well as one new song, and that's an oddity, too. Minnie Driver, who plays the prima donna Carlotta, had her singing dubbed by Margaret Preece, but she turns up at the end and, over the closing credits, sings "Learn to Be Lonely," an irrelevant and musically out-of-place song clearly composed just to have a new tune that would be Academy Award eligible. The film's other singers are adequate but no competition to Crawford, Brightman, and their colleagues, and the initial recording remains the one to buy.

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Simon Callow   Vocals,cast
Patrick Wilson   Vocals,cast
Simon Lee   Conductor
Victor McGuire   Vocals,cast
Miranda Richardson   Vocals,cast
Minnie Driver   Vocals,cast,Singer
Imogen Bailey   cast
London Oratory Choir   Choir, Chorus
Paul Brooke   Vocals,cast
Gerard Butler   Vocals,cast
Jesika Cannon   Vocals,cast
Lucy Casson   Vocals,cast
Oliver Chopping   Vocals,cast
Jennifer Ellison   Vocals,cast
James Fleet   Vocals,cast
Ciaran Hinds   Vocals,cast
Laura Hounsom   Vocals,cast
Halcro Johnston   Vocals,cast
Ramin Karimloo   Vocals,cast
Kevin R. McNally   cast
Murray Melvin   Vocals,cast
Chris Overton   Vocals,cast
Judith Paris   Vocals,cast
Margaret Preece   Vocals,cast
Emmy Rossum   Vocals,cast
Lee Sellers   Vocals,cast
Alison Skilbeck   Vocals,cast
Lorraine Stewart   Vocals,cast
Jose Tirado   Vocals,cast
Miles Western   Vocals,cast
Imogen Bain   Vocals
David Langham   Vocals
Kevin McNally   Vocals
Jonathan D. Ellis   Vocals
London Oratory School Boys Choir   Choir, Chorus

Technical Credits

Andrew Lloyd Webber   Producer,Liner Notes,Author,Orchestration,Audio Production
Mike Batt   Lyricist
David Cullen   Orchestration
Charles Hart   Lyricist
Mike Ross-Trevor   Engineer
Robin Sellars   Engineer
Richard Stilgoe   Lyricist
Nigel Wright   Producer,Audio Production
Joel Schumacher   Liner Notes,Author
Simon Rhodes   Engineer
Anne Skates   Choir Contractor
Steve Rooke   Engineer
Elena Oria   Vocal Coach
Peter Manning   Orchestra Leader
Mary Hammond   Vocal Coach
Craig "Pup" Heath   Engineer,Engineering
Robert Renga   Engineer,Engineering
Elena Doria   Vocal Coach
Jill McCullough   Dialect Coach

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Phantom of the Opera 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 73 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a great soundtrack to a great movie. I am a big fan of Phantom of the Opera and I think this soundtrack is really good.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Although *Phantom* is admittedly Webber's best musical, I'm generally not a musical fan, and this review should be viewed with that in consideration. Crawford and Brightman have exceptionally impressive instruments, and regardless of the quality of their successors they will inevitably be held as the standard. However, I always found their renditions abounding in technical musical superiority, lacking in the emotional thrust of the story. (I always found the power of the Lon Chaney film version--though silent--more poignant than the musical.) Gerard Butler and Emmy Rossum develop these characters with their voices. And whether or not you agree with their interpretations--e.g., Butler is more imposing and threatening than fragile, which Webber's high tenor seems to indicate--the touch the ACTORS give to the music is still compelling. It is an exceptional re-imagining of a musical that could easily have pandered to the archetypes.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Now, I've never been a big fan of Crawford OR Brightman (his voice was always too high and nasally, and she just got on my nerves). That said, I really, REALLY enjoyed this album. Sure, Gerry Butler might not be the best trained opera singer, but he sings his songs with so much emotion ("Music of the Night" especially comes to mind) that I really didn't care that his voice wasn't extraordinary. Emmy Rossum and Patrick Wilson should make up for any minor flaws people may see in Gerry—they both have excellent voices and really help carry the soundtrack when the Phantom isn't present. Also, please remember that visuals add alot to the music. I had very few doubts about the movie after listening to the soundtrack, and after seeing the movie those obscure worries weren't even a factor anymore.
Guest More than 1 year ago
At first I was disapointed with the casting, its not my ideal choice in terms of singing ability. However, I was comparing them to the original broadway cast, and of course no one will ever compare to Michael Crawford. Seeing the movie changed my point of view about the casting. Gerard Butler's interpretation, although much different from that of Michael Crawford, began to grow on me. I thought Emmy Rossum was fantastic and I thought she was an excellent choice for the part of Cristine. The music is wonderful and the film will amaze you.
Guest More than 1 year ago
BRAVO....BRAVO...... I have the movie and now the soundtrack...I just love it...better than the original...
Guest More than 1 year ago
this is an awesome soundtrack, one of my favoirtes! i love the phantom of the opera! i only thought the guy who played the phantom (gerard butler) could have been better. but overall, great!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is absolutely incredible. The director did not go for singers with perfect voices who sing each song as a separate and autonomous whole: He chose singers who sing a *story*. The singers' voices embody their characters perfectly. It may not satisfy Phantom of the Opera purists in its technical perfection, but the spirit it captures is stunning. Definitely a must-have.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Is to listen, watch and fall in love with a simply superb movie. With Hollywood's love affair of violence and blatant sexuality, I worried about letting my young son watch it. But it was fine. Sensual without being overtly sexual, and intense without the violence. The singing was magnificent and the acting was, well, WOW. I thought the actor who played the Phantom was perfect for the part. The young object of his obsession was breathtaking in both her innocent beauty and extremly talented singing. Raoul had a good blend of intensity and tenderness. Nice to see Miranda Richardson as a "good guy" and Minnie Driver never fails to provide excellent entertainment. Highly recommend it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
While I do think that these performers are generally good, I wouldn't prefer them over any other cast I've heard. Emmy Rossum is no compare to Sarah Brightman or Rebecca Caine and squeaks out her notes- something I've never heard in a Christine. The men- Patrick Wilson and Gerard Butler- sound stiff and sick most of the time. Jennifer Ellison sings Meg QUITE oddly, as does Miranda Richardson with Madame Giry. I honestly don't know what was going on with the casting directors, because I'm sure that none of these actors would have never been cast on Broadway. However, I respect all the cast completely for giving their all.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is my favorite music ever! It's so beautiful. I love the movie. I thought that Patrick Wilson and Emmy Rossum were wonderful in their roles. Gerard Butler was perfect for the role of the Phantom! I really love how he sings. I thought that all three of them were much better than the original cast in the play.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ever since I saw the final trailer on the internet in early November this movie was the only thing in my head... literally! When I finally saw it with my friends on the opening day I wasn't dissapointed, as soon as the organ started playing I knew that this was something special! I've seen it four times and I'm still not sick of it, it's the ONLY thing I've been listening to for nearly two months (I'm not joking)!!! Gerard Butler is the best Phantom ever and for those who are saying that he can't sing, you need to get your ears checked, he has so much raw emotion in his voice that you can't help but fall in love with him... I know I did! Emmy was a great Christine she fit the part perfectly both in voice and in age! Patrick was without a doubt the best Raoul in history, when he was singing "All I Ask of You" with Emmy I thought I was going melt and in some ways I did! ^_^ Minnie was a wonderful Carlotta, Miranda did a great job with Madame Giry and I loved everyone else in this movie! As for those of you who say that it can't compare with the stage version... well of course it can't, it's a movie not a stage production... a movie is a movie and the stage is the stage and there is no comparison between the two so stop comapring Butler and Rossum to Crawford and Brightman!!! ^_^
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was an amazing movie and it had fabulous music. I sqw the movie a week ago and can't stop humming the songs.
Guest More than 1 year ago
To sum it up in one word, this movie was breathtaking. I loved the music, imagery, and emotion the singer/actors put into this movie. It was wonderful, and I would reccomend it to any and everyone.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Personally I think the movie is much better than the soundtrack, but the soundtrack was okay. I think they could have picked a much better singer for Christine. In some parts of the songs she sounds really whiny and almost like she straining to sing particular notes. About 60% of what she sings sounds really good but the other 40% sounds not that great, but overall this is a good soundtrack.
Guest More than 1 year ago
christine has a beautiful voice....and is also a fantastic actress! i think the phantom could have been done better...but you can't ask for everything. see the movie for sure!!! it is GREAT!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really do think that this is the great one.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have been waiting for this for a LONG time and I am EXTREMELY dissapointed. First of all, the Phantom sounds like some sort of rock star. I didn't think that that was the idea of the play but ok. I also dont think the Christine's voice is fit for the part either. She cant go very high without sounding weak. I dont see why they couldn't get Sarah Brightman or someone again. This is my favorite play of all and I probably wont even see the movie when it does come out. Aweful.
nappysunflwr More than 1 year ago
My 15yr old. introduced me to this version of Phantom. I instantly became a fan and I watch it often and listen to the soundtrack regularly. The music as well as the story or captivating and heartbreaking. I must see for Gerard Butler fans and Emma Rossum' performance is outstanding! Check it out.
Guest More than 1 year ago
After listenning to this album and some tips from the original musical recording the latter (the famous 1986 london cast) is the best in every respect. The orchestra sounds more opulent but muddy, without enough clarity. I would say, "Brahmsian", as Brahms traditionally was intended to sound, luxurious, massive. The original cast' orchestra is more vivid and the conducting seems more focused. I never liked the film's Raoul very much. The other characters are more vividly portrayed in the musical, too So the main aspects come at last: Christine and the Phantom. The phantom, well, Crawford is said to be THE Phantom. Period. And Butler... Maybe he is a good actor, biy remember this is a film about music, after all. We need to listen to a singer, a professional singer. Later we can discuss if the type of voice, the phrasing, etc, etc, is OK. But please go to the basics. IS BUTLER a singer???? DEFINITELY NOT!!!!!! There is a huge difference between an actor with some singing lessons behind and a singer. Listen to the last track "down once more" and you will see how when singing forte Butler looses pitch and begins to scream. Please, he should have been fired at once in the casting process. The ONLY really good point is Emmy Rossum as Christine. A really lovely, pure, young and fresh voice. A delight. Which, unfortunately, is not enough to save this disk. The music here is the same as the highlights of the musical. It adds a final song, which is so bad ... at least you can skip it with your player. Recommended only if you can not afford or find the original cast.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Emmy Rossum--amazing as Christine...her voice isn't as strong as Sarah Brightman's, but I think it suits the part of Christine BETTER than Sarah....it's so fresh and innocent, and more expressive, IMO. Gerard Butler--in SOME ways I preferred his Phantom voice to Michael Crawford's, in that it was more piercing and harsh....and creepy. Yet....he strained with some of the notes. Patrick Wilson--better than the original Raoul, hands down. (I forget his name....) He just makes me MELT in "All I Ask of You." Excellent. The music itself was more strident in this than the original, and the effects cooler...like the echo of Christine's voice in "The Phantom of the Opera" and the electric guitar. And then the opening to "All I Ask of You." The orchestra didn't seem QUITE as strong in "Think of Me", but oh, well. LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT!
Guest More than 1 year ago
i just recently began to read the novel by gaston leroux and fell in love with the story (although i was quite familiar with it before). i remember seeing the poster for the movie over the summer and i got so excited that they were turning it into a movie. i finally got to see it 2 nights ago and completely fell in love with the vibrant colors and scenery, actors, characters, and especiallllllly the music!! it was just spectacular!! i bought the soundtrack the next day after catching myself humming the songs while trying to fall asleep. the emotion and passion shown by gerard butler in his songs is beautiful and emmy rossum sounds so sweet and innocent with her voice as well. the lyrics are amazing since the story is told through the songs...everything is just wonderful. this is one of the best musicals i have seen and i am so happy to own the soundtrack...that's all i've been listening to lately!! i can't wait until the movie comes out on dvd!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
anyone who tells you this soundtrack/movie is not breathtaking is stubborn and ill-educated. It was a beautiful display and a great adaption with magnificent vocals.