The Phantom of the Opera

( 73 )

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Scott Paulin
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. ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Scott Paulin
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.
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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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/23/2004
  • Label: Sony
  • UPC: 827969352120
  • Catalog Number: 93521
  • Sales rank: 2,737

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
A. L. 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, Mastering
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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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 73 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(58)

4 Star

(8)

3 Star

(3)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(1)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 73 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 21, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Great soundtrack

    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.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    The Angel of Music

    When I received the soundtrack I listened to it almost non-stop. My grandma and I loved playing it in the car and blasting the Overture. I love Gerald Butler's voice; he is so talented. Emmy Rossum has a beautiful voice also. When she and Gerald sing the duet Phantom of the Opera I always get goose-bumps. This is a must have for anyone who has true musical taste.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    plain and simple...this opera is amazing

    i have to say after seeing the play and the movie i completly fell in love with this musical. a must buy and its something you won't regret : )

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    love it!!

    I love this cd!! except if you look at the phantom the mask is on the wrong side of his face. well great, great cd, i love all of the songs!!

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Fantastic!!!

    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.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    PHENOMENAL! Perfect casting of voices! Gerard Butler and Minnie Driver did an amazing job. He had the seductive psycho down perfect! She was incredible drama queen! WHO KNEW THEY WOULD DO SO WELL WITH THIS INCREDIBLE MASTERPIECE?!!?

    I am truly amazed.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    amazing and inspiring music

    This is one of the best soundtracks to a movie ever! The movie is even MORE wonderful. The songs are sad, romantic, dramatic and moving. I fell in love with the songs from the very beginning of the &quot Overture&quot which is SO powerful. Emmy Rossum and Patrick Wilson's voices compliment each other so well. So do Emmy and Gerard Butler in The Point of No Return, one of the most dramatic songs in the film. And though Gerard is not a professional singer, his voice makes the phantom more interesting and mysterious. I would completely recommend this soundtrack.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Fantastic Soundtrack

    This musical, I thought was very awesome, and it's a real shame that it didn't do well at the box office. I am also getting sick of people picking on Gerard Butler's singing. Yes, he is not a trained singer but what he has naturally is something really different. I actually thought he sounded a little bit like Sting. Emmy Rossum has a lovely soprano voice and her songs are excellent. Patrick Wilson also did a good job but his voice sounded quite fruity. As for the soundtrack as a whole, it was big and loud and lush. I really enjoyed it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Would be 3 stars, but Butler is a whole disaster

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    All they ask of you

    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!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    I think that this is the greatest one yet.

    I really do think that this is the great one.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Absolutely Amazing!

    Despite other comments, The Phantom of the Opera was indeed, one word, amazing! The voices were beautiful in every aspect, the feelings that each song give you are overpowering! Not only will the music play over and over in your head, but you might find yourself singing along too!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    I loved it!

    Emmy, Patrick, and Minnie were outstanding. Gerald could have been better. I think the casting was directed more on the looks of the actors then the actual singing ability, by looking at Butler. It was amazing, though

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    WONDERFUL!!

    I love this movie/soundtrack. Emmy is wonderful, her voice is angelic, and beautiful. Gerry's voice is low and GREAT! I think this is better then the opera one. But that's my thought.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Beautiful and moving

    All the singers were superb. I love this soundtrack, along with the movie itself.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Very Disappointing...ALW has lost his marbles

    What a disappointment. I am a huge fan of "The Phantom of the Opera." I walked into the cinema with high hopes, but the casting is screwed. Emmy Rossum's voice is strained and has no vibrato and Gerard Butler is loud and off-key. They were also bad actors. Emmy Rossum attempted to look innocent, but only succeeded in looking clueless. Gerard Butler is more like a Goth heartthrob than a deranged murderer-composer. Absolutely no comparison with Sarah Brightman and Michael Crawford. There are so many fabulous singers...why oh why did ALW have to choose an inexperience 15-16 year old girl to be Christine?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Okay, but not that great

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    The Strangest Phantom Cast I've Heard

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Great but not that Great

    I liked the way the cast fit but I didn't like the way Emme Rossum sang I mean 50% of the time she did great but she was a bit too whiny on some parts for instance on "Think of me" she was really whiny and I didn't really like the interpretation of "Phantom of the Opera" song they cut half of the song and the ending was horrible she's supposed to sing at the end not scream the notes. Of course it doesn't compare to the original cast but remember this is a movie and not the play which are two different things. Another thing I didn't like was the climatic ending when Christine is desperate for her love Raoul when the Phantom has him prisoner. I mean she cried but she could have but a little more into it. Anyways all in all it was great but not that great.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Absolutely ASTOUNDING!!!

    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.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 73 Customer Reviews