ON stage at the Canberra Theatre, in costume, were Michael Cormick playing The Phantom, Julie Lea Goodwin playing Christine and other cast members.
Not everyone knows the story. In the show the beautiful young woman Christine Daaé wins a place in the chorus at the Paris Opera House. She begins hearing a beautiful voice, “the Angel of Music”, who teaches her to realise herself as a singer. In reality, this is a deformed and disturbed musical genius who is obsessed with Christine.
Among the sinister disturbances he causes is a moment where a huge chandelier plummets into the audience. In a later scene, the Phantom kidnaps Christine and brings her to his home in the Opera House cellars, where she unmasks his hideous visage.
On the sidelines is the handsome young aristocrat Raoul, who has promised to take Christine away. But the Phantom is not so easily got rid of.
Yes, it sounds like the full 19th century melodrama, and to some extent it is, but according to Cormick, the Phantom is much more that a monster, an “underdog” character who continues to fascinate audiences the world over.
As well, there is the soaring music of Andrew Lloyd-Webber in a musical that comes very close, as the larger-than-life story dictates, to grand opera.
“The Phantom of the Opera,” at Canberra Theatre, August 9 (preview night) to August 23, bookings to 62752700 or canberratheatrecentre.com.au