Since returning from the bright lights of New York I have used any excuse to talk about it; the food, the sights and the entertainment. New York city is known as the city that never sleeps – which is true, no matter what time of night you walk through the streets you will find people, there is no escape although I do not recommend walking around in the wee hours of the morning. A city known for so many things from like I said, its food to its sights and to its people but something that everyone says when you tell them you are visiting the magnificent city is, you have to see a show on Broadway and they are not wrong. This week’s Music Monday is inspired by my favourite and the longest running Broadway show, The Phantom of the Opera.
In no particular order maestro!
Angel of Music
Next to the tracks ‘The Phantom of the Opera’ and ‘The Music of the Night’, ‘Angel of Music’ is one of the most well-known songs sung in the show or the 2004 film adaptation that is actually a decent representation of the show. In ‘Angel of Music’ we see the fragile state that Christine’s mind is in and the influence the death of her father and the foreshadowing of the angel of music which her father has promised to send to her after his death. This and the next track are some of the more haunting from the show.
The Mirror (Angel of Music)
Instantly following ‘Angel of Music’, ‘The Mirror’ completes the trilogy of the most haunting tracks from Phantom, completed with ‘The Music of the Night’. Following an encounter with her childhood sweetheart Christine is left alone to bask in her night but in fear of her mysterious teacher, the angel of music. We already know she has been influenced by the opera ghost who serenades Christine as her angel of music. Apparent from the already haunting lyrics and tone in the song this track holds one of the most iconic images of the entire show when the phantom appears in Christine’s mirror.
Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again
The amount of people who I have met that know this song but do not realise it is even from The Phantom of the Opera is astounding. Christine flees to the grave of her father (cheery one so she is) to think and it is probably the most solemn songs in the entire show, not only from being set in a cemetery but you can feel her anguish and confusion at what has been going on around her. All she is truly asking for is a sign from her father at what she should do, inside she is being ripped apart by her love for Raoul and her devotion and affection for her angel of music, the opera ghost.
The Point of No Return
One of the longest tracks in the show, this song is truly the point of no return for Christine as she is forced to make her choice (although really did she make a choice? Think about it!). It is taken from what the opera ghost has proclaimed a magnificent opera of his creation, ‘Don Juan’. Triumphant, he has remasked and decided to take part opposite Christine who throughout the track begins to fall for him again as Raoul watches on helplessly. This song is also the final song sung within the Opéra Populaire, the impact of which forever rocking the onlookers and the audience.
All I Ask of You & All I ask of You (Reprise)
You would have already had a sneak peek at this track in ‘The Point of No Return’ but it does in fact come before it in the show where Christine and Raoul have fled from the chaotic opera stage to the roof of the opera house. It is considered the most romantic song of the entire show since it is the pair promising their lives to each other and promising to protect each other, though personally, I prefer ‘The Music of the Night’ but each to their own. While they do this they unknowingly have an audience of the opera ghost who reprises their promises to each other and vows war on the two of them, we see him use the reprisal again in ‘The Point of No Return’.
The Music of the Night
This song is everything in this show, it sums it up perfectly while the opera ghost serenades Christine with his own brand of music, the music of the night (not exactly subtle). I did say I preferred this to ‘All I Ask of You’ and it’s mainly because. although not a proclamation of love. it is more of a serenade and seduction which is far more interesting – the lyrics are smart while the tone inviting, not unlike the sequel to Phantom, Love Never Dies where they actually sing about having sex. He is literally enticing Christine to the dark side with this track seducing her into the darkness but there is the fact that he is showing her that she is his muse for his music of the night, give me that over proclamations of love any day.
The Phantom of the Opera
Most definitely saving the best track for last, this is the best known cut from the entire show not only for the fact it’s the namesake but because it has the most impact and power in it. When this track comes on whether it be at the show itself, the radio, the film or wherever else you cannot help but belt it out. With one of the most iconic scenes as the opera ghost whisks Christine away through her mirror down to his world of darkness where candles can light even when coming out of a river, continuity does not matter here. Only Phantom of the Opera.
Bonus Track: Masquerade
Usually Music Monday is only seven tracks but I cannot sign off without mentioning this as my personal favourite and the most fun track from the whole show. Won’t we have a ‘Masquerade’?
Yes. Yes we will.
Have you seen The Phantom of the Opera? What did you think? What is your favourite show? Let us know in the comments!