Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Phantom of the Opera

                The plot of the story takes place in 1870 in the Paris Opera House and follows the story of a young woman Christine Daae.  The young girl was brought to the Opera house by Madame Giry after the death of her famous violinist father to join the ballet of the Opera.  The opera changes hands at the beginning of the play and their new patron is Raoulm the Vicomte de Chagny who is an old childhood friend of Christine.  The phantom gives his first orders to the new owners outlining his demands as the Opera Ghost.  The main woman singer storms out of the opera house and Christine plays the lead role for the evening.  The phantom, who has been coaching Christine to sing, leads Christine to his home beneath the Opera House. 

                Christine takes the opportunity of the phantoms calmness to remove his mask only to reveal the unfortunate deformed half of his face.  Enraged the phantom has an outburst and he escorts Christine back to the dressing rooms and away from his home.  The phantom infatuated with Christine sends his directions for the casting of the next opera, with Christine in the lead role.  One of the stage hands is hung in the middle of the opera so Christine and Raoul flee to the roof where they proclaim their undying love for each other and the phantom overhears.  The phantom becomes enraged at the thought of Christine leaving him got Raoul.  

                The story continues to go back and forth between the phantoms love of Christine and Raouls love for her as well.  By the end of the movie there is an understanding of the intertwined relationships between all of these characters and the ways that their lives shape around one another. 

                The Phantom of the Opera video is the musical version of a very popular play.  Most of the story takes place is in the ornate Paris Opera located in Paris, France and is set in the year 1870.  The opera house plots take place in both the main stage and house area of the opera as well as the shadowy depths of the secret passages below the opera house.  The driving force behind the movie is the music and the concepts that the music embraces.  Overall the music and the characters bring the story together and allow the message to be brought across.  

There are many ways that this story could be interpreted.  I think that there is something to be said about Christine and her struggles to choose between two men and the passions of her life being the opera and ballet.  I think that the story line parallels life and the choices that we make.   The ways that the operas plots were similar to the actual things happening in Christine’s life was well thought out.  I also think that by writing the story in such a way Webber was able to expose the art of the opera in a way that people would better understand.  

                I think that the opera was well portrayed through this story.  I think that for someone that had no exposure to the art this particular story gives a good representation of what an opera would include and the type of lifestyle that the people lived in the time period that the story takes place.  The actual performance of the opera would be relatively realistic and allow people to understand what a performance would be like.  The rest of the scenes and the stories of the people behind the scenes gives a more or less historical account of how people lived and how their lives would be set up in that sort of atmosphere.  I do think however that a live representation of the same story gives a different perspective.  Being that this particular story was meant to  be seen on a stage rather than on a screen the way that we view the different parts are changed because of the medium.  I know that my sister as well as a close friend has both had the opportunity to see the play live and they both said that they enjoyed it immensely more than the video.  On the other hand both of these individuals were well versed in the arts.  I do think that as a method of reaching a greater population the video tape version of the story would be better for a more general audience.  For other people who are more experienced in the arts the play version of the story may be more enjoyable and more effective.  

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