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Pastiche wrote:
When in the show would you have the Phantom elaborate on composing music being similar to architecture? Do you mean in the song or in the subtext?


The vague idea was to give The Music of the Night some substance by letting the Phantom have some metaphors to toy around with to tie the song closer to what I think the show ought to be about.

The best I could come up with was music and architecture being metaphors for how the Phantom hides away from society by building beautiful, metaphorical walls around himself. This isn't something he's consciously aware of, naturally.

Pastiche wrote:
You would have the song that appears at this point in the show a duet, then, including her perceptions?
'

Not necessarily. I'd let the Phantom mention his relationship with the father in some way (wether he speaks the truth or not). He could for example state that "it was while he was building these walls he developed a friendship with her father", or something along such lines.

Pastiche wrote:
Events and dialogue that precede "Music of the Night" make clear, first, that Christine considers the Phantom, who is just a mysterious voice at that time, an angel sent by her father. During the descent to the lair and the song that follows, "Music of the Night," she discovers he is just a man.


If she at first actually believes that the Phantom is a supernatural being, it is particularly awkward that she doesn't react more explicitly if she suddenly realises he's human. I think it's more plausible if she uses the phrase "angel of music" metaphorically.

In general, Christine's silence is very, very awkward in this very long song.

So my new text for TMOTN would be about the Phantom's technical skills (which can give Chrisine more to react to than a description of a gothic athmosphere), and the subtext about how these technical skills are used in a strategy to avoid his problems.

It's probably a bit too obvious, but it's a place to start.

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Fri Oct 23, 2009 9:20 am
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Dvarg wrote:
Pastiche wrote:
When in the show would you have the Phantom elaborate on composing music being similar to architecture? Do you mean in the song or in the subtext?


The vague idea was to give The Music of the Night some substance by letting the Phantom have some metaphors to toy around with to tie the song closer to what I think the show ought to be about.

The best I could come up with was music and architecture being metaphors for how the Phantom hides away from society by building beautiful, metaphorical walls around himself. This isn't something he's consciously aware of, naturally.


--Another kind of mask, perhaps. The show is full of masks, literal and metaphorical.



Dvarg wrote:
... I'd let the Phantom mention his relationship with the father in some way (wether he speaks the truth or not). He could for example state that "it was while he was building these walls he developed a friendship with her father", or something along such lines.


I think I see what you mean, but it doesn't sound as interesting to me as lines that tell of the intoxicating and seductive powers of darkness and music.

Pastiche wrote:
Events and dialogue that precede "Music of the Night" make clear, first, that Christine considers the Phantom, who is just a mysterious voice at that time, an angel sent by her father. During the descent to the lair and the song that follows, "Music of the Night," she discovers he is just a man.



Dvarg wrote:
If she at first actually believes that the Phantom is a supernatural being, it is particularly awkward that she doesn't react more explicitly if she suddenly realises he's human. I think it's more plausible if she uses the phrase "angel of music" metaphorically.


Yes...it can be taken that way and is sometimes played that way, I think. Even if it isn't, she's in a little boat with very imposing and threatening man with a big pole (pardon the expression) when she realizes it ain't the Angel of Music. She is surrounded by mist and strange sights and knows not where she is being taken. I suppose she could scream or try to hit him with the boat's lantern, but, but really, what's a girl to do? --I suppose look more horrified rather than stunned, intrigued, and then hypnotized

Dvarg wrote:
In general, Christine's silence is very, very awkward in this very long song.


The pat answer is that she is stunned by events and very nearly hypnotized by his singing. That answer won't make it any less awkward for a theater person who finds it awkward, but I just haven't found that ordinary theater-goers get fidgety or give any evidence of finding this song and scene either awkward or too long. On the contrary, there has been in my experience, a hushed silence, followed by big applause when the song is over.

Dvarg wrote:
So my new text for TMOTN would be about the Phantom's technical skills (which can give Chrisine more to react to than a description of a gothic athmosphere), and the subtext about how these technical skills are used in a strategy to avoid his problems.

It's probably a bit too obvious, but it's a place to start.


You have certainly given the song considerable thought. Most people who bash it don't bother. Nonetheless, a song about the Phantom's technical skills sounds pretty ZZzzzzzzz-worthy to me. It would take a better lyricist than ALW usually has to make it actually work in the show.


Fri Oct 23, 2009 12:19 pm
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Pastiche wrote:
Nonetheless, a song about the Phantom's technical skills sounds pretty ZZzzzzzzz-worthy to me. It would take a better lyricist than ALW usually has to make it actually work in the show.


Well, the entire point is that it should only be about the technical skills on the surface. I'm not insisting it should be about architecture and composition. It was just one suggestion on how to make the text work on different levels.

And yes, it's really baffling how ALW employs worse and worse lyricists 8O

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Sat Oct 24, 2009 3:40 am
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Phantom does have some really good lyrics in it. Namely those that are Richard Stilgoe's:

Who'd believe a
Diva happy to relieve a
Chorus girl
Who's gone and slept with the patron
Raoul and the soubrette
Entwined in love's duet
Although he may demur
He must have been with her
You'd never get away
With all this in a play
But if it's loudly sung
And in a foreign tongue
It's just the sort of story audiences adore
In fact the perfect Opera.


Sat Oct 24, 2009 4:25 am
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Mungojerrie_rt wrote:
Phantom does have some really good lyrics in it. Namely those that are Richard Stilgoe's.


I agree.

Pastiche wrote:
I just haven't found that ordinary theater-goers get fidgety or give any evidence of finding this song and scene either awkward or too long. On the contrary, there has been in my experience, a hushed silence, followed by big applause when the song is over.


My theory is that this is because they find the song and its setting very pretty, rather than that they think it achieves something important dramatugically.

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Sat Oct 24, 2009 7:03 am
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Dvarg wrote:

Pastiche wrote:
I just haven't found that ordinary theater-goers get fidgety or give any evidence of finding this song and scene either awkward or too long. On the contrary, there has been in my experience, a hushed silence, followed by big applause when the song is over.


My theory is that this is because they find the song and its setting very pretty, rather than that they think it achieves something important dramatugically.


I would be willing to BET that 999 out of a thousand aren't giving a thought to whether or not the song achieves something important dramaturgically! :lol:

While you are probably right about audiences finding the song to be "pretty," the setting of the song is pretty much basic black box----The organ, the Phantom, the girl and behind them in the dark, the portcullis.

I suppose the audience might be distracted from such a bad song by this setting, but, no, I don't think so.


Sat Oct 24, 2009 11:30 am
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Dvarg wrote:
I think the answer least awkwardly must be something about inner beauty versus outer beauty, one’s need to construct one’s own reality if one is of some reason alienated from society and the negative effects of such a strategy.


Interesting idea. I think that the 'The Music of The Night' scene does get a bit of that across... the set-up of the song in which the Phantom rushes to hide behind music rather than attempting a normal interaction. His reliance purely on music as a seductive, manipulative force to attract her, rather than on anything about himself. Perhaps his lack of self-revelation could be seen as revealing in itself? (Too generous??) The Phantom is too messed up to be attractive when we actually know what he's about (see 'Down once More'!), so how to convey just the right amount of insight about him before then?

I wonder if the idea of the Phantom's various 'masks', as Pastiche put it (music, architecture) would work better if referenced more explicitly not in TMOTN, but later in the show. Perhaps when the Phantom is unmasked publically, more could be made of the fact that his opera has failed to provide him with the triumph he expected - the dangers of bringing your fantasy story out into reality. So then he resolves to retreat into his fantasy world forever, but it's too late because the outside world is intruding, etc, etc. Or in 'Down Once More', instead of giving up on trying to seem attractive once unmasked, the Phantom could try again to offer music to Christine and be rejected.

Dvarg wrote:
The second main issue I have with the musical, is Christine’s perception of the Phantom’s association with her father. I think this unclear relationship could have been taken advantage of in the lyrics, making it more plausible that Christine trust this weirdo. It could also be make clear what she believes the Phantom is, a sexual being, a father figure, a spirit sent from her father or whatever impression she’s under.

Dvarg wrote:
I'd let the Phantom mention his relationship with the father in some way (wether he speaks the truth or not). He could for example state that "it was while he was building these walls he developed a friendship with her father", or something along such lines.

Dvarg wrote:
If she at first actually believes that the Phantom is a supernatural being, it is particularly awkward that she doesn't react more explicitly if she suddenly realises he's human. I think it's more plausible if she uses the phrase "angel of music" metaphorically.

I think the title song does give some indications of Christine's (changing) perception of the Phantom. "And do I dream again?" is an acknowledgement of how intensely weird she's finding the situation. Her next verse shows she gets that he's the Opera Ghost. The Phantom's "In all your fantasy, you always knew that man and mystery [were both in me]" is his attempt to convince Christine that she knows and likes that he's this weird father/psycho-lover hybrid. And Christine agrees. I don't think she lets herself realise at this point that her perception of the Phantom is muddled and nonsensical. She wants her father back, in whatever form she can have him. It's only by 'Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again' that she gets how crazy that is.

Probably all this could be conveyed better in the show than it is, but I think the idea of Christine trying to retain several irreconcileable perceiptions of the Phantom at once does work for her character. As long as - as you say - the father thing is presented strongly as her motivation. But I wouldn't want the Phantom to mention knowing her father or similar. I think it's right that he hints at it without stating the connection outright - it's a more subtle form of manipulation that lets her draw the conclusion for herself.


Sat Oct 24, 2009 3:38 pm
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Barberous wrote:

I wonder if the idea of the Phantom's various 'masks', as Pastiche put it (music, architecture) would work better if referenced more explicitly not in TMOTN, but later in the show. Perhaps when the Phantom is unmasked publically, more could be made of the fact that his opera has failed to provide him with the triumph he expected - the dangers of bringing your fantasy story out into reality. So then he resolves to retreat into his fantasy world forever, but it's too late because the outside world is intruding, etc, etc. Or in 'Down Once More', instead of giving up on trying to seem attractive once unmasked, the Phantom could try again to offer music to Christine and be rejected.


I'm not sure that the show would be improved by making these things explicit. I think it is already pretty obvious to the audience that everything has fallen apart for him after Christine unmasks him completely in PONR. They don't really need to be told that his opera has failed to bring him the triumph he wanted. They see it for themselves.

I don't think it would be a good idea to have him try to win her with music again. He has been trying to do just that throughout the show. He taught her to sing beautifully. He seduced her with "Music of the Night." He wrote an opera for her and made sure she starred in it. And what does he get for his trouble? She rips his mask and wig off in front of everyone. He has to be through with winning her with music.

I rather like the lack of explicit messages in "Music of the Night," in PONR, and in the final scene unless such themes could be underlined without getting in the way of the emotional effect. The scenes have proved to be emotionally moving for large numbers of people.


Barberous wrote:
Dvarg wrote:
The second main issue I have with the musical, is Christine’s perception of the Phantom’s association with her father. I think this unclear relationship could have been taken advantage of in the lyrics, making it more plausible that Christine trust this weirdo. It could also be make clear what she believes the Phantom is, a sexual being, a father figure, a spirit sent from her father or whatever impression she’s under.

Dvarg wrote:
I'd let the Phantom mention his relationship with the father in some way (wether he speaks the truth or not). He could for example state that "it was while he was building these walls he developed a friendship with her father", or something along such lines.

Dvarg wrote:
If she at first actually believes that the Phantom is a supernatural being, it is particularly awkward that she doesn't react more explicitly if she suddenly realises he's human. I think it's more plausible if she uses the phrase "angel of music" metaphorically.


I think the title song does give some indications of Christine's (changing) perception of the Phantom. "And do I dream again?" is an acknowledgement of how intensely weird she's finding the situation. Her next verse shows she gets that he's the Opera Ghost. The Phantom's "In all your fantasy, you always knew that man and mystery [were both in me]" is his attempt to convince Christine that she knows and likes that he's this weird father/psycho-lover hybrid. And Christine agrees. I don't think she lets herself realise at this point that her perception of the Phantom is muddled and nonsensical. She wants her father back, in whatever form she can have him. It's only by 'Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again' that she gets how crazy that is.

Probably all this could be conveyed better in the show than it is, but I think the idea of Christine trying to retain several irreconcileable perceiptions of the Phantom at once does work for her character. As long as - as you say - the father thing is presented strongly as her motivation. But I wouldn't want the Phantom to mention knowing her father or similar. I think it's right that he hints at it without stating the connection outright - it's a more subtle form of manipulation that lets her draw the conclusion for herself.


Yes, there are hints. I think there are enough hints, and I wouldn't want the Phantom to mention her father to make the idea clearer, especially in "Music of the Night," which is about a seduction by means of music (not Christine's daddy issues) by a man who, although seemingly powerful, seems very unsure about even approaching her in person. He was pushed into the kidnapping by the the arrival of Raoul and her reaction to the young man.


Sat Oct 24, 2009 8:08 pm
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Pastiche wrote:
I rather like the lack of explicit messages in "Music of the Night," in PONR, and in the final scene unless such themes could be underlined without getting in the way of the emotional effect. The scenes have proved to be emotionally moving for large numbers of people.


I think this is approximately the consensus among the fans of the show. To me, it seems like being emotionally won over by wall paper. It can be pretty, but I get more involved emotionally in things that carry meaning.

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Sun Oct 25, 2009 5:18 am
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I'm just going to say it:

Dvarg, you absolutely know your shit when it comes to theatre.

I thoroughly enjoy reading your posts. You really, really know what you are talking about, and I find that incredibly refreshing, considering where I come from no one gives theatre a second thought.

Bravo! =D>

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Tue Oct 27, 2009 10:43 am
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livemodernx3 wrote:
You really, really know what you are talking about, and I find that incredibly refreshing...


:oops: Thanks :D

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Fri Oct 30, 2009 9:13 am
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