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Why Christine? 
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Young Hoofer
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Post Why Christine?
Why does the Phantom choose Christine to be her angel of music? I saw this question on a different Phantom forum and the replies were really interesting... what do you think?
In some versions, he becomes her AOM when she's seven (like the 2004 film), but in the musical he visits her a few months before the beginning of the show, I think. And in the novel, she started lessons three months before her premiere.

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Wed Feb 22, 2012 10:03 am
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Post Re: Why Christine?
I'm guessing some of it is she is an orphan, and therefore, more vulnerable. And it's probably like to trick her thinking it's her father.

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Wed Feb 22, 2012 10:19 am
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Tony Winner
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Post Re: Why Christine?
It might also be that the Phantom genuinely loved Christine's voice, that it was the first he heard and what attracted him.

We're told in the novel that Carlotta is a most accomplished singer, but that her singing was soulless:

"Carlotta posessed neither heart nor soul. She was merely an instrument - a wonderful instrument, but an instrument nevertheless! Her repertoire included everything that might benefit an ambitious diva, be it the work of German, Italian or French masters. Until then she had never sung out of tune nor lacked the vocal strength demanded by any part in her vast repertoire. In short, the said instrument was wide-ranging, powerful and perfectly tuned. But no-one could have said to Carlotta what Rossini told Krauss after she had sung "Selva opaca" in German for him: "You sing with your soul, my child, and your soul is beautiful".

Oh, where was your soul, Carlotta, when you danced in the brothels of Barcelona? Where was it later, in Paris, when you performed coarse, roistering songs in seedy music-halls? And again, where was your soul when you let that supple and extraordinary instrument of yours - which could sing, with equal perfection, of sublime love and orgiastic pleasure - demean itself by performing in the salon of one of your lovers? O Carlotta, if you had ever possessed a soul and come to lose it, you would have found it again when you became Juliette, when you sang Elvira, Ophelia or Marguerite! For others have risen from lower depths than you did and were purified by art, attended by love."
(Page 97 in Ribière's translation)

Christine is described as possessing what Carlotta lacks - heart and soul en masse. She always had it in her, but when her father died her talents died with him. She made it into the conservatory, but barely, and she graduated without much triumph. The Phantom re-envokened what she lost at her father's death. This might explain why she felt the Phantom was a gift from her father, the promised "Angel of Music" granting genius to the worthy. This was the angel Daddy Daaé had never seen himself but which he promised to send her when he was dead and in heaven.

It might be a wild guess, but Leroux could have meant to indicate that the Phantom had heard Christine sing while she still brought tears to everyone's eyes, and that he just wanted to bring it back to her voice. Maybe so someone could finally do his music justice. But with Christine's voice came the soul and heart, and the beauty, and the love...

So why Christine? Because she possessed what other sopranos apparently didn't - a perfect instrument AND the talent to fill the music with content. In a way like the Phantom himself.

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Thu Feb 23, 2012 7:50 am
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Post Re: Why Christine?
operafantomet wrote:
Christine is described as possessing what Carlotta lacks - heart and soul en masse.


Ironic, then, that it was Sarah Brightman who originated the role, hahaha :D

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Thu Feb 23, 2012 10:39 am
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Tony Winner
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Post Re: Why Christine?
Potato112 wrote:
in the musical he visits her a few months before the beginning of the show, I think.


This is the biggest flaw in the storytelling of the musical, I think: that it doesn't show the Phantom first beginning to tutor Christine. So fundamental questions like, "why Christine?" remain unanswered. It's particularly silly given that the tutoring (as you say) doesn't seem to have been going on all that long.

In fact the show opens with the auction/chandelier prelude, which is effective albeit largely irrelevant to the story, and the show proper starts with a scene introducing the managers - which leads the audience to think that the show will be primarily about them, which it isn't.

It would have been so easy to replace some of the above with an extra scene showing the Phantom's voice first being heard by Christine.

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Sun Mar 18, 2012 2:38 pm
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Post Re: Why Christine?
jackrussell wrote:
Potato112 wrote:
in the musical he visits her a few months before the beginning of the show, I think.


This is the biggest flaw in the storytelling of the musical, I think: that it doesn't show the Phantom first beginning to tutor Christine. So fundamental questions like, "why Christine?" remain unanswered. It's particularly silly given that the tutoring (as you say) doesn't seem to have been going on all that long.

In fact the show opens with the auction/chandelier prelude, which is effective albeit largely irrelevant to the story, and the show proper starts with a scene introducing the managers - which leads the audience to think that the show will be primarily about them, which it isn't.

It would have been so easy to replace some of the above with an extra scene showing the Phantom's voice first being heard by Christine.


Hannibal presents all the leads to the audience, not just the managers. "Madame Giry, our ballet mistress". "That's MEG Giry, Madame Giry's daugher. Most promising dancer". "Carlotta Giudicelli, our leading soprano for five seasons now". Raoul, Piangi, Christine, the Phantom... Hannibal is an introduction scene for ALL the key roles, as well as a bit of foreshadowing. I think very few makes it to be a scene about the managers.

Another aspect is that Christine biggest need wasn't voice training as such, she needed to re-gain the talent she had before her father died. The Angel of Music, the figure she thought her father had sent her from heaven, gave this to her. Whether her training lasted three years or three months or three weeks isn't something we need to know. What we need to know is that her father promised her the divine inspiration, and that she got it some time after his death. We need to know who she thinks the voice is, and why she goes to such lengths to follow the voice. And how she discovers the voice is anything but that of an angel.

I don't think the impact of the Phantom would be as big if the show started with him tutoring Christine. Cause what would follow it? The mirror scene, then the lair scene? Maximum overdose. Much of the excitement in the musical is that they save the moments where the Phantom is present. In effect the actor playing him is only on stage for something like 23 minutes. In total. Instead the others always refer to him, and sometimes his voice can be heard as an echo, so he feels omnipresent. But his actual stage time is minimum. Which I think is a good move. Leave the audience want more!

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Sun Mar 18, 2012 11:31 pm
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Tony Winner
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Post Re: Why Christine?
operafantomet wrote:
Hannibal presents all the leads to the audience, not just the managers. "Madame Giry, our ballet mistress". "That's MEG Giry, Madame Giry's daugher. Most promising dancer". "Carlotta Giudicelli, our leading soprano for five seasons now". Raoul, Piangi, Christine, the Phantom... Hannibal is an introduction scene for ALL the key roles, as well as a bit of foreshadowing. I think very few makes it to be a scene about the managers.

Another aspect is that Christine biggest need wasn't voice training as such, she needed to re-gain the talent she had before her father died. The Angel of Music, the figure she thought her father had sent her from heaven, gave this to her. Whether her training lasted three years or three months or three weeks isn't something we need to know. What we need to know is that her father promised her the divine inspiration, and that she got it some time after his death. We need to know who she thinks the voice is, and why she goes to such lengths to follow the voice. And how she discovers the voice is anything but that of an angel.

I don't think the impact of the Phantom would be as big if the show started with him tutoring Christine. Cause what would follow it? The mirror scene, then the lair scene? Maximum overdose. Much of the excitement in the musical is that they save the moments where the Phantom is present. In effect the actor playing him is only on stage for something like 23 minutes. In total. Instead the others always refer to him, and sometimes his voice can be heard as an echo, so he feels omnipresent. But his actual stage time is minimum. Which I think is a good move. Leave the audience want more!


Hi, thanks for replying, and you make good points. Agree the Hannibal scene serves to introduce all the main characters. However, it's still told from the managers' point of view, as they're the ones who (like the audience) are being introduced to all these people. So for an audience member seeing the show for the first time, it does I think create an expectation of "this is a show about two buffoons who take on an opera house and how are they going to deal with all these eccentrics?". (It did for me, at least.) But that is only a small part of what it's about.

Also agree about not over-exposing the Phantom, but as you say, his stage time is so limited that there's not much danger of that. I just think there is a really moving scene yet to be written about a lonely Christine, newly arrived in new surroundings, grieving for her father, and hearing the voice of the Phantom for the first time.

It might diminish the impact of the mirror scene slightly, but I think that would still stand as a dramatic coup de theatre in its own right. It's a natural progression, from first hearing him, to first seeing him. The Hannibal scene (shortened somewhat) and the "Think of Me" sequence would still separate them, to maintain impact.

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Mon Mar 19, 2012 12:43 pm
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