Tuesday, November 23, 2010

My Most Memorable Theatre Experiences: #2 The Phantom of the Opera

When I was 4 years old I was visited by the angel of music and I was never the same. My aunt took me to the Kennedy Center's Opera House to see the national tour of The Phantom of the Opera and according to her stories, I was the most well behaved four-year-old that anyone in the audience had ever seen. I was completely mesmorized and though I've seen the show several times since then, I'll always remember my first. Come to think of it, wasn't "remember your first time" an ad slogan used to promote the show a few years ago? Anyway, it's becoming increasingly difficult for me to decipher my first memories of the show from more recent ones, but I certainly remember the specatacle, from the the Phantom's lair  to the masquarade, and of course the falling chandelier. But above all else, I remember the music and that has lived with me for the past 18 years. I loved to listen to the original cast recording, I believe it was on cassette tape then, and I specifically remember running around my house singing the cadenza to "Think of Me" and the notes above the staff at the end of the title track, because I wanted to be Christine Daae. I was probably the only four year old in my neighborhood who know what a high C was.

While I have come to love many other musicals in my theatre-going career, The Phantom of the Opera will always be my first. And as a singer, I still love singing this score more than anything other piece of music I've ever learned. Though there are surely other musical theatre composers that I admire more, I will always credit Andrew Lloyd Webber with inspiring my love of the musical theatre, which has become for me, a love that never dies.

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