Phantom of the Opera

The Phantom of the Opera
Directed by Harold Prince
Ford Centre for the Performing Arts (Vancouver)
April 30-August 31, 1997


Peter Karrie's powerful and sensational performance as the Opera "ghost" in Phantom of the Opera gave a full-house audience here in Vancouver a show they will never forget! His charisma and stage presence kept the audience in awe throughout the performance. This extraordinary London West End/International singing star has portrayed the lead role of The Phantom for over two years in Toronto at Livent's historic Pantages Theatre, as well as the London West End staging. He was also on tour in Singapore and Hong Kong.

This Andrew Lloyd Webber/Harold Prince international hit, in the words of Livent Inc. Chairman and CEO, Garth H. Drabinsky, was meant for the "very intimate nature and proportions of the Ford Centre in Vancouver because of the emotions, romance, and spectacular staging" that go with this production. And indeed, the spectacle that was the hallmark of The Phantom of the Opera mesmerized us, the spectators, with the chandelier you'd think would fall over our heads, or the pyrotechniques that felt like almost burning the stage, and naturally, the sensation of the underground river where the Phantom takes Christine to his secret hiding place.

The Phantom of the Opera is based on the classic novel by Gaston Leroux, and tells the story of the deformed Phantom lurking beneath the stage of the Paris Opera terrorizing all its occupants. He falls desperately in love with a young soprano, Christine Daae (Teresa de Zarn), and devotes himself to making her a star. However, a rival, the young and handsome Raoul, Vicomte de Chagny (Kip Wilborn) comes in his way. At the end, the human side of the Phantom gives way, and he surrenders Christine to him.

The very touching last scene when Christine kisses the disfigured Phantom to thank him, followed by his painful aria "Music of the Night" as he hears the two lovers singing "All I ask of you" was truly moving. These two songs leave you humming hours after the show.

This magnificent musical is a show that should not be missed. The actors, the production, the venue--all these make The Phantom of the Opera the box office hit it has been for years. --E.Farolan