Archive for September 21st, 2008

Music of the Night

I went to see Phantom of the Opera at the Paramount in Seattle today.  I think this is my 6th time seeing it since it first came out.  I have not seen it for several years now, my last time was in NYC.  I sort of thought at the time: if I ever saw it again, I would wait till I could see it in London.  Yet it came here and my youngest daughter wanted to see it, too, so I could not pass up the opportunity to see my all time favorite musical once again.  It did not disappoint me.  I had tears in my eyes even at the opening auction scene, as the wind up monkey played the first strains of music.  The chandelier though, it seemed smaller now or was it just that I had somehow grown bigger.

Just kidding!

My favorite song, well actually there are two: Music of the Night and Point of No Return.  Music of the Night is the first song that Phantom sings to Christine as he takes the role of the angel of music, her tutor.  Reading it’s lyrical prose now, it’s almost Neville-esque.  Neville speaks of using the imagination to become or claim a thing inwardly and specifically to use this power of the imagination at night, just before slumber.  I’ll include the lyrics to Music of the Night.  There have been changes to the lyrics and a few versions available; this is the version I heard tonight that I include below.

Finally, I came home with a question in mind.  I thought I had it figured out that Raoul was the wheelchair man in the auction scene but I saw in the program the auction scene was only 30 years in the future.  This was a white haired, white bearded man in a wheelchair bidding on the musical monkey.  It couldn’t be Raoul, he would have only been in his 50’s and not just that, that monkey had meaning for the Phantom not for Raoul.  Suddenly I realized it had to have been the Phantom and that was the true healing of the Phantom.  When the Phantom disappeared, he left his mask behind, meaning he left his deformity behind.  He had been transformed through the receiving of Christine’s love and finally in his own acceptance of it.  It had to be the Phantom in the wheelchair.  And I like that ending a lot.  Alas, I came home and did the research and it was Raoul in the wheelchair.  I like my ending better.  As they say, it is my story and I am sticking to it. :)  And, by the way, this was my favorite Phantom, his name is Tewksbury, he was an alternate Phantom.  The voice and acting were impeccable.   So Mr. Alternate Phantom, you were every bit as good as Michael Crawford.  Bravo to you and as always to Andrew Lloyd Weber for creating this true modern day masterpiece.
Love, Bethie

Nighttime sharpens, heightens each sensation
Darkness stirs and wakes imagination
Silently the senses abandon their defenses

Slowly, gently, night unfurls its splendour
Grasp it, sense it, tremulous and tender
Turn your face away from the garish light of day
Turn your face away from cold, unfeeling light
And listen to the music of the night

Close your eyes and surrender to your darkest dreams
Leave all thoughts of the world you knew before
Close your eyes, let your spirit start to soar
And you’ll live as you’ve never lived before

Softly, deftly, music shall caress you
Hear it, feel it, secretly possess you
Open up your mind, let your fantasies unwind
In this darkness which you know you cannot fight
The darkness of the music of the night

Let your mind start a journey through a strange, new world
Leave all thoughts of the world you knew before
Let your soul take you where you long to go
Only then can you belong to me

Floating, falling, sweet intoxication
Touch me, trust me, savour each sensation
Let the dream begin, let your darker side give in
To the harmony which dreams alone can write
The power of the music of the night

You alone can make my song take flight
Help me make the music of the night

Song:  Music of the Night
Music: Andrew Lloyd Webber
Lyrics: Charles Hart

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