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Comparing the Movie Soundtrack, the London Soundtrack, and the Canadian Soundtrack


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I have the POTO soundtrack from the 2004 movie, the highlights from the Original Cast Recording (with Michael Crawford, Sarah Brightman, and Steve Barton), and the highlights from the Original Canadian Cast (with Colm Wilkinson, Rebecca Caine, and Byron Nease). I did not care much for Michael Crawford’s voice. He sounded too feminine to play the role of the Phantom. Steve Barton sounded much more masculine. Crawford also sounded annoying to my ears whenever he tried to sound haunting and mysterious. His “Music of the Night” wasn’t so hard on the ears, but Gerry put much more emotion into his “Music of the Night.” Crawford seemed to kind of rush through the song, while Gerry took the time to put extra feeling on the words he was singing. I liked Sarah’s voice better than Michael’s, but Emmy Rossum beat Sarah out in singing. I liked Steve Barton’s voice the most out of the three, but I still prefer Patrick Wilson over him. Maybe I’m just use to Raoul sounding more feminine than the Phantom, but Steve Barton (God rest his soul) was much better sounding on my ears than either Michael or Sarah, and I liked Steve Barton better than Byron Nease from the Canadian Cast (even though Byron Nease’s voice was nice in its own right, just not as captivating as either Patrick’s or Steve Barton’s). Even though Rebecca Caine was too old to play the role of Christine, her voice was a great improvement over Sarah’s voice. I liked how Rebecca carried the “of” in “Think of Me.” I also liked how Rebecca ended “Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again” with her last “goodbye,” even though overall I liked Emmy’s version of this song over Rebecca’s. I liked how Rebecca delivered some of her lines in the final lair number, even though I could barely hear her over Colm. Then again, Gerry was louder than Emmy in the final lair scenes as well. Rebecca voice’s was more trained than Emmy’s, but Emmy is still has a wonderful voice for her young age. Also, of the three versions I’ve heard of “All I Ask of You,” I like Patrick’s and Emmy’s the most. And Patrick’s voice was so angelic it would seem fitting to suddenly see a little halo appear around his head when he’s singing in POTO, lol.

Colm was much better sounding than Michael. Like Michael, he can carry notes longer than Gerry (but that’s the only thing Michael has over Gerry, and Colm carried some of the notes longer than Michael did). When Michael was singing the opening part for “The Mirror” scene, I wanted to laugh. It just didn’t flow as well as Gerry’s delivery. Gerry’s delivery of the opening part in “The Mirror”: scene flowed better than Colm’s as well. The “triumph” part just didn’t come out as right for either Michael or Colm as it did for Gerry. Colm sounded much more masculine, and he had more emotion in his singing than Michael did. Colm sounded harsh in the right points. Listening to some of Colm’s versions of the song, I wish that Gerry had some more time to get his voice better so that he could have carried some of the notes longer. However, Gerry’s and Emmy’s “Point of No Return” outdid Colm’s and Rebecca’s “Point of No Return.” Gerry and Emmy just had what it took to make that song sound truly seductive and passionate. Gerry also brought more sadness to his Phantom than Colm did. Even though Colm had emotion for his Phantom much more than Michael did, I think Gerry brought even more emotion. Gerry’s Phantom was both sinister and sympathetic, while neither Michael nor Colm brought that sympathetic feeling to me (even though Colm brought a more sinister feeling than Michael did). I wonder if sometimes Gerry didn’t carry the notes as long because he was more concerned about the emotion behind the song; I don’t really know much about singing; I just enjoy listening to it. Also, both Michael and Colm got so whiny sounding at points that it was slightly annoying (especially Colm in the final lair scene when he told Christine and Raoul to leave him). Gerry, however, was able to sound sad and pitiable without sounding whiny (a very good thing in my book).

I wish Gerry had been given some more time to train his voice (there‘s just no getting over the fact that both Michael and Colm carried the “night“ in the final lair scene much much longer than Gerry did, but maybe Gerry was too busy thinking that he had to break some mirrors in this scene, lol), but Gerry’s Phantom is still my favorite of the three I have heard so far. His intense emotion in his singing did it for me. The only advantage that either Michael or Colm have over Gerry is their ability to carry notes longer. However, it must be taken into consideration that Gerry is not a staged trained singer (and he did exceptional well despite that limitation), and that Gerry was about 10 to 12 years younger than either Michael or Colm when he did the role of the Phantom (Michael was 46, Colm was 42, Gerry was 32, 33, or something like that). That same thing has to be taken into consideration when comparing Emmy to either Sarah or Rebecca. However, Emmy gave her Christine a more innocent sound than either Sarah or Rebecca, and Emmy sounded more youthful (which makes sense for the role of Christine). Gerry’s voice also fitted the Phantom. Michael and Colm were more operatic sounding, and even though Colm did make his Phantom sound harsh; there’s just something about Gerry’s voice that really fits the Phantom (there‘s really not enough words to explain it). Also, it makes sense for the Phantom not to have staged trained sounding voice. Yes, the Phantom spent most of his life under the opera house, but he was never professional trained; he taught himself. Gerry’s voice gives us that feeling, even though I am satisfied with a stage trained voice singing the role of the Phantom as long as that person gives his Phantom some emotion. Maybe I’m so use to Gerry’s voice that I like the way that it sounds over Michael’s or Colm’s (not counting the ability to carry notes long). Also, I liked Gerry’s delivery of the final lair scenes the most out of the three Phantoms. Gerry’s voice made his Phantom sound the most insane out of the three. Gerry truly sounded like he had lost all sense of reason.

The order in which I liked the Phantoms:

1. Gerry

2. Colm

3. Michael

The order in which I liked the Christines:

1. Emmy (her less mature voice just fitted the role better)

2. Rebecca (I wouldn’t mind hearing her voice again in another musical, like Colm had more emotion than Michael, Rebecca had more emotion than Sarah)

3. Sarah

The order in which I liked the Raouls:

1. Patrick

2. Steve Barton

3. Byron Nease

More notes: I liked Jennifer Ellison’s voice over the woman who sang for Meg in the London casting, even though that woman did have a good scream in the “Down Once More” number. I also liked some of the background music better from the London and Canadian recordings than I did from the movie recordings. I liked the music that was used to begin Phantom’s and Christine’s “Phantom of the Opera” in the London and Canadian version better than what was used for the movie version. Also, the music was much more dynamic and thrilling in the London’s version of “The Mirror” than it was in the movie version. I also liked the drumbeats in the London and Canadian version of “Point of No Return,” those drumbeats added some extra intensity to that song, but Gerry and Emmy did the best job performing this song. However, the recording flowed better in the movie version in the songs “Prima Donna” and “Down Once More” than it did for these songs in the London version.

I especially like the fact that in the movie version there is a big difference between the Phantom’s voice and Raoul’s voice. You can easily tell them apart.

Edited by gerran
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I have to go with "none of the above."

For me, the best is the Swedish Cast Recording...and this is coming from someone who doesn't speak or understand a word of Swedish.

The orchestrations are simply splendid. Clear and gorgeous and they really capture the feel of being there live, minus the sounds of the audience.

Mikael Samuelsson is tied for second place (with Jeff Keller) for me when it comes to favorite Phantoms. There's something very powerful and simply compelling about his "Music of the Night." Elisabeth Berg is probably the best Christine I have ever heard. A beautiful, pure-sounding soprano...her cadenza at the end of the title song is wonderful and her "Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again" is simply exquisite. The weak point is Raoul...his name escapes me right now and, of the various recordings, his Raoul is my least favorite.

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I haven't got any foreign recordings from POTO, but if I was to ever see one, I would get it if I had the money for it. You are a harsh critic, lol. Maybe one day I will be able to see POTO performed on stage; I really would love that.

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I own both the Original London Cast Recording and the Movie version. I like both. Being a Phantom fan for almost 20 years now I of course originally heard the songs sung by Sarah Brightman and Michael Crawford. I love both of them and they will always be the original Christine and Phantom to me. I think Michael has an amazing haunting voice and Sarah was great as Christine. Their version of the song "Phantom of the Opera" is the best to me.

However having said that I do like the movie version as well. I love Gerard's version of Music of the Night and Point of No Return. I also think Emmy is fantastic in the low notes of Point of No Return. However, I still think the Sarah and Michael version of Phantom of the Opera (the title song) is far superior and it also keeps the additional verse in. I just don't think Emmy and Gerard's version of that song is that great.

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With all due respect, gerran, you have every right to your opinions. but I find most of what you say offensive to this long time Phantom fan.

I have seen Michael Crawford in person, and he was brilliant as the Phantom. He is not feminine, he was key to the success of the original stage production, and he poured his heart and soul into that role.

I love Colm Wilkinson as Jean Valjean in "Les Miz", but Michael is to the stage production of "Phantom", as Colm is to "Les Miz".

I give Gerry his due. He was good in the movie, but we can appreciate his contribution without dissing stage performers whose vocal challenges of nightly performances are much more than holding notes longer than a movie actor's songs mixed in a studio.

End of rant.

Edited by barberry
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I'm not saying that Michael can't sing, but I just didn't prefer his style of singing, just like many people didn't prefer Sarah's form of singing. I'm not trying to offend anyone. People have what they like and don't like. And no, Gerry wasn't perfect, but professional singers aren't either. I'm sure the stage singers sound better in person, but I wouldn't know, haven't had the chance yet to see a stage production. On the topic of the Orginal London Cast, there is so much talk about Michael and Sarah but not enough due is given to Steve Barton (I loved his voice).

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I have to go with "none of the above."

For me, the best is the Swedish Cast Recording...and this is coming from someone who doesn't speak or understand a word of Swedish.

The orchestrations are simply splendid. Clear and gorgeous and they really capture the feel of being there live, minus the sounds of the audience.

Mikael Samuelsson is tied for second place (with Jeff Keller) for me when it comes to favorite Phantoms. There's something very powerful and simply compelling about his "Music of the Night." Elisabeth Berg is probably the best Christine I have ever heard. A beautiful, pure-sounding soprano...her cadenza at the end of the title song is wonderful and her "Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again" is simply exquisite. The weak point is Raoul...his name escapes me right now and, of the various recordings, his Raoul is my least favorite.

PANAROPHILE -

WONDERING IF YOU COULD POSSIBLY HELP ME ???

I AM LOOKING FOR A SPANISH VERSION OF POTO

( THE MUSIC IF NOT THE FILM VERSION )

FOR MY NEIGHBOR FOR XMAS - WOULD YOU KNOW

IF IT IS AVAILABLE ???

THANKS FOR YOUR HELP

DLSPBS - PAT

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Well, I'm not one to give any expert opinion on this really. I was just bored and looking for something to post on. But here's my two cents. I saw the stage version at the Majestic in New York City this year. That's what got me started on being a phan. It was wonderful albeit to hear everything one would have to be closer to the stage. (whoa, dog just farted in office). I'm back now. Anyway, I bought the movie and appreciated the POTO even more, especially when I became smitten with our boy Gerry. That was something I hadn't expected! Anyway, in my two disk set of the movie, it gives the making of POTO on stage and the movie. It's unfair to compare the singers who sing live, of course, to the ones singing in the movie, however, having said that I think they did wonderful jobs because the disk revealed their auditions. Even in the movie, Gerry's voice was digitally enhanced to hold the long notes, hence the scene where Christine is lying on the Swan bed and he is singing the last line of Music of the night. ALW did not allow anyone to have a dubbed over voice in the movie except Minnie Rider's Carlotta. Everything else was done by each actor. I think Gerry did fantastic for having no formal vocal training other than some voice coaching for the movie. Of course, you can fix things in a movie or on a recording that you can't fix live. I don't care. It's wonderful entertainment! That's it's intent after all, isn't it? Job well done, in my unqualified estimation, for stage or screen! I'm hoping that ALW brings his sequel to POTO to the screen again, I guess would depend on it's stage success, and I hope Gerry takes the role of the Phantom!

D

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OK, I usually try to keep my dog out of this fight, but I think I need to add my 2 cents. I tried to keep out of this thread since it can get very heated.

As always these are my opinions, and not meant as a slight to any fan and/or performer.

Here goes.

I have heard TOLC of Phantom for years. It was this particular rendition that kept me from seeing any regional productions and the 2004 movie. To me, Sarah Brightman's voice is too piercing, and Michael Crawford's was not 'manly' enough. Now, I have heard from people who have seen Mr. Crawford and said that his actions while singing were very primal and sexy. I unfortunatly won't ever get the chance to see him perform.

While I do like MC's voice singing other things, he just doesn't do it for me as Erik.

Warner Bros. did not promote Phantom where I live, there for I never saw a commercial for the film. If I had...well, let's just say, it wouldn't have taken me until the DVD to discover, for me, the only man who's voice will ever do.

On a related topic; I did see the production in Vegas (thanks to Susan Sporran for including me) in '07 and enjoyed it very much. Anthony Crivello was (again) to me very good as Erik.

Hope I didn't step too hard on any toes :wuv:

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I would suggest to those who continue to describe Michael Crawford's voice as feminine, whiny, or not " manly", that those terms are insulting.

It is not my wish to convert anyone who does not appreciate MC, but making comparisons which tear down one person to elevate another are unfortunate.

I can assure you from personally hearing, watching, and meeting Michael numerous times, that he does not have a "sissy" bone in his body. His voice in the theater was unbelievably powerful and spellbinding. His body movements were seductive and expressive. The original stage recording is a classic.

It is possible to prefer one singer over the other, and I liked Gerry's version. However, a deep voice is not automatically more masculine than a tenor voice. Patrick Wilson, an outstanding tenor, was my favorite voice in the movie. I also agree that Steve Barton was a fabulous singer. There is room to appreciate all the Phantoms, on their own merits, rather than based on someone else's perceived shortcomings.

Edited to add: In my experience, there is no Erik in Andrew Lloyd Webber's version. He is always referred to as Phantom.

Edited by barberry
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I would suggest to those who continue to describe Michael Crawford's voice as feminine, whiny, or not " manly", that those terms are insulting.

It is not my wish to convert anyone who does not appreciate MC, but making comparisons which tear down one person to elevate another are unfortunate.

I like I prefaced my post, these are my opinions. We all hear things differently. But that does not make one right or the other wrong, just different. They are not meant as insulting or to 'tear anyone down'. I likewise, am not trying to convert anyone. I am just speaking my point of view.

I can assure you from personally hearing, watching, and meeting Michael numerous times, that he does not have a "sissy" bone in his body. His voice in the theater was unbelievably powerful and spellbinding. His body movements were seductive and expressive. The original stage recording is a classic.

I never said he was a "sissy". That is your word not mine. And like I said before, I was told that his performance in person was very differnt than on the album.

It is possible to prefer one singer over the other, and I liked Gerry's version. However, a deep voice is not automatically more masculine than a tenor voice. Patrick Wilson, an outstanding tenor, was my favorite voice in the movie. I also agree that Steve Barton was a fabulous singer. There is room to appreciate all the Phantoms, on their own merits, rather than based on someone else's perceived shortcomings.

You and I agree here. Yes it is possible to prefer one singer over another. That is why there are so many different singers out there. To each his own. I have only heard small snippets of Steve Barton, therefore I have no opinion on him. I do appreciate various singers. I have a varied and eclectic taste in music. And like I said before I liked MC singing other parts, just not Erik.

Edited to add: In my experience, there is no Erik in Andrew Lloyd Webber's version. He is always referred to as Phantom.

There I have to disagree. In ALW his name was not mentioned but that does not negate the fact that that is his name.

Deb~ Erik's Steadfast Warrior, Protector of the Master's Ring, Writer of Love Letters

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Calling a man "unmanly" is more than an opinion, Knight Phantom. You don't have to say "sissy" to imply it.

Erik was a character in the book, not in the ALW version, but it is not worth arguing about. I can see that the Erik name is important to you.

I have nothing more to say on this subject at this time. I admire Michael, his talent, his charitable efforts (which have been considerable), and his generosity towards his fans, which I have seen up close. He deserves respect, as do we all.

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PANAROPHILE -

WONDERING IF YOU COULD POSSIBLY HELP ME ???

I AM LOOKING FOR A SPANISH VERSION OF POTO

( THE MUSIC IF NOT THE FILM VERSION )

FOR MY NEIGHBOR FOR XMAS - WOULD YOU KNOW

IF IT IS AVAILABLE ???

THANKS FOR YOUR HELP

DLSPBS - PAT

They never released a Spanish film soundtrack. There is, however, a Spanish-language edition of the stage version...the Mexican cast recording with Juan Navarro as the Phantom.

http://www.amazon.com/Fantasma-Opera-Mexic...4036&sr=8-1

My additional two cents on the various recordings...

The Original London Cast Recording was my introduction to Phantom. Michael Crawford and Sarah Brightman were responsible for what is now twenty years of love for this musical. I loved both of their voices, as well as the music and the story. When I first heard it - I was fourteen when it was released and my English teacher played it for us - I thought it was the most amazing thing I'd ever heard. Interestingly enough, when I was younger, I did not care for Steve Barton's voice at all. I didn't dislike Raoul or anything...just his voice didn't impress me. Now, however, Steve (may he rest in peace) is my favorite part of the OLCR.

(It was my early love of Phantom that also lead to my very strong interest in "Les Miserables" - I knew nothing of it until I heard Michael Crawford sing "Bring Him Home" on his first solo album. When the 1st National Tour came here a few months later, I begged to go see it. It was one of the most powerful stories and I had a rather big crush on the young actor who played Marius. Three summers ago, I met that Marius...Hugh Panaro...as the Phantom and, this summer, had the joy of seeing him as Jean Valjean.)

Unable to get tickets to see Phantom on Broadway with the original cast, I did have the chance to see Michael Crawford live in concert. It was a wonderful show, though hearing him sing "The Music of The Night" live didn't meet my expectations and it was his version of "Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again" that was the high point of the performance, vocally and emotionally.

Somewhere along the line, I got the Canadian Cast Recording. I was looking forward to hearing it because I liked Colm Wilkinson on the Les Miz cast recordings and loved his rendition of "Anthem" from "Chess." I did not, however, like him at all as the Phantom and, to this day, he remains one of my least favorite stage Phantoms, along with Robert Guillaume, Paul Stanley (yes, that Paul Stanley), and the current Broadway Phantom, Howard McGillin.

At some point, I put my interest in Phantom on the backburner. I never lost my love of it, but I had other things on my mind. I grew up, took down my Phantom poster from my bedroom wall, misplaced my silver mask pin. Once in a while, I'd come across my OLCR or hear a version of MOTN on the radio and I'd smile. But that was about it.

By the time the movie was released, it had been a very long, long time since I'd heard it at all. So the movie soundtrack had, at first, a very fresh sound for me. I will admit that, even at first, I did not like Emmy Rossum's voice at all. I'm not well-versed (no pun intended) in music...I tease Hugh that I'm as musically illiterate as he is computer illiterate...but I really found her voice to have a thin, colorless lack of character.

It wasn't until a few months AFTER the movie's release that I finally saw the show love on Broadway. After that, the OLCR, Canadian, and movie recordings were completely eclipsed for me. Since then, I've seen the show over two dozen times and heard numerous recordings (yes, bootlegs) and discovered Phantoms, Christines, Raouls, and Carlottas that I greatly prefer to those on the commercially available recordings...Hugh Panaro, Jeff Keller, James Romick, Susan Owen, Kris Koop, Julie Hanson, Michael Shawn Lewis, Jim Weitzer, Anne Runolfsson, Patricia Phillips.

Back to Michael Crawford before I shut up (and I can ramble about Phantom for hours)...he is not my favorite Phantom by a long shot. I do, however, still like him and I have great, great respect for his work in originating the stage role. But I've never found his voice to be unmanly, effeminate, girly, or any of the many other adjectives I've heard used since the movie was released. His voice is higher and lighter in tone than Gerry's and I can understand why some people prefer one to the other and some people enjoy both.

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Thanks Panarophile for covering so many bases.

That is Steve Barton as Raoul? Wow, didn't know that. I'll have to give him a listen.

I had heard that the Canadian cast was one to look for. Does anyone know where it can be found? (I am a true Gutter GAL, too lazy to look it up!) I've also heard about a German cast. Anyone here heard it?

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This is a topic that most people should just agree to disagree on. Everyone has different tastes in just about everything. These are just personal opinions and it is too bad that some are then taken personally or insulting when they were never meant as that from what I read.

BG...Before Gerry, Michael was the Phantom for me and I was sad that he wasn't going to get the roll and I had no intention of seeing the movie. Then I learned that it was Gerry getting the role, then I knew I had to go. This is no insult to Michael, I still love his voice, but Gerry's voice touched me unlike any other. I need him now when I am off decorative painting somewhere, his is the voice that inspires me. It is the voice that still makes me weep when he weeps. When I listened to Michaels version I didn't feel that. No, it isn't because his voice is unmanly, again I love his voice he was my first Phantom, but since Gerry, Michael doesn't touch me the same way. AGAIN PERSONAL OPINION. In other things Michael is one of the best and can even still bring a tear to my eye, just not as Erik.

Now I guess it is time to hit the streets and find all these other version out there.

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Thanks Panarophile for covering so many bases.

That is Steve Barton as Raoul? Wow, didn't know that. I'll have to give him a listen.

You're more than welcome.

Yes, Steve originated the role of Raoul in both London and NYC, then later played The Phantom himself for a time. I don't care for his "Music of the Night." I find it a little too overpowering. But his Final Lair was excellent and his sobbed "I love you" was heartbreaking. He also suffered a serious injury as The Phantom, falling through the trap door at the end of the Red Death scene.

On a random side note, there are few recordings out there of Steve. He died about five or six years ago after a long struggle with bi-polar disorder. A real loss - I've talked to people who knew him (Hugh did "The Red Shoes" with him very, very briefly) and have heard nothing but respect and love for a talented, troubled man.

One of his final recordings was a simple, beautiful song called "Simply Flying" and it was featured on a memorial album recorded by some of his peers after his death. Hard to find on CD, but worth it. It was also featured in a little fan video...

I had heard that the Canadian cast was one to look for. Does anyone know where it can be found? (I am a true Gutter GAL, too lazy to look it up!) I've also heard about a German cast. Anyone here heard it?

Amazon.com usually has the Canadian cast recording. There's also a site - soundofmusic.de whic is based in Germany and has an INCREDIBLE selection of foreign cast albums, including the Japanese, Hungarian, Swedish, Korean, Mexican, and other versions of Phantom.

There are two German language stage recordings...the Vienna and the Hamburg casts. It's been a while since I've heard either, but my German-speaking friends always recommend the Vienna cast.

On a related note, a few years ago, a number of former and current Broadway Phantoms recorded an album to benefit Broadway Cares Equity Fights AIDS. It's a great little CD with the various Phantoms singing non-Phantom songs.

My favorite tracks on it include Gary Mauer's "This Is The Moment" from "Jekyll & Hyde," Brad Little's "Forever From Here," and Ted Keegan's "Marianne." But the one I especially love is Hugh's recording of "You're Already There." It's a lovely little song that he sings beautifully and it's the song that made me fall in love with his voice.

Michael Crawford's track, "Charlies," is a bit of a let-down...I know die-hard Crawford fans who hate it.

It also includes a posthumously released recording of "Night And Day" by Steve Barton...a rare chance to hear him.

Broadway's Fabulous Phantoms

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O.K. all I have is the Original Cast with Micheal Crawford and Sarah Brightman and the Sound Track from the movie Gerry is in. I have also been watching the movie pretty regularly in French as we thought it would be good for our grandson who insists his Mommy play Mask his name for POTO and Erik in the car all the time and she plays the version with Gerry.

Of all of those I have to say I prefer Gerard's version.

That is my opinion.

Edited by JustCallMeTracy
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PANAROPHILE -

WONDERING IF YOU COULD POSSIBLY HELP ME ???

I AM LOOKING FOR A SPANISH VERSION OF POTO

( THE MUSIC IF NOT THE FILM VERSION )

FOR MY NEIGHBOR FOR XMAS - WOULD YOU KNOW

IF IT IS AVAILABLE ???

THANKS FOR YOUR HELP

DLSPBS - PAT

They never released a Spanish film soundtrack. There is, however, a Spanish-language edition of the stage version...the Mexican cast recording with Juan Navarro as the Phantom.

http://www.amazon.com/Fantasma-Opera-Mexic...4036&sr=8-1

My additional two cents on the various recordings...

The Original London Cast Recording was my introduction to Phantom. Michael Crawford and Sarah Brightman were responsible for what is now twenty years of love for this musical. I loved both of their voices, as well as the music and the story. When I first heard it - I was fourteen when it was released and my English teacher played it for us - I thought it was the most amazing thing I'd ever heard. Interestingly enough, when I was younger, I did not care for Steve Barton's voice at all. I didn't dislike Raoul or anything...just his voice didn't impress me. Now, however, Steve (may he rest in peace) is my favorite part of the OLCR.

(It was my early love of Phantom that also lead to my very strong interest in "Les Miserables" - I knew nothing of it until I heard Michael Crawford sing "Bring Him Home" on his first solo album. When the 1st National Tour came here a few months later, I begged to go see it. It was one of the most powerful stories and I had a rather big crush on the young actor who played Marius. Three summers ago, I met that Marius...Hugh Panaro...as the Phantom and, this summer, had the joy of seeing him as Jean Valjean.)

Unable to get tickets to see Phantom on Broadway with the original cast, I did have the chance to see Michael Crawford live in concert. It was a wonderful show, though hearing him sing "The Music of The Night" live didn't meet my expectations and it was his version of "Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again" that was the high point of the performance, vocally and emotionally.

Somewhere along the line, I got the Canadian Cast Recording. I was looking forward to hearing it because I liked Colm Wilkinson on the Les Miz cast recordings and loved his rendition of "Anthem" from "Chess." I did not, however, like him at all as the Phantom and, to this day, he remains one of my least favorite stage Phantoms, along with Robert Guillaume, Paul Stanley (yes, that Paul Stanley), and the current Broadway Phantom, Howard McGillin.

At some point, I put my interest in Phantom on the backburner. I never lost my love of it, but I had other things on my mind. I grew up, took down my Phantom poster from my bedroom wall, misplaced my silver mask pin. Once in a while, I'd come across my OLCR or hear a version of MOTN on the radio and I'd smile. But that was about it.

By the time the movie was released, it had been a very long, long time since I'd heard it at all. So the movie soundtrack had, at first, a very fresh sound for me. I will admit that, even at first, I did not like Emmy Rossum's voice at all. I'm not well-versed (no pun intended) in music...I tease Hugh that I'm as musically illiterate as he is computer illiterate...but I really found her voice to have a thin, colorless lack of character.

It wasn't until a few months AFTER the movie's release that I finally saw the show love on Broadway. After that, the OLCR, Canadian, and movie recordings were completely eclipsed for me. Since then, I've seen the show over two dozen times and heard numerous recordings (yes, bootlegs) and discovered Phantoms, Christines, Raouls, and Carlottas that I greatly prefer to those on the commercially available recordings...Hugh Panaro, Jeff Keller, James Romick, Susan Owen, Kris Koop, Julie Hanson, Michael Shawn Lewis, Jim Weitzer, Anne Runolfsson, Patricia Phillips.

Back to Michael Crawford before I shut up (and I can ramble about Phantom for hours)...he is not my favorite Phantom by a long shot. I do, however, still like him and I have great, great respect for his work in originating the stage role. But I've never found his voice to be unmanly, effeminate, girly, or any of the many other adjectives I've heard used since the movie was released. His voice is higher and lighter in tone than Gerry's and I can understand why some people prefer one to the other and some people enjoy both.

THANK YOU PANAROPHILE - I KNEW IF ANYONE WOULD KNOW IT WOULD BE YOU !!!

BTW - I WAS PRIVY LAST YEAR TO SEE MICHAEL CRAWFORD IN CHICAGO

AT THE GRAND RE-OPENING OF THE OLD SCHUBERT THEATRE

NOW RE-NAMED THE BANK OF AMERICA THEATRE. IT WAS A ONE-NIGHT ONLY PERFORMANCE

AND HE PERFORMED 4 PHANTOM SONGS.

IN MY OPINION ONLY !!!

MICHAEL CRAWFORD WAS PERFECTION PERSONIFIED

AND TOTALLY DUE ALL THE ACCLAIM AFFORDED HIM !!!

BUT AND I ALWAYS INCLUDE THIS BUT ---

GERARD BUTLER INFUSED THE PHANTOM WITH PASSION !!!

DLSPBS - PAT :phantom2:

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I have also been watching the movie pretty regularly in French as we thought it would be good for our grandson who insists his Mommy play Mask his name for POTO and Erik in the car all the time and she plays the version with Gerry.

I was pretty eager to hear the French dub of the film since I speak and read French pretty well and because there's no French stage recording. I have to admit I didn't care for it at all. I never even finished it.

I did, however, love the Italian dub with Luca Velletri. And, while I generally dislike Uwe Kroger (except as Death" in the musical "Elisabeth"), I liked him on the German film dub.

Whew! I feel like I just walked in to a Star Trek convention! "Alas, all ye Trekkies, long live and prosper, or whatever! Now, Scotty beam me the fook outta here!"

D

I'll admit I'm a very hardcore Phantom fan (and a Mizzie, as the "Les Miserables" fans are called...and a general Broadway fan), but I'm by no means the most intense. I know many, many "phans" who are even more hardcore!

:D

DLSPBS, glad to help!

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  • 1 month later...

PERSONAL OPINION ALERT - THESE ARE MINE!

I saw Michael Crawford as the Phantom in L.A. in 1989 and I loved his voice, but can't say that he made me love his Phantom. I did buy the recording he made of other Broadway tunes and I adored his "Bring Him Home" from Les Miz - I could (and did) listen to it over and over again. I felt that song truly works with his high clear tenor voice. I also got to see him do a live show of both Phantom and other music several years ago and he is a wonderful showman and I enjoyed the show immensely.

I've been lucky enough to see a few live Phantoms, I really liked Ted Keegan when he did the tour a few years ago. I've seen it on Broadway (from 4th row center, amazing seats) with Howard McGillan, in Boston with Gary Mauer (he was my least favorite Phantom because he was too melodramatic for me) and I thoroughly enjoyed the Vegas show with Anthony Crivello. I was bummed that Hugh Panaro had just left the role on Broadway the month before I got to see it there - it was my first ever experience seeing a Broadway show actually on Broadway (and I've been a fan of Broadway musicals since I was a child).

ALW's music for Phantom captured my heart from the first time I heard it 20+ years ago, but it was Gerry's performance that captured my heart for the character of the Phantom. Did he have the best voice, probably not - there are parts where his voice is obviously straining, especially in the title song. But I try not to compare the film to the stage version because there are so many differences, the film version was able to infuse a level of emotion and passion that I never quite felt on stage. Some of it was due to the intimacy of a close up camera and some of it was due to Gerry's emotional connection to the part which shines through. I also love Emmy as Christine - I always disliked the older Christines and I've seen some performances where I could hear almost no difference at all between the Christine and the Carlotta. Patrick Wilson has an incredible voice and I am one of those who could actually see a real competition between his Raoul and Gerry's Phantom for Christine's heart. I've heard other Raouls with amazing voices as well, and probably am less critical of the Raouls than of the Phantoms and Christines I've seen.

I don't have any of the cast recordings of POTO, though I do have clips from them on other recordings of Andrew Lloyd Webber music. I don't have anything to compare various casts except those I've seen myself.

As for previous contentions that some are being disrespectful - I don't think saying that someone's voice doesn't sound manly enough for a person's taste is the same thing as calling the actor who possesses the voice unmanly, sissy, or anything else disrespectful. We are ALL entitled to an opinion and not everyone likes the high tenor of Michael Crawford just like a great many didn't like Gerry's more rock-type voice. I don't see that anything that anyone has said here about other Phantoms comes anywhere close to the level of vitriol that was heaped on Gerry's performance elsewhere by far too many. We do have to be able to accept that personal taste dictates how we feel about any particular actor's voice or performance and we aren't all going to like the same. Just because someone doesn't like Michael Crawford's voice, or Gerry's voice, or Emmy's voice. doesn't mean they have anything against the actors themselves, and most have said they are comparing based solely on hearing the other recordings which doesn't give the added dimension of having seen the performances.

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PERSONAL OPINION ALERT - THESE ARE MINE!

:funnyup:Love that Susan! I may have to steal it!!

I saw Michael Crawford as the Phantom in L.A. in 1989 and I loved his voice, but can't say that he made me love his Phantom. I did buy the recording he made of other Broadway tunes and I adored his "Bring Him Home" from Les Miz - I could (and did) listen to it over and over again. I felt that song truly works with his high clear tenor voice. I also got to see him do a live show of both Phantom and other music several years ago and he is a wonderful showman and I enjoyed the show immensely.

I've been lucky enough to see a few live Phantoms, I really liked Ted Keegan when he did the tour a few years ago. I've seen it on Broadway (from 4th row center, amazing seats) with Howard McGillan, in Boston with Gary Mauer (he was my least favorite Phantom because he was too melodramatic for me) and I thoroughly enjoyed the Vegas show with Anthony Crivello. I was bummed that Hugh Panaro had just left the role on Broadway the month before I got to see it there - it was my first ever experience seeing a Broadway show actually on Broadway (and I've been a fan of Broadway musicals since I was a child).

ALW's music for Phantom captured my heart from the first time I heard it 20+ years ago, but it was Gerry's performance that captured my heart for the character of the Phantom. Did he have the best voice, probably not - there are parts where his voice is obviously straining, especially in the title song. But I try not to compare the film to the stage version because there are so many differences, the film version was able to infuse a level of emotion and passion that I never quite felt on stage. Some of it was due to the intimacy of a close up camera and some of it was due to Gerry's emotional connection to the part which shines through. I also love Emmy as Christine - I always disliked the older Christines and I've seen some performances where I could hear almost no difference at all between the Christine and the Carlotta. Patrick Wilson has an incredible voice and I am one of those who could actually see a real competition between his Raoul and Gerry's Phantom for Christine's heart. I've heard other Raouls with amazing voices as well, and probably am less critical of the Raouls than of the Phantoms and Christines I've seen.

I don't have any of the cast recordings of POTO, though I do have clips from them on other recordings of Andrew Lloyd Webber music. I don't have anything to compare various casts except those I've seen myself.

As for previous contentions that some are being disrespectful - I don't think saying that someone's voice doesn't sound manly enough for a person's taste is the same thing as calling the actor who possesses the voice unmanly, sissy, or anything else disrespectful. We are ALL entitled to an opinion and not everyone likes the high tenor of Michael Crawford just like a great many didn't like Gerry's more rock-type voice. I don't see that anything that anyone has said here about other Phantoms comes anywhere close to the level of vitriol that was heaped on Gerry's performance elsewhere by far too many. We do have to be able to accept that personal taste dictates how we feel about any particular actor's voice or performance and we aren't all going to like the same. Just because someone doesn't like Michael Crawford's voice, or Gerry's voice, or Emmy's voice. doesn't mean they have anything against the actors themselves, and most have said they are comparing based solely on hearing the other recordings which doesn't give the added dimension of having seen the performances.

Well said! :ty:

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