A/V Room









The Phantom of the Opera OST

Review by Lizzie Guilfoyle

IT'S ONE thing listening to a soundtrack while watching the film, quite another matter hearing it unaccompanied. For it's only then that its merits - or flaws - can be truly appreciated.

Phantom of the Opera, the original soundtrack to Joel Schumacher's lavish screen adaptation of what is probably Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber's most successful musical, is no exception. So, how does it fare?

Taking on the principal roles of Phantom, Christine and Raoul are Gerard Butler, Emmy Rossum and Patrick Wilson and although not quite to the standard set by Michael Crawford, Sarah Brightman and Steve Barton of the original London cast recording, (and comparisons are inevitable), they nonetheless, acquit themselves admirably.

Rossum, in particular, is a fine soprano, having trained at the Metropolitan Opera from the age of seven.

Of the three, though, it's Butler's voice that is the least conventional. At times, it almost rasps - a word I'm reluctant to use as it could, so easily, suggest a dissonance that doesn't, in fact, exist.

What it does, is work very much to his advantage by emphasizing the character's piteous despair and downward spiral to insanity. And because what works on stage, doesn't necessarily work on screen, his singing is quieter, thereby underlining the emotion still further.

But it's all here - the long-ago hits, All I Ask Of You and The Music of the Night, as well as new sequences, Madame Giry's Tale/The Fairground and The Swordfight. Even Minnie Driver gets to sing - her role of Italian diva, Carlotta, was in fact, voiced by professional opera singer, Margaret Preece - in Learn To Be Lonely, which was introduced over the end credits.

I think it's fair to say that Lloyd Webber's music is either loved or hated. If then, you're inclined to the latter, forget the soundtrack. Obviously, it isn't for you. On the other hand, if the former applies and you enjoyed the film, it's just perfect.







Track Listing

Disc: 1
1. Prologue
2. Overture/Hannibal
3. Think Of Me
4. Angel Of Music
5. Little Lotte/The Mirror (Angel Of Music)
6. The Phantom Of The Opera
7. The Music Of The Night
8. Magical Lasso
9. I Remember/Stranger Than You Dreamt It
10. Notes…/Prima Donna
11. Poor Fool, He Makes Me Laugh
12. Why Have You Brought Me Here/Raoul I’ve Been There
13. All I Ask Of You
14. All I Ask Of You (Reprise)

Disc: 2
1. Masquerade/Why So Silent
2. Madame Giry’s Tale/The Fairground
3. Journey To The Cemetery
4. Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again
5. Wandering Child
6. The Swordfight
7. We Have All Been Blind
8. Don Juan
9. The Point Of No Return/Chandelier Crash
10. Down Once More/Track Down This Murderer
11. Learn To Be Lonely

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