A cold and blustery weekend, I snuggled with a pumpkin spice latte and watched the 25th anniversary staged production/celebration of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera filmed at the Royal Albert Hall. I enjoyed it immensely.
The misfortune in this popular tragedy has a way of lingering. Again I questioned Christine Daaé, the phantom’s obsession and star pupil, in her final choice. Had I been her, would I pick the sweet, stable, predicable, vanilla, pretty boy, Raoul, who offered a settled, cushy life of usual expectations? Or would I want the scarred, volatile, opera ghost, the master musician, magician, inventor, a tortured and complicated soul, a flawed and broken man who had nothing to give but music and passion....
I’d pick Erik, the phantom. In truth, I think a lot of women would. That’s perhaps partly why the story is so effectual and has spawned quite a few literary sequels—written mostly by women—about Erik’s triumphant
love-interest comeback. Books I seem to continue acquiring even as I carry on watching the musical in all its variations. I guess I’m one of those suckers for heartbroken monster geniuses.