Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The thing without "Love Never Dies," with "The Phantom of the Opera"

Just day before yesterday, I watched "Love Never Dies" Japanese localized version in Tokyo. It is the sequel to "The Phantom of the Opera", a world famous musical show written by Andrew Lloyd Webber.

Ms. Ayaka Hirahara was acting as Christine in the day. She is one of the leading classic singers in Japan. Her song was so splendid, although her act were not so distinguishable.

As I mentioned before about the thought after watching a blue ray disc, I do not appreciate this work very much. So I dare not to criticize the story again, it is enough to say the title should be replaced to "Love Ever Dies".

Listening again at the theater, I noticed the absolute lack of this musical. Indeed, the scores were not bad, nor inferior to the previous one. "Love Never Dies" and some songs were so artistic. However, there is a critical disadvantage, compared to The Phantom of the Opera.

Love Never Dies has several similarities to The Phantom of the Opera in terms of the construction. There are lots of comparisons between these two musicals.

In the opening "The Coney Island Waltz" lets us remember "The Hannibal" in The Phantom of the Opera. The main theme "Love Never Dies" is an aria sung by the heroine, resembling "Think of Me" in The Phantom of the Opera. A harmonious Duet with Christine and Phantom "Beneath a Moonless Sky" is recalling "The Phantom of the Opera" in which Phantom described his love for Christine for the first time. In the number "The Beauty Underneath", Phantom invites Gustave to his own kingdom decorated with creatures. It definitely refers to "Music of the Night" in The Phantom of the Opera. And the last scene of Act 1 with moaning Madame Giry is mirroring raging Phantom at the last cut of Act 1 in The Phantom of the Opera.

Then, which is my favorite song in The Phantom of the Opera? It is "Down Once More / Track Down This Murderer", definitely.

In the last scene, Phantom attempts to kill Raul, the lover of Christine. Christine asks Phantom to let him go, but Phantom forces her to choose the guy she loves. If she chooses Raul, he would kill him. Then, the three casts begin to sing simultaneously in each part. Christine makes curse to Phantom for the first time. Raul regrets to his reckless behavior and shows his preparedness. And Phantom declares that this is the point of no return. The three voices are harmonious with absolute grace. I commit that this scene is the most miraculous unity of all musicals.

In contrast, Andrew failed to provide this kind of unity at the last conflict in Love Never Dies.

Considering the tragic and impulsive plot, it is difficult to make the main casts sing together in the last scene. However, "Please Miss Giry, I Want to Go Back" by Phantom is too weak to decorate the finale. It is so regrettable. I can imagine an excuse of a spineless guy in this number. This is the critical disadvantage in Love Never Dies.

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