Lílian Cavalcanti Fernandes Vieira
Monday, 6 October 2008
My first encounter with “The Phantom of the Opera” was at “Her Majesty’s Theater” in London, 1999. It’s the longest running show in the history of the theater. It opened to an outstanding success in October, 1986 up to now and it still delivers. But why? A mysterious phantom terrorises the Paris Opera in an effort to make his protégé, Christine, the leading lady of the opera house. It’s a romantic tragic love story like many others but its magic spell, creative team and cast deserves much praise as it approaches the 21st birthday celebrations. I went to England in 1999 in order to attend a Teacher Development course in Plymouth. In fact, I wasn’t alone, my friend Jocely de Deus Pinheiro, from CCB was with me and most of what I’m stating here was experienced by both of us. When the course finished, I came to London to wait for my flight back to Brazil. As I still had four days, I decided to relax and enjoy myself. So, I took at least three city tours, went to museums and sightseeing, to the cinema and, of course, to the theatre. Buying the tickets for the theatre was a great and exciting adventure! I left the hostel early in the morning and took the underground to London’s West-End. When I got there, I went straight to the ticket booth to see what was available for a Wednesday matinee, but to my surprise, the tickets for the Phantom were sold out and, in fact, no tickets were available until July, 2000. I got really upset; however, I didn’t give up. I looked for another ticket booth and this time there were tickets available for the balcony. The price was at its high: £30 for a single ticket, it was about R$ 150! I knew it wasn’t the best place to see a show in a theatre and the price was unbelievable, but I was at the point of no return and I had decided to face everything to see the Phantom. Then I bought the ticket and waited for the show. When I entered the auditorium, I felt goose bumps and it was like magic. Even today I wonder what makes that musical have such pulling power. This romantic tragic love story with its moving music and lyrics keeps the audience breathless with such a wonderful show. I must confess that I am a Lloyd Weber fan and I appreciate most of his masterpieces. He’s a genius to me. The performance started. I won’t be able to forget the famous overture and the huge chandelier over the audience as long as I live. It was like being in heaven and I burst into tears. It was really moving! When I came back to Brazil, I really brought with me all the vivid experiences I had in England. I loved everything I saw and learned. It was a wonderful time and “The Phantom of the Opera” will be in my heart and my mind for a lifetime.