Phantom of the Opera Adaptions

Categories: Phantom of The Opera

While Phantom of the opera is a favorite among near all theater goers and a classic among us all there, are major differences between the major motion picture and the play, no only with the intricate details between the costumes but also among the stage visuales and details.

Deformed since birth, a jaundiced, sullen man know as the Phantom;lives in the catacombs of the Opera Populaire in France. The Phantom falls in love with a chorus singer Christine Daae, whom he privately tutors and terrorizes the Opera Populaire demanding they give Christine( the chorus girl) the lead.

This story begins when an Opera ghost begins tormenting and terrorizing the cast and crew of the French Opera House. When Carlotta is unable to sing In middle of her performance The ghost demands they led Ms.Daae sing. While Mrs. Daae did an amazing job. The Phantom demands they keep giving his protégé lead roles in the Opera. Meanwhile, His pupil falls in love with Raoul (Vicomte de Chagny), her child good friend, but the Phantom is in love with Christine, his student.

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The Phantom becomes angered by their love and kidnaps Christine to be his eternal bride.

“Those who have seen his face draw back in fear.” - Christine Daae, Phantom of the Opera

The Phantom of the Opera movie, book and play numerous similarities between all three whether costume design or even slight set differences:the slightest differences cause a large difference in the interpretation of the audience. Although film didn’t dift too far from the play but with the movie, the movie offers more visuals and added details like the Phantom’s and Madame Giry’s first meeting when they were young.

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The story of the Phantom is told in flashbacks, with the movie opening 50 years later with an elderly Raoul visiting an auction in the dilapidated Paris Opera House

Although. The Movie and plays Phantom are very similar the movie has a greater view of the Phantoms backstory while the play gives us little to none at all.

In the movie we are given an inside view on the Phantoms past life. He had a deformed face since birth so he was raised in the circus and an “Circus Freak” called “The Devil's Child. Fed of with the teasing and mocking, the young Phantom kills his “handler” and escapes his cage he was caged his whole life, who was then saw as a murderer. An on looker a young ballet student(young Madame Giry) sees how The Phantom was treated and mocked, feeling remorse she frees him from his cage and hides him in the opera houses catacombs so he wouldn't be jailed or killed for killing his handler. The play gives us little to no ledway into the backstory of the Phantom besides when Madame Giry pulled Raoul aside and explained to him in haste that he was treated awfully as a child all that he knows is the opera house and the way he composes his music. .Evermore the book (over course) give us the most detail than the play and the book. In regards according to the book The Phantom's real name is Erik. In the novel, the Phantom's real name is Erik. The 1910 novel is vastly more different than the musicals. A heartbreaking novel, Phantom by Susan Kay, tells the tragic, disturbing origin story of Erik/ The Phantom. In the book,The Phantom was fully scarred from birth according to the book. Erik was described as a 'living corpse' by thoses who passed by and was even called a freak for show attraction. His eyes in book were described as yellow and glowing like the eyes of a cat.

There is a difference in the character portrayals in the movie compared to the play. Gerard Butler’s Phantom is not as smooth and all-powerful seeming as to the fact they allowed him to make mistakes and occasionally seem weak and fail, not to mention dysten to fail (sword fight scene with Raoul) and his physical appearance. The Phantoms visual and verbal appearance in the movie is much less repulsive than the Phantom that we see on stage. In the movie he was more or less handsome, aside for the scarred right side of his face and spots of baldness. There is a shade of cruelty.Despite his sadness and feelings of isolation that is more obvious to the viewer. His singing is also more rough although not displeasing. His take on the Phantom is near unique in a predominantly good good way.

The reason why The Phantom only wears half of a mask in the musical, versus the contrary to the poster in Leroux's Phantom, was fully deformed and that was the plan for Webber's Phantom. However, it was both difficult to apply all the costume makeup and for Michael Crawford the original Phantom Of the opera, to sing and be heard properly with the full faced mask. Thus the mask the cut to the shape that we see on stage today .Although the artwork for the poster was never changed.

The first difference of the dressing attire is in act one scene one, when Carlotta enter center from the wings all by herself, as per what most divas did, her dress takes up most of the stage, in addition to when Piangi, attempts to take Carlotta's hand,he's simultaneously trying to avoid stepping on her extravagant dress. Carlotta is covered from head to toe in flat glass jewels, her dress stands as a wide near like ball gown fit. Also covered in dangely jewelry as seen as a rich diva as were most ‘stars’ of the opera were.Before Carlotta starts to perform, she used an atomizer bottle to keep her throat moist. The Phantom, knowing this, switched her bottle. After he caused a commotion in the opera cause them to have to to restart 'Poor Fool, He Makes Me Laugh,' Carlotta sprays the bottle and coats her throat with the tampered bottle. when she tries singing, she begins to croak. Although in the musical, it isn't really explained how she begins to croaks, although it is generally assumed the Phantom uses ventriloquism ( in reference to the book.) The problem with ventriloquism is that the Phantom is also shouting at the same time when Carlotta is croaking, but in the movie he tampers with her throat spray, but on stage a you don't see him tamper with the spray. Although In the book, Erik (The Phantom) throws his voice to make it sound like she's croaking. She started croaking like a “toad” (like having a frog in your throat) in the middle of her performance giving the Phantom in the musical the supernatural appeal to be able to perform theses “stunts”.

While the Phantom is throwing his voice terrorizing the opera he runs and hides back into the catacombs to go see Christine. Talking through Christine through a two way glass mirror that secretly leads into the catacombs. Christine has undressed and changed into her white corset with a white lace underskirt and stockings (a lot of white) as the Phantom blares out singing to Christine through the mirror. The camera work shows an overhead shot of Christine walking “through” the mirror showing the train to her dress, bringing the highlights to her in a dark shadowing room. The decreased size of her clothing in comparison to her Opera dress; demonstrating her vulnerability and the supreme absolute power of the Phantom. But in parallel to Christine the Phantom is a forbidding yet enticing cone white colored mask paired with a large fedora that continuously hides half of his face (saying he still hides behind his mask in the shadows) and his signature his signature black opera coat.As Christine tentatively gives her and to the Phantom the white lace in her dress strongly contrast with his black leather gloves, a broad visual representation of the corruption of innocence. While crossing over into the catacombs and overhead shots of Christine's long white lace train. In the musical the Phantom's lair was more of a more of a vast dark room filled with random trinkets and objects it appears the Phantom has collected over the years living under the opera. His trinkets are not at all organized but the “hideaway” is decent enough to suggest that this room is his hideaway,while thew movie suggest the Phantom's lair was so incredibly detailed and intricate to where the Phantoms hideaway displayed his dolls, painting and shrine like possessions of Christine. To blatantly show his unhealthy compulsive, neurotic obsession towards Christine..

As The Phantoms black gloved hands caress Christine waist bound in its delicate white lace embellished corset. The Phantoms fetishization of her (almost) in her lingerie/underwear also draws attention newly aroused sexuality, in addition to her form fine fitted attire that normal chorus girls attire. The contrast of her apparent “costume” because of the highly eroticised world of the Phantom. Seeing the Phantoms attire fully in the movie, shocks to see that the Phantom is not entirely dressed in black, but dressed in a mixture in of black and browns .These dark colors allow him represent a dramatic contrast, a disguise for a man who cannot face his reality. Aside from his character on stage who has dressed in a tailored black and white aesthetically pleasing tuxedo like suit. When Christine and the Phantom make it to the catacombs underneath Opera Populaire. The Phantom is showing her around his “lair” he begins to show her his reminisce of her, after a while the Phantom shows Christine a lifelike mannequin of her in a wedding dress causing her to collapse and faint. The Phantom picks her up and gently lies her in his swan bed, singing over her, he pulls a black lace veil canopy closed to the bed but watches through the curtain as she sleeps, thus being used for his own security; that there must always be a barrier between them either physically or sartorial ones alike is mask.

In act two comes the Masquerade ball. There are Masked dancers who are mainly dressed in black, white, gold and silver. Raoul wears a dark navy military uniform with gold braiding and stand collar, pairing with a matching short jacket over one shoulder, shown as the fairytale (classic) hero. Christine’s pale pink, full skirted(ball) gown and white gloves. This depicts her as a fairy tale princess. In this world of the Phantoms ideal ideal perfection. the Phantom bursts in to the masquerade, his red, embroidered jacket, jars and cloak jarring with the soft colours, his mask extended to obscure even more of his face.

(Red, white and black is employed in the graveyard scene, with blood being spilled onto a white shirt). The dancers are in black and red, while Christine wears a white lace camisole, black under-bust corset, and gold open weave shawl as a skirt, her bare neck and shoulders represent the accentuating sexuality. The Phantom is now in a black mask, and as his bare hand caresses her waist in the black corset, we see a reversal of the striking image of “Music of the Night”, illustrating progression of the character. As this is the Phantom’s opera, it could be read as his perfect vision of Christine. Yet when he kidnaps her, he immediately has her change into a pure white wedding dress with a lace train; his fascination is with her innocent virtue, and his longing for “flesh”

Lace is a constant recurrence in the play and the movie White, an inherently positive color, is associated with purity, virginity, innocence, light, goodness, heaven, safety, brilliance, illumination, understanding, cleanliness, faith, beginnings, sterility, spirituality, possibility, humility, sincerity, protection, softness, and perfection.

The color white can represent a successful beginning. In heraldry, white depicts faith and purity. As the opposite of black, movies, books, print media, and movies and plays typically depict the good guy in white and the bad guy in black. The color white affects the mind and body by aiding in mental clarity, promoting feelings of fresh beginnings and renewal, assisting in cleansing, clearing obstacles and clutter, and encouraging the purification of thoughts and actions. Thus the constant excessive used of white and baby

Forever a question asked when watching The Phantom of the Opera is; Why did the chandelier fall in act one in the play, but falls towards the end inthe movie.?

The chandelier falls closer in act one because, the Phantom cuts the chain or rope to what the chandelier is hanging by.Because the Phantom has complete, sense of authority and power over the opera house. When Monsieur Fermin and Andre disobey and ignore the Phantoms order of making Christine the lead instead of carlotta,The Phantom retaliates by making Carlotta ‘croak’ on stage quite literally and killing Joseph (man walking the cat walks) and The managers were in his opera house seats mocking him. All of these disaster plus some are acts of retaliation and power plays and definitely the Phantoms way of saying “I'm in charge.” but why did the chandelier fall at the end of act one in the play but rather at the end of the movie. Id say for dramatic effect. when the the Phantom cut the chandelier at the end of the movie out of anger he had originally planned for the Oera to catch fire and destroy the Opera Populaire so he could attempt to kill Roul and to intrap Christine in the catacombs with him forever, until Roul appears in the catacombs in hope to “rescue” Christine and ends up getting himself caught by them Phantom. Angered by Raoul’s persistantes over obtaining Christine, he threatens Christine to either stay with him and be his eternal bride and let raoul live or set herself free but have the Phantom kill raoul. Christine kisses the Phantom to show him that he “won”, showing as her white flag and once again sympathizing with the Phantom as a “poor creature of darkness” but also despising him for 1. Killing innocent people and (2) forcing her to love him “Nothing can save you now Except perhaps Christine.Start a new life with me.Buy his freedom with your love.

Refuse me and you send your lover.To his death!This is the choice!- Phantom of the opera This is the point of no return

“the tears i might have shed for your dark fate , grow cold and turn to tears of hate”- Christine Down Once More

So, is the question remains, is movie better than the play? While the appreciated the additional story details, the 50-years-later scenes and the depth and backstory given to some characters, I think the play still wins. The singing is much better in the theatre version and this trumps everything. Personally, I wish I saw the movie before watching the play. It might have appreciated it more.

Updated: Dec 20, 2021
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Phantom of the Opera Adaptions. (2021, Dec 20). Retrieved from

Phantom of the Opera Adaptions essay
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