The Music of the Night
The Music of the Night
In operas, either people love them or hate them. Play and song writer Andrew Lloyd Webber portrays a new light on opera in the famous musical The Phantom of the Opera. In scene five of the musical where the Phantom of the Paris Opera House sings a romantic melody entitled “The Music of The Night” to the orphaned ballerina dancer Christine Daae, he is telling her to “Close [her] eyes and surrender to [her]/ darkest dreams!/ Purge [her] thoughts of the life/ [she] knew before!” (12-15).
He is basically telling her to live up to her dreams and for her not to let her past hold her back. The Phantom knows that Christine looks up to him as her guide; she calls him “The Angel of Music”. When her father was alive when she was younger he was a famous violinist and he told her repeatedly that a guardian called “The Angel of Music” would look after her if he wasn’t able to (Christine’s Character). Christine’s father fell ill and died when she was only seven years old and she was taken in by a family friend that spent a great time at the Opera House—that is where her career started to begin.
Christine Daae had troubles and tried to forget about them, but the Phantom knew that it isn’t easy to forget someone you once had close to you; and he knew it was affecting her talent. When he sang to her, he reassured her by letting her know that she should “turn [her] thoughts away from cold, unfeeling light” meaning that when she starts to think about heartbreaking and miserable thoughts, she needs to stop (9-10). In the following lines 24-28, he lets her know that she needs to, “Open up [her] mind,
Let her fantasies unwind,
In this darkness which,
[She] knows [she] cannot fight-
The darkness of the music of the night…”
Thus, letting her know that even though it is hard to overcome her troubled past, she should bring out her emotions in her performance when she listens to any harmony of music; he knows that in every musical number, there is darkness behind it someway, somehow and she can portray it with beauty and grace.
The Phantom believes in her and looks after her just like her father said that an “Angel of Music” would. The Phantom lets Christine truly believe this by hearing him sing this ballad; trying to show her that she can let her dream begin at anytime, but only she, herself, can let her darker side give in to the power of the music (39-41). So, he uses the word “garish” in the song, which means, according to an online dictionary, crudely or tastelessly colorful, showy, or elaborate (Garish define). He is stating that the “garish light of day” can be misleading and that she should just focus on the music of the night (8). The Phantom makes the night life sound very appealing by the introducing lines of the song:
Heightens each sensation
Darkness stirs and wakes imagination
Silently the senses abandon their defenses…” (1-4)
He is showing her that at night fall imagination stirs and bubbles forth no matter who the person is. They recognize feelings at night time, before, that at times they may have never felt, therefore pushing one’s imagination towards how they feel. For example, in Christine’s situation, she may have never really put much thought towards how much she really misses her father and why it is holding her back from achieving more in her life. As she has some time alone at night to think, to dream, she is able to have time to search her inner most thoughts and reflect her life and imagine what it could have been if her father was still around. That can bring out her senses, her defenses are then abandoned, and she has just discovered a little of what makes her connect with the music of the night. Christine needs to not live with feelings that overshadow her life and she should start a journey through this new experience.
All-in-all, the song “The Music of The Night” is about us getting in touch with our imagination and us embracing our feelings. Andrew Lloyd Webber fully captivated audiences around the world and made them take hold of their mind’s eye and their senses. The music in this chilling masterpiece is mind opening in which one can let their fantasies take flight. When listening to the song and fully taking in it’s meaning, a person, such as me, can really let the beautiful lyrics flow loudly out of the boom box speakers and into the thoughts of my life. So, like Christine, the Phantom was reassuring her that in the end “[She] alone can make [his] song take flight-/ help [him] make the music of the night…” (42-43). Only she is capable of accepting the help from “The Angel of Music” and the help from herself as she tries to use her imagination and the sensation that the night brings to help her over come the feelings that affect her performance on the stage and in her everyday life. Even though her father had passed, she found what she thinks to be “The Angel of Music” and she is now following her fathers wish, yet she is finding herself along the way. That is what is best for her, to keep moving forward with her life while achieving her dreams.
University/College: University of Chicago
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 20 October 2016
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