The greatest hit from an eminent British composer and impresario is now streaming for free online.
Jetting off to London isn’t a realistic proposition for the near future, but we can relive the excitement of a West End show via the weekly series of full-length musicals posted on Andrew Lloyd Webber’s new YouTube channel “The Shows Must Go On!”. While previous offerings included biblically inspired works like Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Jesus Christ Superstar, the latest installment is none other than Phantom of the Opera, adapted from French author Gaston Leroux’s novel of the same name. What is now streaming on YouTube is the 25th anniversary concert production performed at the Royal Albert Hall in 2011, starring Ramin Karimloo and Sierra Boggess as the main characters.
The much-loved stage production is as much a visual spectacle as a musical treat, with smoke machines simulating the mist rising from a lake hidden below Paris’s ostentatious Opéra Garnier as he steers a rowboat with newfound protégé Christine Daaé onboard to his secret lair. And who can forget the moment when a curious Christine removes his mask to reveal a disfigured face, the grotesque features deftly painted on by a makeup artist?
Of course, anyone who has grown up in a musical-loving family will no doubt recall the legendary pairing of Sarah Brightman as Christine and Michael Crawford as the Phantom on the West End and Broadway; the duo reunite in an encore performance for the 25th anniversary special, so don’t go anywhere after the final curtain. Phantom of the Opera was released on YouTube at 7 p.m. British Summer Time (2 a.m. Singapore/Hong Kong time) last night, and is available for 48 hours outside the U.K., which means you’ll get to enjoy the entire show and its operatic numbers all weekend long.
Watch the musical here.