`Phantom' film, show soundtracks will differ

Category: Phantom of the Opera News | Posted by: admin
Article Date: November 19, 2004 | Publication: The Beacon Journal | Author: Editors
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You'll find similarities and some new tracks

Q: Mr. Heldenfels, I wonder if you could answer a question for me. I noticed that ``The Phantom of the Opera'' is coming out in a movie at the end of the year. As that is my favorite musical, I want to know if the music is the same in the movie as in the play. I certainly hope so! -- Cynthia Y., via e-mail.

A: Funny, Cynthia, I didn't think I looked like a fiftysomething white guy with a mustache and glasses. R.D. passed your question to me because I handle movie-related queries.

The answer is yes and no. The soundtrack for Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera, which is being released Tuesday, does include essentially the same music. However, there are subtle differences when compared to the track listings on The Original Cast Recording: The Phantom of the Opera.

According to Phantom's Web site, the movie gave Webber the opportunity to write more background music. Film ultimately proves to be a more flexible medium, allowing things to play out differently. My guess is we'll find director Joel Schumacher's interpretation of the play a bit longer.

Much in the way he did for the cinematic adaptation of Evita, Webber wrote a new song for Phantom. Learn to Be Lonely is sung over the credits by actress Minnie Driver, who portrays Carlotta in the film. Having heard snippets of the soundtrack, I think you'll enjoy what you hear.

Webber apparently insisted that his cast, which includes Gerard Butler (Timeline) as the Phantom, Emmy Rossum (The Day After Tomorrow, Mystic River) as Christine and Patrick Wilson (The Alamo) as Raoul, be able to sing up to professional standards. Having been a fan of the play for years, I doubt that anyone could equal the skill of Michael Crawford and Sarah Brightman, but keep an open ear.

By the way, should you go looking for the soundtrack on Tuesday, be aware that there are two versions: a highlight disc with 14 tracks and a special extended version that is closer to the theatrical production. The movie will open on Dec. 22.