Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Phantom of the Opera celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. When it originally opened in the West End in October 1986 The Phantom of the Opera musical won the 1986 Olivier Award and the 1988 Tony Award for Best Musical. With an array of instantly recognisable songs including Phantom of the Opera, Think of Me, Music of the Night and All I ask of You, The Phantom of the Opera has become a legendary musical performed in over 14 languages and in more than 25 countries across the globe.
The Phantom legend started years earlier though with the release of Gaston Leroux French novel Le Fantôme de l’Opéra. First published as a serialisation in a local newspaper, Leroux’s novel received little attention and is often overlooked in favour of the film and stage productions. The illustrated publication in 1910 was the inspiration for the 1925 Universal studios film starring Lon Chaney. Since then the story has been adapted in print, screen and stage into some of the most iconic representations of the Phantom to date.
A story of love, terror and loss the Phantom of the Opera opens itself up to various interpretations. From Hammer Horror to rock musicals, TV serials and Hollywood blockbusters the Phantom has seen many different forms across the years, but it remains a popular and well loved story and for the past 25 years Lloyd Webbers Phantom of the Opera has entertained millions of people throughout the world.
If you are planning a London theatre break you can see the current production at Her Majesty’s Theatre in Haymarket. Alternatively why not see how the story continues in the sequel Love Never Dies or treat yourself to the star studded 25th anniversary production at the Royal Albert Hall.
Have you seen the Phantom? Which is your favourite adaptation?