English Musicals are coming to France !
Last year the musical Cats came to Paris at the Theatre Mogador. This musical doesn’t have a very complex story but its great songs have made it the musical with the most spectators in the world.
It tells the story of a cats’ tribe, the Jellicle cats who want to determine which cat will go to the Jelliclesphere (it seems quite complicated but in fact it is really simple). The musical is like a great cast in which every cat tells us about his life. They want to convince us they deserve to go to the Jelliclesphere so they sing and dance, and I must admit that they do it wonderfully.
I went to see Cats one year ago in November and it was great, brilliant and I got out with stars in my eyes. The only problem is that it was in French ! Indeed, this theater present lots and lots of musical but they always translate them in French if it isn’t. It was a bit strange to hear some legendary songs like Memory transformed into Ma Vie. The lyrics were very poetic but it was quite strange to my ears. The woman who interpreted Grizabella (Prisca Demarez) was very talented in singing and dancing. This role fitted her wonderfully.
I think my favorite version of Memory is Elaine Page’s version; here’s the link : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tqx3LDawgS8
This year,the Theatre Mogador is welcoming a musical I have waited for a long time : The Phantom of the Opera !
It is absolutely incredible because the original story of this musical takes place in France in the Garnier Opera House. For the 30th anniversary of this musical, they decided to play it in Paris !
So here’s the plot : Christine Daaé is dancing in the choir and a mysterious man teaches her how to sing. This man is called Erick, but he is also known as the Phantom. He composes operas for the Opéra populaire. When the greatest diva of the opera Carlotta doesn’t want to sing her part, Christine is chosen to replace her. After the representation she meets Raoul, who was her friend when they were kids. They fall in love with each other, but the Phantom is very possessive and wants Christine to follow him in the catacombs of the Opera. Raoul will have to fight against that mysterious man who seems to have much more powers than he thought to save his love.
This musical which was composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber is very popular in the UK and in the USA. The part of Christine was initially written for Sara Brightman but the most popular actress who has played this part is Sierra Boggess (Lloyd Webber once said that she is the best Christine of all times ), and I am very excited because she accepted to relearn this part in French and to play it in Paris (as I said, in this theater, the lyrics are always in French). Sierra said that playing this part again in Paris was the coolest thing that could have ever happened to her.
But unfortunately, a fire started on the 25th September in the theater. Some elements of the stage set are damaged, and they won’t be able to play this musical in 2016 so they will do more representations in 2017. This must have been really difficult to overcome these complications, but I am sure they will do a beautiful show in 2017 and I will, of course, see it in live for the first time.
I have discovered The Phantom a few months ago when I watched the dvd of the 25th anniversary in London ( with Sierra Boggess and Ramin Karimloo in the leading parts) and I loved it so much, I couldn’t stop listening to my favorite songs of the musical (Think of me, Angel of Music, The Music of the Night, All I ask of you, Wishing you were somehow here again and Phantom of the Opera).
I give you some youtube links of my favorite versions of these songs :
Phantom of the opera https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8fKKiaSLLEY
Think of me https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ncvnA8p4lww
The music of the night https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ncvnA8p4lww
All I ask of you https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WqQcYQgQkS8
Wishing you were somehow here again https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LSRNjnpM7y4
Angel of Music https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cd33pB9NVfE
Lloyd Webber is really a great composer, the melodies are quite simple but very beautiful and can be remembered very easily. I also love the fact that the style of English musical and particularly the singing is quite close to the one of the opera. Indeed, in England the singer must perform with more vibrato than in France and I find it much more beautiful.