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Gaston Leroux’s Play 'The Phantom of the Opera': Reflective Essay

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Gaston Leroux’s famous play, The Phantom of the Opera, displays the theme of appearance vs reality. This theme is mainly represented by the Phantom and his mask. When the Phantom has the mask on, he is seen by Christine as a talented angel of music who is misunderstood. Without his mask, it reveals his deformed face and he is seen as a monster and outcast in society.

Wendy Ferguson, the actress portraying Carlotta, made an impression on me. In my opinion, her singing stood out the most from the others. Ferguson has a beautiful voice and her acting was great as well. I found the ending scene where the Phantom gets kissed by Christine and decides to let her and Raoul free to be most impactful on me. This is due to the Phantom experiencing kindness for the first time, it was a heartfelt moment.

The play is centered around the relationship between Christine, played by Sierra Boggess, and the Phantom, played by Ramin Karimloo. At first, they are fond of each other due to the Phantom acting as Christine’s teacher. This has an effect on the cast members due to their fearing the Phantom as they consider him an outcast. Also, it has an effect on Christine’s love interest, Raoul, who is played by Hadley Frasier. Raoul is very skeptical of the Phantom.

At the beginning of the play, the relationship between Christine and the Phantom starts off but conflict quickly arises when the Phantom becomes jealous of her interest in Raoul. Throughout the play, their relationship is not as good as the Phantom threatens to kill Raoul if Christine does not promise to marry him. In the end, they end on good terms due to the kindness Christine shows him. The Phantom comes to terms that he cannot force Christine to love him and lets her and Raoul free.

Costumes worn can help with telling the story of the play. The clothing worn helps by giving the audience an idea of the time period setting of the play. Based on the Victorian-style clothing worn by the actors, gives the assumption that the play is set during the 1800s. The female actors wear Victorian-style dresses and jewelry, while the male actors wear suits and vests.

Throughout the play, the clothing worn slightly changes but remains the same for the most part. The most noticeable changes made in the clothing occur when the Phantom creates a new opera titled, Don Juan Triumphant. The clothing worn by both the male and female actors looks less luxurious and baggy compared to what they wore in the beginning. Overall, the clothing looks the same.

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In the play, the songs are sung in high-pitched voices and with emotion. Also, the majority of the music is very dramatic and creates suspense. The dramatic music is displayed specifically when the Phantom would make an appearance and sings. Overall, I really enjoyed the music of the play.

The use of sound helps with creating the setting and mood of the play. The sounds of the orchestra were heard throughout the performance and played a key role in creating suspense and tension. For example, when the Phantom would make an appearance the deep and high-pitched sounds of the pipe organ assisted in creating suspense.

A suspenseful atmosphere was created by the set and lighting designs. This was due to the dim lighting that was used throughout the play which created dark backgrounds. When the Phantom makes an appearance on stage, the lights are set to capture and focus on him. Also, the use of fog used when they are on the way to the Phantom helps create a mysterious and suspenseful mood.

As mentioned in the previous paragraphs, there is a mysterious and suspenseful feeling that is created in the play. The Phantom is a mysterious outcast that creates tension and trouble for the others, which sets the feeling of the play. Overall, I felt that the production crew did a fantastic job of setting the tone through the music and lighting.

The theme that is displayed, as mentioned in the first paragraph, is appearance vs reality. This idea is something that can be seen in everyday life, such as in relationships. This is a theme that many including myself can relate to.

This idea makes us consider the thought that the way we see things at first is not what they really seem to be. In a way, this idea is closely related to “don’t judge a book by its cover”. I can relate to this idea because there has been a couple of times when I have misjudged people based on their appearance but they are the opposite of what I perceived. In my opinion, this idea makes sense and will open your mind to really think and consider things before making assumptions.

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Gaston Leroux’s Play ‘The Phantom of the Opera’: Reflective Essay. (2023, April 21). Edubirdie. Retrieved March 5, 2024, from
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