My personal impressions of the

Phantom of the Opera


Hamburg, Neue Flora, June 9th, 2001


What else should I report on that musical, what isn´t told before? Really everything would have been said after our last visit in Hamburg, isn´t it? But I´d like to say, that it was so much better than the last time. Now I already know, where to look, where to recognise even each movement of „my“ Phantom. And so it´s much more delightful.


The beginning of the musical isn´t already create for me, but it belongs to it, that the opera „Hannibal“ is performed, that Madame Carlotta and her Piangi are singing with the highest voices, that the Phantom will terrorise the new directors and will expel Madame Carlotta, because he crashes down the wing, while she intones „Denk an mich“. Without these scenes it wouldn´t be the Phantom, bit I´m always waiting for the „right“ Phantom.


And than Christine had taken over Carlotta´s role and sung „Denk an mich“ completely delightful, and finally now: the scene when the Phantom comes in action - behind the mirror in Christine´s wardrobe. That look! - which came through the mirror, I would surely never forget. No, I don´t think, that he had not even seen me, as if he actually is able to look through the glass, but it seemed to me, as if he only looked at me with this dark, profound eyes behind the mask.


My daughter got the task to check at, whether I was still, mentally present - not dreaming, not in a fictive world - and she had a lot to do this evening, because at some scenes I was so very far away with my thoughts.


Ian was so indescribable good this evening, unbelievable! The „Phantom der Oper“. Which he sang together with Colby on the boat, was already brilliant, and than he sang „Musik der Nacht“ ....that was so rousing, so perceptive, so strong, met each note exactly and with so much feeling......I´m missing genuinely the right words now, I´ve already heard this song so often and in really good versions, but never in such an intention. Later we are award. That this was the best „Musik der Nacht“, we will ever hear. During that year since our last visit Ian had worked so hard on the role, that absolutely every gesture, each nuance and each handle was right. Naturally my main attention lay on his hands again, which already fascinated me at our last visit. I´ve never seen a man with so beautiful hands - in any case not live on stage.


I know, that this will be a great song of praise for one man only, but he was so absolutely good, that he is allowed to earn this. None suffers him, when Christine removes his mask and sees his distorted face. None crawls lamenting over the floor on to Christine, a small peace of misery, which wanted to pick up and would like to press at your heart. Then shocking his anger, when he notices that he can´t keep Christine here and does bring her back to the others. Ian is able to present all these opposed feelings so perceptively, as if he had experienced it already personally. Great performance!


After the normal skirmish between the directors and Carlotta, Piangi, Raoul, Christine, Meg and Madame Giry, finally the Phantom appears in the game. He stands high up under the ceiling and proclaims, that now there will be war between him and the rest of the world.

Naturally my look was already to that place, where he would emerge immediately and so I could pursue the small movements and the shadows before he appears. While Christine and Raoul confess themselves their love on the top of the roof, I always watch the golden angels, where he would emerge again immediately. The angels fluctuated a little bit, but that´s only to see for the one who let the lovers sing and turned to rather „more interesting“ things.


And exactly that, which would make me endlessly anger - namely when Raoul and Christine singing about their love in the background while they are observed by the Phantom - this Ian had to express now by singing. If you displace yourself into the position of the Phantom, you can imagine which pain and which anger are brewing on the top of the angels. Ian also must feel that, otherwise he couldn’t present this scene so surely, so perceptively.

Altogether surprisingly, that one can present the grief by singing so impressive. Grandly his soft lamenting, always more loudly threatening, then open up so very loud, that you´ll get a goose pimple of it. Goose pimple is understated - there are vibrations in the hole body, when he rumbles high above the stage“....nun bist du dem Untergang geweiht, durch das Phantom der Dunkelheit“. This voice - unbelievable!

How can a person have such a voice? - powerful and gristly in each amount and each note exactly meeting, without flourishes and slow swelling. He knows his voice exactly and uses it like a tool! - or already as a weapon?

„Hiiinaaaaaab!“ he screams raging from the highest gallery and lets the chandelier shattering on stage.




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