- Aaron Von Allmen as Raul.
- Lauren Mallie as Christine Daae.
What can I say? Madonna University in Livonia, MI nailed the production of The Phantom of the Opera. I was completely blown away. I saw the original cast in Toronto, Ontario Canada. I have to say, I’ve never seen anything like it. I was five months pregnant with Megan. She was so active during the damn show, I knew she was going to be a diva. Sure enough, I was right. She wasn’t a lead in this show, but was still involved. Her friends, they were fantastic. She talked them, and the show up so much that I knew it was going to be good.
Aaron was Raul. His tenor voice lilts on my shoulder like a butterfly. It kisses me gently and lifts my heart with its pure tone. He is a delight to listen to and a joy to see also. His portrayal as Raul was spot on. His burgeoning love of Christine is apparent as he kisses her gently at the end of their duets.
Lauren Mallorca as Christine. Now that young woman is an ingenue. Think of Me, and Angel of Music set me on the edge of my seat. I think my heart burst as she hit the high notes at the top of her register. She most definitely wins her place as the new diva in the opera company. Her insecurity in her ability wanes as the show progresses. Christine learns she is so much more than her voice, even though the phantom holds her in his heart and mind.
Andrew Lee Neer portrayed the Phantom. He’s a man with a garish face, but the mad genius to create such a voice that the opera world had never heard. The constant metamorphasis of his personality is frightening and then, heart wrenching. You want to hate him, but you love him, as he caresses the young Christine’s face. He breaks and molds her with his madness and almost drags her into his abyss. Ultimately, love wins and Raul and Christine make their way back from peril. The music of the night, the chandelier, or the paper mache music box that dredges up memories long dead along with the withering of the Paris opera house.
I was impressed with the ensemble during such songs as Masquerade. Barbara Wiltsie, the director, did a fabulous job of casting and blocking talented singers and dancers. Their voices blended perfectly, and the ballet company was exquisite. They weren’t perfect, but they weren’t supposed to be. It was fun to see them perform, and blunder. Also Kelly Ryan who was cast as Madame Giri was perfect. When she rapped her walking stick on the stage even I felt I needed to pay attention.
Thank you cast and crew of Madonna University’s production of The Phantom of the Opera. I hope next weekend is also sold out.
Bravo, bravo, bravissimo.