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Thursday, May 24, 2012
How the Phantom of the Opera Heals My Soul
By Paisley Kirkpatrick
I can't explain it. I have no idea how it does it, but Phantom of the Opera has a hold on my soul. Always has and I pray it always does. Sometimes something beautiful and haunting comes into a person's life and changes everything. For me it was seeing this movie and hearing the music. It spoke to me at a time in my life when I was in desperate need to find peace and heal. Seven years later this musical still has a way of reaching into my heart.
Last night my daughter and I attended a showing of the Phantom at our local theater. When they said it was the Phantom movie, I naturally thought it was the one where Gerard Butler played the Phantom, but it wasn't. Instead, we were transported to the Royal Albert Hall in London into one of the seats near the front. It was done so beautifully, I don't think my daughter or I moved for most of the show. Afterwards, Andrew Lloyd Webber came on stage and introduced Sarah Brightman, his lady of the music as he called her. He'd written the original score for her stunningly beautiful voice. She delighted us with a song from the opera. Amazing! Then, he introduced five of the original men who played the Phantom and they sang Music of the Night. What a powerhouse -- it gave me chills to hear their voices melded together. Michael Crawford was there as well, but he only sang about the last 30 seconds. He'd just rushed across town to be there. Can I say this was one fantastic birthday gift? I walked out of the place in shock...it was great.
Tomorrow night we go to see the new sequel to Phantom of the Opera entitled Love Never Dies. If it is anything like what we saw last night, it will be another great gift.
Why do I find this opera imbedded in my soul? Several years ago my older daughter took me to the Curran Theatre in San Francisco to see the Phantom on my birthday. It is one of my fondest memories with her. We actually waited in the alley and got to meet the cast. When the actor who played the Phantom came out he told my daughter she was wonderful to take her Mother to the theatre for her birthday. Later we found out he played the son of Michael Corleone in the Godfather Three movie.
When I needed a lift from a deep dark hole in my life, I was given the Phantom DVD for Christmas. For some unexplainable reason, the music, the actor, just everything, seeped into my soul and filled the cracks and plugged the potholes. I stepped back into living again and started smiling.
Now, here it is on my birthday again sort of closing the circle. Amazing, unexplainable, but a blessing for me for all time.