The Phantom of the Opera (Andrew Lloyd Webber song)
"The Phantom of the Opera" is a song from the stage musical of the same name. It was composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber, with lyrics written by Charles Hart and Richard Stilgoe, and additional lyrics by Mike Batt. It was originally sung by Sarah Brightman and Michael Crawford in their roles as Christine Daaé and the Phantom.
- Background 1
- Influences 2
- Controversies 3
- Cover versions 4
- References 5
The song is performed in Act I after the song "Angel of Music" (The Mirror) and before "The Music of the Night" (and is reprised in Act Two at the end of the song "Notes/Twisted Every Way"). It takes place as the Phantom escorts Christine by boat to his lair beneath the Opera Garnier. It is sung as a duet by Christine and the Phantom. At the end of the song, Christine sings her highest note in the show, an E6. In different shows, Sarah Brightman sings this song in different duets with other performers Steve Harley, Antonio Banderas, Chris Thompson, Alessandro Safina, Mario Frangoulis, Colm Wilkinson, Anthony Warlow, John Owen-Jones, Peter Jöback and Erkan Aki.
What makes this particular song unique within the musical is its unusual hard rock style, since most of the songs in the musical have a more operatic style. Early in the musical's production, Andrew Lloyd Webber met Jim Steinman, who described "The Phantom of the Opera" as a rock song invading an opera house. This is what inspired the hard rock style of the song, which influenced all of the rock-based instruments in the song including drums and electric guitar.
"The Phantom of the Opera" song was also specially arranged by the show's original orchestrator, David Cullen, for a virtuoso cello version for cellist Julian Lloyd Webber, Andrew's brother, for the CD Lloyd Webber Plays Lloyd Webber.
Ray Repp sued Andrew Lloyd Webber over the main melody of Phantom, claiming that it was based on his folk song "Till You" which he recorded in 1978. Webber won the case however, with the counter-claim that the section of "Phantom" in question was actually based on Webber's "Close Every Door", which was written before Till You.
In addition, Roger Waters of Pink Floyd had asserted that Andrew Lloyd Webber had plagiarised the intro section from the Pink Floyd song "Echoes", which largely resembles it, although he decided against filing a lawsuit.
"Yeah, the beginning of that bloody Phantom song is from Echoes. *DAAAA-da-da-da-da-da* [sic]. I couldn't believe it when I heard it. It's the same time signature – it's 12/8 – and it's the same structure and it's the same notes and it's the same everything. It probably is actionable. It really is! But I think that life's too long to bother with suing Andrew fucking Lloyd Webber."
The British guitarist; Hank Marvin did an instrumental version of the song on his 1997 album Hank Plays the Music of Tim Rice & Andrew Lloyd Webber.
The song "The Phantom of the Opera" was covered in 1998 by Charlotte Church and Peter Karrie. It was also covered in 2002 by the Finnish symphonic power metal quintet Nightwish and released on the album Century Child. This particular version of the song, with Tarja Turunen (soprano) singing Christine's part and Marco Hietala (baritone/tenor) singing the part of The Phantom, is set in a different register (one whole tone below) to the original version written by Andrew Lloyd Webber. On the recorded version, the female vocalisation at the end of the song is quite different from the original, however, when the song is performed live, the vocalisation is the same, although with a slightly different key progression. Tarja Turunen hits E6 in live at the end of the song. She also sings it in her solo concerts. There is also another gothic metal version released in 1999 by Austrian band Dreams of Sanity (Masquerade album). Tarja also performed the song live in Rock in Rio 2011, along with Brazilian power metal band Angra. Japanese Symphonic Metal band Liv Moon have also covererd the song live, as a duet between lead singer Akane Liv and guitarist Takayoshi Ohmura.
The song was also covered by Me First and the Gimme Gimmes on their show-tune album, Are A Drag. Also, in Rufus Wainwright's song "Between My Legs", from the album Release the Stars, the last 30 seconds plays the main theme from this song. The song was also covered by X Factor finalist, Rhydian Roberts, for which Lord Lloyd Webber wrote a male solo version specially for the artist.
The beginning melody for this song was also used in the Alice Cooper concert DVD Live in Montreux before the song "Department of Youth".
In about 2001, the song was covered by Sophie Viskich and Kris Phillips live in Beijing, China.
Richard Clayderman has also arranged a piano-orchestral version of the song; originally found in his album The Best of Andrew Lloyd Webber.
In 2011, Hawaiian-American singer Nicole Scherzinger sang this song at the annual Royal Variety Performance in the United Kingdom, which is often attended by Queen Elizabeth II but was attended by her daughter Princess Anne this year. Nicole Scherzinger was accompanied by four male "Phantoms" (John Owen-Jones, Ramin Karimloo, Simon Bowman and Earl Carpenter) for the performance, which was performed to make the 25th anniversary of Andrew Lloyd Webber's 1986 musical.
Violinist Lindsey Stirling did an accompanied instrumental version of the song on her Phantom of the Opera single in 2012.
- Who the hell does Roger Waters think he is? Q magazine. November 1992. Retrieved 20 November 2009.
- "David D'Or & The Philharmonic". daviddor.com. February 2009. Retrieved 5 May 2009.
- "David D'Or – David D'Or and the Philharmonic".
- Amazon.com: The Best of Andrew Lloyd Webber: Richard Clayderman: Music