In the days before DVRs, I would have popped out the tab on the VHS tape immediately after recording “The Phantom of the Opera at the Royal Albert Hall”. Now, I wonder how long I will have room to save the show on my DVR. The excellent production starred Ramin Karimloo as The Phantom and Sierra Boggess as Christine. After the curtain calls, there was a special guest appearance by Sarah Brightman and past Phantoms Michael Crawford, Peter Jöback, John Owen-Jones, Anthony Warlow, and Colm Wilkinson. The group sang an amazing version of the title song.
The special episode of “Great Performances” aired on East Tennessee PBS during their quarterly pledge drive last night. I solicited pledges on-air from the premium desk while volunteers from the Knoxville Opera worked the phones. They cranked the volume on the studio monitor during the musical. Earlier in the evening, the phones were staffed by a group from a website called “What’s Happening George?”
“The Phantom of the Opera” is one of the few stage productions I’ve seen more than once. My first experience was at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. The tickets were a gift from my mother-in-law, who also gave tickets to my wife’s sisters and their husbands. My wife and I saw the play at least twice more in Los Angeles. I remember taking our kids to see it when they were old enough. The song “All I Ask of You” has special meaning in our family. My wife and her friend Clint Butler sang the duet at the weddings of several of their friends and classmates.
Watch Clip from The Phantom of the Opera at the Royal Albert Hall on PBS. See more from Great Performances.