Operafantomet: phantoming
I have been searching for hours for that forum post of every Phantom cast ever and the years they were in the show, do you happen to have the link? :')

I wonder if you’re referring to this Deserted Phans thread? 


For the restaged US tour's Masquerade costumes, I wish they either kept the original designs or really went on full force and changed them into huge and poofy and elabroage ball gowns. Do you think the latter could work? I think it'd be interesting to see such designs, all the while keeping the themes and integrity of the original designs. The ones at the tour right now look so half-assed.

Agreed and agreed. The tour costumes just doesn’t work at all. They’re not spectacular (despite the tagline, haha), they’re not adding something to the storytelling, and they’re not FUCKING BELIEVABLE AS HISTORICAL MASQUERADE COSTUMES EITHER. 

I would much have preferred them using the Don Juan Rehearsal dresses with pimped up details, or even better have made brand new ball gowns. Cause it’s clear they wanted a more Viennese ball style, with the women in long gowns and the men in b/w attire. So something like this

…would actually have made a lot more sense, historically speaking AND visually, than the half-hearted and frankly rather dull costumes they have going on in the tour: 

Hi! I have never seen Phantom live before and I was thinking about going to see the North American Phantom tour when it comes to my area. I can't go to New York anytime soon and I was just wondering if you think I SHOULD go see the NA show. I really want to see Phantom but i don't want the North American tour to ruin it for me you know?

I fear I’m in the minority here, but I’d say definitely go see it. For many reasons. I’ll try to explain why. 

I think most seeing the tour as their first live Phantom performance is overwhelmed and impressed and intrigued. The music is grand, the visuals elaborate, the story touching. Cool theatre is cool theatre. 

Second, the tour has a solid enough cast, with some really good people in supporting roles. 

Third, it’s Phantom. Even if you end up a mega fan of the original version down the line, it’s cool to see different versions. Each version brings something different to the table, as does each performer. As for the tour, it’s grittier and with the idea of being more realistic. Whether you like this or not, it’s an interesting take, and something to add to your “POTO luggage”. 

As many other Phantom fans, I do think the restaged tour version has failed in the characterization of the three leads. Especially Cooper Grodin is an over-the-top and way too violent Phantom. The role of Christine has also been transformed into a will-less flower. But I also think there is no real connection between the Phantom and Christine, and with the angry!Raoul the tour has going on I don’t see why Christine would pick any of them (quite the same issue I had with the RAH concert, by the same director). I think a well balanced love trio is the key to a successful POTO, and I don’t think the tour got that at all. It’s two raging men fighting over a pretty flower. 

I’ve also ranted about how the costumes has been butchered in bizarre ways. Much of the damage done in the UK has since been smoothed out in the US, but there is still some weird-as-fuck costume choices going on, especially in Masquerade. When the tour presents itself as one using Maria Bjørnson’s original design, it’s a big fat lie. A lot of the costumes isn’t her design at all, and a lot of it is her design picked apart and/or redecorated so they’re unrecognizable (more here). 

I’m gonna admit it, I much prefer the original. I think the tour’s directing is lackluster, and I’m not at all happy with what they’ve done with the costumes. The set design also feels cramped, though parts of it is very cool. So it might seem strange that I tell you to go see the production. But as mentioned, the tour has its merits, with a grittier approach, some cool ensemble moments and backstage atmosphere. If I personally had the opportunity to see it I would not hesitate in doing so. Both to experience a different take on the material, and to be able to make a more qualified judgement. Worst case scenario, you don’t like it. Best case scenario, you’ll love it and become a major Phantom fan. I don’t think there’s too much to loose. 




my dad died from ALS when i was 3 years old. he was 36. my mom was 33. that was 30 years ago. now i’m the same age my mom was when my dad died. and there is still no cure for ALS. 

this is what happens when you have ALS: your muscles slowly stop working, one part at a time. for my dad, first he couldn’t use one of his hands. then his arm. then the other arm. then he couldn’t walk. then he couldn’t stand up. then he couldn’t talk. then he couldn’t swallow. then he couldn’t breathe. then he was dead.

this all took about two years. he was diagnosed when i was about one year old. the only memories i have about my dad are of an inert body in a wheelchair or lying in a bed with a bunch of tubes stuck into it. as i was learning to talk, he was losing the ability to speak. as i was learning to walk, he stopped being able to move. my mom often had to choose between who she was going to help go to the bathroom at any given moment: her husband or her toddler.

after my dad died, my mom took over the philadelphia chapter of the ALS association. it consisted of a shoebox full of notecards with names on it. now it is a multi-million dollar organization with a large staff. she is still in charge. my mom is one of the most amazing people on the planet, basically.

these past couple weeks have been mind-boggling. i have openly wept watching so many of these videos. i still don’t completely get how all of this has happened, but now we live in a world in which lil wayne and taylor swift and oprah and justin timberlake and weird al and bill gates talk about ALS. my mom just emailed me this sentence: “lebron james ice bucket challenge.” i mean, IS THIS REAL LIFE?! i just keep saying over and over: holy shit. holy shit. holy shit.

so far, it has raised over 10 million dollars… and counting. my mom has spent every single day of her life for the past three decades trying to get this kind of attention and funds for this disease.

i don’t care if it’s a stupid gimmick. i don’t care if people are just doing this because it’s trendy or because they want pats on the back. i don’t care if it’s the new harlem shake. i don’t care if for the rest of my life, when i talk about ALS, i have to say “you know, the ice bucket disease.”

please, everybody, please keep pouring buckets of ice over your heads. please keep donating money. please keep talking about this.

my mom’s chapter:


p.s. the only reason i haven’t done my own ice bucket challenge yet is because i wanted to do it with my mom. we’re seeing each other next week, so it will happen then, i promise.

Think about this next time you think it’s just a stupid gimick

I had a good friend who died of ALS about ten years ago. It is one of the worst ways to die. No matter how much the ice bucket challenge seems like just another fad or meme, it actually has raised money and awareness for this debilitating disease. Keep the buckets pouring.

The rare case of not just one, but TWO European queens dressing in a Worth creation.

The model “Arlesienne” came from the 1912-13 collection of the House of Worth, and was an elaborate evening dress with “Greek” meander pattern on the sleev
es and skirt, and with a big acanthus leaf in front. 

Left: Queen Ena (Victoria Eugenie) of Spain seems to have worn the dress as designed, with generous drapes and a flower over the bust. This versions also has a wider, more draped skirt. 

Middle: The dress, as presented by House of Worth, 1912-13. 

Right: The dress worn by Queen Maud of Norway. The design has been changed to fit her preferences - she preferred straight, column like dresses with not too prominent breaks between bodice and skirt. The bodice is less draped, and instead of the flower in front there’s a large beaded appliquée. The satin belt has been much subdued, and the skirt is straighter. 

Still, the dress is very recognizable in both incarnations, and I find it amazing that two queens wore this exact design. It goes to show just how prominent the House of Worth was back in the days. 

A bit more about Maud’s dress here: 

When you just need that one photo from your mobile over to your computer, and you don’t have the cable, and you think it’s a piece of cake because you can email it to yourself, and the phone just refuse to email, and you think “no worries, there’s always Bluetooth”, and the Bluetooth totally won’t cooperate, and as a last resort solution you try and upload it to Tumblr but nope the phone won’t do that either, yet it claims to have internet and 3G and be up to date…


think I’ve only seen/heard him in three of these and he’s been kinda hit or miss for me. He was decent in Miss Saigon, terrible in Sweeney and great acting wise in Phantom (vocally not as great)

It’s my beef with him as well - he’s never dull, but he is a hit-and-miss guy. I loved some of his acting choices as the Phantom, and I loved the background story he said he used to shape the character. But his voice never gave me the strongest Phantom vibes. 

As for his Sweeney, from the little I’ve seen in clips, he kinda seemed too Johnny Depp influenced? I got movie vibes, anyway. 

I wanted to ask about the photoset with 6 iconic roles of Peter Jöback. The photo from Phantom you posted I saw somewhere else labeled as Stephen John Davis. Can you tell me where is the mistake?

Well, Peter Jöback use it in his official site, and I also remember the official Facebook page posted it as being of Peter J. So I assume the Stephen John Davies labeling is wrong? 


Just jumping in to say the Viennese recording also has the 'Hannibal' ballet (though trimmed) :)

I love jumping anons :D :D 

Peter Jöback’s six most iconic roles (in no particular order): 

1. The Phantom, Phantom of the Opera (West End/Broadway) 
2. Robert, Kristina från Duvemåla (originated) (Malmö/Stockholm) 
3. Sweeney, Sweeney Todd (Stockholm) 
4. Chris, Miss Saigon (West End) 
5. Emcee, Cabaret (Copenhagen, Stockholm) 
6. Michael, Witches of Eastwick (originated) (West End) 

First of all, I love your blog! it is lovely and I have learned so much in following for a few months that I never knew in 25 years of being a fan of the show. I was wondering if you would be willing to make a photoset of the some of the Star Princess tiaras/moons headdresses or if you even just have some good high res close ups of them? It's been fairly easy to find pictures of the mask but the tiara is usually hidden by hair. Thanks!

I have a couple of really hi res photos of various versions. Here ya go!


Hello! Has there every been an officially recorded version of the 'Hannibal' ballet music? Have they ever recorded the full track without the voices? Thank you:)



I have a vague memory of the instrumental version being in a cast recording, but I cannot for my bare life remember which one. I was about to suggest the Hamburg one, but I think it has the complete IL MUTO ballet and not the Hannibal one. I was then about to suggest the Stockholm one, but it’s live and it’s bound to have the dialogue on top. 

Possibly one of the Japanese cast recordings? 

It’s in the Canadian version, the chorus is trimmed (no managers interrupting or Piangi being corrected) but the dance part leading in to the final chorus is there.

Hello :) First of all I have to say that I love your blog ♥ I read the question about the "Hannibal" recording and yes the Hamburg recording contains the full ballet from Ill Muto :)

It does, it does! But the person wanted the full Hannibal ballet. :) 

Thank you for your fantastic words! 

Closeups of different Star Princess tiaras: 

1. The US version, as worn by Sarah Bakker on Broadway, 
2. The World Tour version, as worn by Claire Lyon in Singapore, 
3. The old Danish version, as worn by Viktoria Krantz in Copenhagen, 
4. The never UK version, belonging to Olivia Brereton in West End. 

Hi! Was there ever more than one picture of Kiara Sasso in the Wishing dress? Professionally shot? Because I know Sara Sarres had at least 3, 2 of which I just found, so I was wondering if Kiara had any hidden away. Also, is there a professional shot of Sara Sarres where she's laying on the Phantom's arm? Thank you so much goddess of Phantom knowledge!


I only have one professionally shot photo of Kiara Sasso in the blue dress, but I don’t know if it’s the only one. There may very well be more hidden away that fans don’t have access to. Here’s the one I have:

And I have two photos of the “floating, falling” pose with Sara Sarres:

Hope that helps!

This one hung outside the theatre; I have alas never been able to find a proper online version of is: 

Of course, Sara Sarres was the principal and Kiara Sasso the alternate, so there’s bound to be more published photos of Sara Sarres. But since they apparently had a huge-ass poster of that second photo outside the theatre, I would think it’d be online too somewhere? Then again, there’s a lot of West End poster photos I’ve never seen appearing online :/