The chandelier scene is one of the most important and popular in ‘The Phantom of the Opera’. I think that is one of the most spectacular moments of the full show. Probably, most of the people who has seen it live will remember it, because is not just decoration, is part of the story.
When I saw the show in Her Majesty’s Theatre, I was surprised that everything was related to the musical. The stage reminded me the classic opera with all the old sculptures and decorations, and also the Ópera National de Paris, that I saw one year before. So the chandelier is very important. Is the first thing you see in the stage, covered with rags.
When the Phantom is angry and upset, he makes the chandelier crash. It’s catastrophic, dramatic and absolutely amazing to see. The music, the lights and the actors performing create an atmosphere unique in the theatre. It’s one of the most iconic scenes in musical theatre, but also means an important technological complexity.
In London, the chandelier has always been the same. If you go to the theatre now, you can see that they are using the same one since 1986. The computers that control it, used to run on Microsoft MS-DOS 3.1 Software, which was released in 1984. Obviously now the software is much better and modern than that. Every nigh the batteries are charged so it’s ready for the next day. In the following video you can see how tecnicians work to prepare the chandelier for every performance.
The chandelier represents many things. I think that it’s quite metaphoric even. At the beginning of the show, the chandelier rises from the floor of the stage to the roof, with the amazing and memorable ‘Overture’ score. Everything begins, the story starts again and the memories of Raoul come to live once more.
But the chandelier crashes when the love of the Phantom and Christine can’t work. It’s so sad, so dramatic, that the chandelier falls from the roof. It’s kind of poetic, powerful and beautiful. It’s one of the most important scenes in ‘The Phantom of the Opera’. It’s in most of the adaptations of the original book as you can see in a video if you click here (I’m sorry, I’m not able to share it with you in the post for some reason that I don’t know).
The musical movie adaptation of ‘The Phantom of the Opera’, released in 2004, has probably one of the most spectacular scenes with the chandelier. Obviously, as a film, there is the possibility to combine lots of special effects so it looks astonishing. This means, also, a lot of work by specialists and technicians. You can see a video of all that work in the making of the movie here:
I hope you enjoy the chandelier scene in ‘The Phantom of the Opera’ as I do. Is absolutely one of the most memorable moments of the show. I stood with my mouth open. And made me think about the power of theatre. It’s surprising how a decoration object can have so much potential and be so important in the story.