DVD: Love Never Dies
For those of us who saw the original London production at the Adelphi, the Melbourne production featured in this DVD release, is almost unrecognisable. Featuring a new opening and ending, a clearer realisation of the tragic love story at the heart of the show and a new design, only Andrew Lloyd Webber’s lavish score remains (largely intact).
Set 10 years after the events of the original, Phantom Of The Opera, the man in the white mask is now an impresario on New York’s Coney Island. The arrival of his beloved Christine to sing for her supper sets off a series of events that will change the lives of all involved forever.
While a fan of the original London pairing of Ramin Karimloo and Sierra Boggess, Ben Lewis and Anna O’Byrne are perfectly cast. Lewis is intense and brooding (if a little starey-eyed) but also manages to show vulnerability when required. His singing voice is faultless but lacks an edge in the more emotionally charged numbers. Christine is no longer the innocent wide-eyed of the original, instead she’s a woman conflicted by her feelings for her husband and what might have been with The Phantom and is sung beautifully by O’Byrne.
The filming is beautiful, and instead of Lloyd Webber’s previous studio re-creations this is shot in the theatre. The multiple angles offer a richer experience for the audience and it sets a new standard for every filmed musical to come.
This is a must for any Phantom fan and I urge anyone who was put off by the original reviews to give it a try. Trust me – you’ll enjoy it.