The Phantom of the Opera (music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, lyrics by Charles Hart) is one of the most successful musicals ever written and has gained devoted fans all around the globe. I count myself among these people, having been lucky enough to see the musical a few times on both sides of the Atlantic and having bought the soundtrack CD and DVD recording of the Royal Albert Hall production; so, I was intrigued when I found out that a graphic novel version of the musical was being released just in time for Christmas (07/12/21 in the UK) by Titan Comics.
The 112-page hardback with the story adapted by Cavan Scott and artwork by José María Beroy follows fairly faithfully the musical’s plot, dialogues and even incorporates some of the most iconic songs that some of us have managed to learn by heart over the years. While I cannot profess to be a die-hard fan of this literary genre and was a bit sceptical about “reading a musical”, I must admit I have enjoyed the book a lot more than expected. The graphic novel is beautifully illustrated and richly coloured, perfectly conveying the atmosphere of 19th century Paris; some of the scenes are so detailed that you can spend minutes looking at them and the characters are so expressive that you can nearly hear them talking and singing.
I particularly enjoyed reading the lyrics to some of the most memorable songs in the musical and found myself singing out loud while reading the graphic novel and playing back in my mind some of the choreographies from the theatre show. While it cannot replace the experience and feeling of watching the musical live or recorded, I think it is a great gift for somebody that loves theatre and is a fan of The Phantom of the Opera or of Lloyd Webber’s genius.
Unfortunately, most of us cannot see the live production every time we want, this book is a lovely way to relive the experience, atmosphere and soundtrack at home or wherever we are, and maybe even better if read while playing the soundtrack in the background. And with the possibility of more restriction looming on the horizon, it is a lovely way for die-hard theatre fans like me to keep the connection alive with the musical world and relive some of the experience in the comfort (and safety) of home.
Review by Fabio Ghiotto
In 1881 the cast and crew of a new production, Hannibal, are terrorized by the Phantom of the Opera, a mysterious, hideously disfigured man who lives beneath the Paris Opera House. Hopelessly in love and obsessed with one of the chorus singers, the Phantom will stop at nothing to make her the star of the show, even if that means murder.
Relive every moment and every song of the classic stage musical – from the legendary chandelier crash, to Christine’s first visit to the Paris catacombs and the Phantom’s lair. Open your mind, let your fantasies unwind and let this book take you back to the wonders of The Phantom of the Opera.
In the UK, The Phantom of the Opera graphic novel hits comic shops, Forbidden Planet and bookstores on December 7, 2021.
The Phantom of the Opera – the musical masterpiece as you’ve NEVER seen it before…
The longest-running show in Broadway history and the most successful musical of all time is now an outstanding Graphic Novel!
Illustrated by José María Beroy and adapted by Cavan Scott from the original Libretto written by Andrew Lloyd Webber, Charles Hart and Richard Stilgoe.
The Phantom of the Opera
Writer: Cavan Scott / Artist: José María Beroy
Publisher: Titan Comics
In the UK, The Phantom of the Opera graphic novel hit comic shops, Forbidden Planet and bookstores on December 7, 2021.
In the US/CAN, The Phantom of the Opera graphic novel hits comic shops and bookstores on January 11, 2022.
The Phantom of the Opera graphic novel will be available on digital devices.