The musical theater geek inside of me died and went to heaven last Tuesday.
I have my favorite shows like Wicked, Jersey Boys, and Billy Elliot, just to name a few, but there will always be two shows that no other production can beat: Les Miserables and Phantom of the Opera.
My mom always tells the story of how, at 8-months pregnant with my oldest sister, she saw the original Broadway cast of Les Mis with my dad and her parents. Half way through, her pregnant feet were so swollen, she had to switch out her heels for my grandpa’s flat loafers, and he proceeded to walk home in socks. Today, that same sister is working on her Master’s thesis in comparative literature. One of the key stories? None other than Victor Hugo’s epic novel. Let’s just say, I couldn’t go see the movie with her for fear of hearing every correction, squeal, and sob that would inevitably leave her, Hugo’s #1 fan.
Les Mis will always be close to my heart because of my family. Phantom of the Opera, on the other hand, I have a love for all on my own. So when I was in Paris for a week of my spring break while my friends galavanted in Nice, I decided to go pay a visit to the masked musical genius.
I started doing musical theater in the 6th grade after my sister (an up-and-coming actress in NYC) started. Comedy came so naturally to her, but as she’ll be the first to admit it, putting a step to a tune wasn’t always her favorite nor did it come with as much ease.
I had taken piano for years. I asked for singing lessons, too, and made a deal with my mom that as long as I practiced piano, I could pick up the singing. That lasted a lot shorter than it should have- let’s just say I can barely remember Pachelbel’s Canon.
After weeks of learning various vocal exercises, I finally had the opportunity to learn a song. At that point, I didn’t care what it was- I was just ready for some real words as opposed to “may-me-mi-mo-mu.” My teacher chose “Think of Me,” a song for a soprano and though I’m more of an alto, I was very proud after taking on this challenge.
These photos aren’t the best quality because all I had was my smaller pocket-sized camera. But I hope they help you all transport yourselves to the Opera Garnier to take a visit to the Phantom of the Opera.