“The Phantom of the Opera”‘s sequel: “Love Never Dies”

This past Sunday, I watched the professional recording of Sydney, Australia’s cast of “Love Never Die,” the romantic sequel and dramatic sequel to Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “The Phantom of the Opera.” The sequel has had a bit of a rough past. It has been rewritten twice since 2010, and it was short lived on Broadway because of the number of bad reviews. Due to this, parts of the show were revised and the outcome received a lot more positive feedback.

Starring Ben Lewis as the Phantom and Anna O’Byrne as Christine Daae, the show’s events are set ten years after the fiery collapse of the Opera Populaire in Paris, France. After the Opera House was raided in search of the Phantom, he was moved overseas to New York by the Girys, a family from the Opera House. In New York, the Phantom has found a new place to compose is music and is now the anonymous owner of Coney Island. Back in France, Christine receives an invitation to sing at a new opera house in New York. Christine embarks from France to New York where she will reunite with the masked man she presumes is dead and bring his music back to life.

The sequel is rather different from “The Phantom of the Opera,” and I honestly was not expecting it to differ so much. The sets are more modernized, and the music has stronger rock and brighter elements than are seen in the original’s more operatic and classical feel. If “Love Never Dies” had been so similar to “The Phantom of the Opera,” I don’t think that it would have been as special.

The show’s plot isn’t as strong as the show’s other elements. Some of the characters aren’t what they are in the “The Phantom of the Opera.” I did have to keep in mind that the show is set ten years later after the original, but some of the character development still doesn’t make sense. Raoul is too mean, Meg has kind of turned into an obsessive lunatic, and Madame Giry is colder than ever. Their personalities don’t line up with who they are in the original.

But, I did like who Christine and the Phantom turn out to be after nearly a decade. Christine is nearly the same, only she is more nurturing and mature due to the fact that she is a mother. The Phantom is the complete opposite of who he is in “The Phantom of the Opera.” He is so feared in the original, and I would go as far as saying he is also rather homicidal and obsessive for love. He was a misunderstood musical prodigy who has been shunned because if his face. In “Love Never Dies”, the Phantom is a lot more confident in who he is. He has found new life in his music by bringing out the beauty underneath. He is nowhere near the man he used to be.

The show is true to the whole message of the original story. There is beauty beneath every surface, and it truly takes the most compassionate of hearts to dig for that beauty. Webber highlighted that in his romantic sequel, and the story is true to its title. Even after ten years, true love never dies.