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The Phantom of the Opera at the Royal Albert Hall Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit), English Dolby Digital 2.0
  • Subtitles: English SDH, Cantonese, Dutch, French, German, Hungarian, Icelandic, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Polish, Russian, Spanish, Turkish
  • Region: ABC (Region-Free)
  • Rating: Not Rated
  • Run Time: 160 Mins.
  • Discs: 1 (1 x Blu-ray)
  • Studio: Universal Studios Home Entertainment
  • Blu-ray Release Date: February 7, 2012
  • List Price: $39.98

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Phantom Of The Opera: Live At Royal Albert Hall -

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Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Performance
[Rating:4.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:1.5/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(All TheaterByte screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG at 100% quality setting and are meant as a general representation of the content. They do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Performance

[Rating:4.5/5]

For the 25the anniversary of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s incredibly popular stage musical The Phantom of the Opera, a lavish stage production at the famed Royal Albert Hall was undertaken. With the stars of Webber’s Phantom sequel Love Never Dies in the leads, this fantastic rendition of this timeless musical classic, captured in high definition for release on home video for the first time ever, was and is truly spectacle worthy of the original production.

Speaking as someone who has seen Phantom on Broadway in the early-90s, I have to say that, apart from a few minor things, such as the famous chandelier not actually crashing down in this version, this is a top-notch, definitive version, brought up-to-date with new technology, such as a giant screen tastefully used to add a new element to the show. For instance, as the Phantom’s notes to the opera company are received, rather than simply hearing his voice from afar offstage, you often see him sitting at his desk penning them.

On to the stars; Sierra Boggess as Christine Daaé is magnetic. Her voice is angelic, with effortless power in the upper ranges. She also has the sort of immediate charm that makes her a candidate to have a Disney princess based on her. To my amazement, I came to that conclusion before I did a little research and found she actually played Ariel in a production of The Little Mermaid. The Phantom is portrayed by Ramin Karimloo who gives a good sense of torment to the “monster,” and sings the famous songs rather well, though I felt he seemed just a little weak in the upper ranges.

For anyone on the planet who doesn’t know the story of The Phantom of the Opera by now, it is a timeless tragedy of beauty and the beast and unrequited love. The Phantom is a disfigured musical genius and inventor leaving beneath the Paris Opera House who terrorizes the company. He becomes infatuated with the young ingenue Christine Daaé, giving her music lessons in secret and eventually forcing the company to set her up as their main diva. But when Christine rebuffs his love, instead falling for her childhood friend, the Phantom’s true rage is released and things turn tragic.

Video Quality

[Rating:4.5/5]

Wow! This HD production, brought to Blu-ray in a 1080p/24 AVC encodement looks spectacular. The lavish set and costume designs really sparkle. There is no evident issue with motion artifacts and video noise is minimal. Detail is very strong, bringing out all the textures in skin and clothing.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4/5]

With a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit) soundtrack provided as the main option, The Phantom of the Opera at the Royal Albert Hall sounds good, but it could have been a bit better. All the vocals are individually miked, giving a very closely-recorded sound. The orchestra os also rather close-miked, and with little added to the surrounds, the overall mix has an unusually dry sound for a live performance, other than some occasional lush reverb added to the distant, offstage voice of the Phantom. Still, there are good dynamics, strong instrumental separation, and musical lows that make for a pleasant listen.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:1.5/5]

A trailer for the forthcoming release of Webber’s sequel to Phantom of the Opera and a behind-the-scenes look at the preparations for this 25th anniversary production are included on this disc.

  • Love Never Dies Trailer (1.78:1; 1080p/24)
  • Getting Past the Point of No Return: Behind the Scenes at Phantom 25th (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:17:40)

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:4/5]

A delightful, enthralling production of Phantom with beautiful, unobtrusive camerawork, excellent vocal performances, and a surprise encore featuring the original Phantom and Christine, Michael Crawford and Sarah Brightman make this a special Blu-ray release that fans have to get. Highly recommended.

Additional Screen Captures

[amazon-product]B005SFS4ZU[/amazon-product]

BestBuy.com
Phantom Of The Opera: Live At Royal Albert Hall -

Purchase Phantom of the Opera at the Royal Albert Hall on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for More Blu-ray Titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Performance
[Rating:4.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:1.5/5]

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