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The Phantom of the Opera

 

Lindsey Stirling’s Rocking Violin Take:  “Staying True to Myself”

(VIRAL VIDEO)

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

The Phantom of the Opera is a novel by French writer Gaston
Leroux.  A story of unrequited love in a beauty and the beast
narrative, Leroux claimed that Erik, the “Phantom of the Opera,”
was a real person upon which he based his 1909 story on.

Phantom classic picThere have been numerous works based on The Phantom of the Opera, ranging from musicals to films to children’s books. Well-known stage and screen adaptations of the novel include the 1925 silent film version starring Lon Chaney, the 1962 film version made by Hammer Film Productions, and the 1986 Andrew Lloyd Webber musical.

In Leroux’s classic horror-romance tale, Christine is a beautiful and gifted young woman who longs to join the company of the Paris Opera House.  During rehearsals for one of the opera’s grand productions, a backdrop mysteriously falls and crashes to the floor nearly crushing the leading lady, Carlotta.

Several members of the company suggest this could be the work of the “Phantom of the Opera,” a ghostly presence said to haunt the building.  Carlotta drops out of the show and importune fate allows Christine stepping in as her replacement.  Christine’s performance is a triumph, and on opening night she becomes reacquainted with Raoul, a former childhood friend and now a wealthy and well-known nobleman.

Phantom Lon Chaney3Christine soon finds herself taken with the handsome Raoul.  But on the same evening she also makes a startling discovery — the story of the Phantom is not just a legend.  He’s very real.

A brilliant but horribly disfigured composer, the Phantom lives deep in the bowels of the old opera house, and he’s taken with the sheer beauty of Christine’s voice.  The masked Phantom abducts and brings Christine to his secret lair– where he offers to help perfect her talents and write an opera especially for her. As the terrified Christine is comforted by Raoul, the Phantom sees her misplaced affection as yet another tremendous betrayal.  The vengeful and bitterly jealous Phantom nearly kills Christine– just as he previously nearly killed Carlotta.

When the Phantom finally emerges to present the opera’s management with the piece he has written for Christine, the singer is asked to risk her life in an effort to capture and unmask the mad genius– once and for all.

stirling2The performer in this musical adaption of The Phantom of the Opera is accomplished violinist, musician, dancer, and composer Lindsey Stirling.  She plays it fast, hard, and wicked.

Stirling performs a variety of music styles, from classical to Celtic, pop to rock, hip-hop to dubstep.  At the age of 5, after being influenced by the classical music records played by her father, Stirling began to study the violin.  She took private lessons for 12 years, and when she was 16, joined a rock band with four of her friends.  From there, her career took off.

In 2010, the 24-year-old Stirling was a quarter-finalist on the fifth season of America’s Got Talent where she was known as the ‘Hip Hop Violinist’.

Stirling’s performances were dubbed “electrifying” by the judges and she won the acclaim of the audience, but after she stepped up her final performance judge Piers Morgan bluntly told her, “You’re not untalented, but you’re not good enough to get away with flying through the air and trying to play the violin at the same time.”

Sharon Osbourne softened the blow bittersweetly by adding, “You need to be in a group.  What you’re doing is not enough to fill a theater in Vegas.”

Slindseytirling confided later, “I was devastated at the results.  It was painful, and a bit humiliating; however, I had to relearn where it was that I drew my strength.”

And draw upon it she did.  She has since done many collaborations, solo works, recordings, a few films and videos, and is presently touring across the country.

Shortly after her performance on America’s Got Talent, an awesome cinematographer named Devin Graham contacted her in hopes of making a YouTube video together.   The above video has gone viral with over seven million views and is one of their many fine collaborations together, among others.

Stirling decided to continue to embrace her unique style of performance.  In a 2012 interview she remarked, “A lot of people have told me along the way that my style and the music I do is unmarketable.   But the only reason I’m successful is because I have stayed true to myself.”

She must be Irish.

* * * * * * * *

The above video is best viewed at the fullscreen setting.  The sound is great.  Crank it up.

Other film works by the young Devin Graham that we’ve covered include Wingsuit Racing and Trike Drifting.

One Response to “The Phantom of the Opera”

  1. CPA In Atlanta says:

    Fantastic article, Lindsey is good and going places. Hope she makes it, it’s a long way to the top when you rock and roll.

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