Category Archives: Music

The Phantom of the Opera

My favourite musical is probably The Phantom of the Opera by Andrew Lloyd Webber. I’ve listened to the orginal CD recording countless times, visited the German production in Hamburg with my mother many years ago and saw the movie in the cinema and on DVD.

Last Saturday Silke and I went to London with two friends from Germany. This trip was only possible thanks to Andy and Michelle who kindly offered to watch our puppy Vader for the day. The highlight of our visit was clearly watching The Phantom of the Opera life on stage. This musical is still shown at Her Majesty’s Theatre where it has been running continuously since it first opened in 1986.

The show was absolutely brilliant all the way from the first note of the overture to the great finale. I was especially impressed by Gina Beck who played Christine Daaé. She has a truly amazing voice and her rendition of the song The Phantom of the Opera was probably the best I’ve heard since Sarah Brightman’s performance on the original CD recording.

It was a truly unforgettable evening for all of us. And I’m looking forward to the next musical that we will enjoy life on stage.

Queen + Paul Rodgers at the O2

Last Friday Silke, me and over 10.000 other people had a really good time in The O2 arena in London. That was of course due to our hosts, Queen + Paul Rodgers.

The concert was brilliant, just as I expected. Brian May‘s mastery of the guitar is just breathtaking. Roger Taylor is looking a bit older than he used to but his abilities as a drummer haven’t been affected at all. He even played the famous bassline from Under Pressure on an electronic bass guitar using his drumsticks. And while nobody can replace the late Freddie Mercury the new lead singer Paul Rodgers is an excellent musician.

Besides some great songs from the new album the The Cosmos Rocks they played the classics that people love. There is nothing like celebrating We Will Rock You with thousands of others or singing We Are the Champions at the top of your lungs.

Silke and I are both hoping that this wasn’t the last Queen + Paul Rodgers concert that we have lived to see.

We Will Rock You

While thinking about possible presents for my wife birthday’s last december I had one of my better ideas: I bought tickets for the Queen musical We Will Rock You. We wanted to see it ever since we spotted the posters in London’s tube stations. But we never managed to settle a date and order tickets in advance.

Yesterday the day had come and we were both full of expecation because we are both big queen fans. We took the train to London in the morning, had lunch add the borrow market and finally took the tube to the Dominion Theatre. Reading the program we bought I realized that the remaining members of Queen will celebrate their sixtieth birthdays soon. I’m therefore very happy that we went to their concert with Paul Rodgers in the Hyde Park in 2005. It was probably our last chance to enjoy at least Brian May and Roger Taylor performing live.

But let’s get back to the musical:

  1. The music was of great. No big surprise here. Thanks to the diversity of the songs Queen recorded over the years they could find the right music for every part of the show.
  2. The performers were great. I was especially impressed by Jenna Lee James who played the main female character Scaramouche.
  3. Besides good music there was a lot of british humour in it including funny references to current events. They even poked fun at the members of Queen.
  4. There were also touching moments dedicated to the memory of rock stars who died young: legends like Elvis Presley, Jimmy Hendrix and of course Freddy Mercury.
  5. The simple but taking story is about a world ruled by a powerful coperationg called Globalsoft. They control everything including the music business which is dominated by cloned boy and girl bands. Rock ‘n’ Roll and music instruments are banned. And only a few rebels are trying to bring both back.

My wife and I really enjoyed the time and are considering to watch the show a second time. If you like Queen’s music you must see it!