A few years after The Phantom of the Opera
debuted in London, Harold Prince unveiled Andrew Lloyd Webber's gothic musical in Canada, in 1989. It was so good that this recording of highlights from the Canadian cast is--dare we say it?--more enjoyable than the equivalent London cast highlights album. No, it doesn't have the authenticity of London principals Sarah Brightman (for whom then-husband Lloyd Webber wrote the role of Christine) and Michael Crawford, but it doesn't have their idiosyncrasies, either, and it does have the richer voices of Colm Wilkinson and Rebecca Caine (who played Jean Valjean and older Cosette, respectively, in the 1985 London cast of Les Misérables
). At 69 minutes, the Canadian album is also 10 minutes longer than the London, allowing inclusion of the prologue and dress rehearsal for Hannibal
. Of course, Lloyd Webber's melodies--"Angel of Music," "The Music of the Night," "All I Ask of You," "Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again"--are scrumptious on any continent. --David Horiuchi
Contains highlights from the Andrew Lloyd Webber brainchild performed in Ottawa, Vancouver, Montreal & Calgary during April, 1991 through September, 1992. Stars Colm Wilkinson & Rebecca Caine in leading roles.