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Hi guys and a special shout out to my brother on his birthday!

Brad Little, Lisa Vroman. Photo by Joan Marcus.

For today’s A to Z Challenge I chose “The Phantom of the Opera” which
was in fact the first professional musical I saw in 1997 with my family
at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre. I really cannot imagine a better
setting to see “The Phantom of the Opera”. I have had the privilege of seeing the show 4 times at the Pantages starring: Ron Bohmer/Sandra Joseph, Brad Little/Lisa Vroman, Tim Martin Gleason/Trista Moldovan and the 2.0 version starring a lackluster Katie Travis and Chris Mann. Previously in 2015 I ranked my favourite performances and stand by those rankings.

Katie Travis and Chris Mann. Photo by: Matthew Murphy & Alastair Muir

Today I am going to share my 3 favourite POTO soundtracks:
1. The Phantom of the Opera Studio Cast with Claire Moore (Sarah Brightman’s original alternate), Graham Bickley, and John Barrowman.
Claire Moore is my all time favourite actress and I collected all her albums before getting the chance to meet her at the stage door of Les Mis in London. Dream come true. There is also FYI an album with Ethan Freeman as The Phantom but I couldn’t find it on Amazon.

2. Canadian Cast Recording with Colm Wilkinson, Rebecca Caine and Byron Nease.
Colm Wilkinson and Rebecca Caine known for being Jean Valjean and Older Cosette in the original London cast of Les Miserables are stunning in this production. This is definitely my favourite cast recording and you can’t deny the terrific orchestrations.

3. The Royal Albert Hall 25th Anniversary Concert with Sierra Boggess, Ramin Karimloo and Hadley Fraser.
I’m not quite sure of why everyone is so obsessed with Sierra. She is a fabulous Christine but IMO she’s not “The One”. However this is a fabulous recording with the full orchestra and the three leads have great chemistry with each other.

Ron Bohmer, Sandra Joseph. Photo by Joan Marcus.

And for those of you who want to know my all-time favourite solo numbers not featured on cast recordings here are just a few of them (in no particular order):

Sean McLaughlin, Trista Moldovan. Photo by Joan Marcus.

You will notice I avoided any international productions since I don’t feel like I can properly judge them without knowing the language but here are just a few international versions of the title song:

Jan Ammann (German)
Ivan Ozhogin (Russian)
Laurant Ban, Cecilia Cara (French)
Luca Velletri, Renata Fusco (Italian)
Irasema Terrazas y Saulo Vasconcelos (Mexico)