Wednesday, August 4, 2010


I am coming clean.
I can't hide it any longer.
I am bringing this out into the light and air,
shaking off the dust and cobwebs
and allowing it to breathe.
There is no shame in what I have to tell you,
though it may seem silly or foolish.
Sometimes it haunts me in my as I sleep,
and makes an appearance during times of reverie.
Other times it burns to be expressed,
and I just have to succumb.

I am obsessed with Phantom of the Opera.
With all of it-- the story, the music, the set design,
with the Phantom himself (especially when played
by the yummy Gerard Butler, as in the 2004 movie).
Thanks to Anne of Fiona and Twig
for featuring some additional images of
the lovely Gerard Butler and
inspiring me to do this post!

I can identify with Christine's struggle to acknowledge
the darker and deeper parts of herself,
while not getting lost in the process.
I can feel the pull the Phantom
has on her when he sings or calls out her name.

He leads Christine into the catacombs,
his underworld,
a den of his own design,
far away from the public life
she leads first, as a chorus girl,
and then, as a stand-in soprano
for the Opera Populaire.

The Phantom's lair is darkly opulent.
It inspires a sense of mystery
and passionate longings,
where one is free
to embrace the unknown
and surrender
as unspoken fantasies unwind.

The top-side world has some intrigue of its own;
however, much of it is instigated by the Phantom or
by the lore that surrounds him.

Then there is the darling boy, Raoul,
an old friend from Christine's childhood,
who represents safety, security, familiarity,
priviledge, and comfort,
memories of life before loss and loneliness.
He is the only person in Christine's life
who can share memories with her
of her dearly departed father.
The pain of Christine's loss is acute
many years after his death.
She seeks assistance from her father,
calling to him across time, space
and lifetimes.

I can easily feel how Christine is torn
between these two sides of herself
and her conflicting needs.
The lure of the Phantom is so strong.
There is a part of me that wants her to go to him
and not look back.

When they are together she loses track of everything
else in her life.

She both craves and fears this.

She is compelled to be near him
and repulsed by this dark side
which overtakes him at times.
In the same fashion
Christine is both turning toward
and running from different parts of herself.

The Phantom wants only to be with her
and to make music with her,
for him to compose
and for her to sing his compositions.
It seems he will stop at nothing to
obtain his desire.

In the end, he knows he must let her go,
that to hold on so tightly is to lose
that which we love the most.
And Christine knows she must leave him,
that her life in the world above can be tailored
to suit all her needs.
My heart breaks for them both,
and for Raoul, Christine's benevolent protector,
who knows he cannot be everything to her,
nor she to him,
but loves her nonetheless.

Each year, come Autumn, I give in

to my own cravings and indulge in

watching Phantom.

Are there any guilty pleasures you are willing to share?

I encourage you to bring them out into the air

where they can breathe.

Chances are that others are right there with you.

Common threads are what connect us all

as human.

Until next time...


Images courtesy of Warner Brothers.


  1. Anne,
    I cannot believe someone else has the same obsession I do for the Phantom. I have loved this movie from the time I saw it in the theater. A friend of mine took me to see it as a surprise. I bought the DVD when it came out and let my daughter see it. She has two boys who were five and four at the time. The oldest, Gabriel, became so enamored with the film that he dressed as the phantom for Halloween that year.
    Not only is the story so captivating, but the movie set, the costumes, the music---I just love it all.
    I have enjoyed this post tremendously. Thank you for sharing.

    In Grace,

  2. A girl after my own heart! I LOVE Phantom of the Opera...I just saw it a couple of years ago and was mesmerized during the whole show. It was shown at our old theatre downtown with the red velvet seats, long lace curtains and a full symphony up front. It was stunningly beautiful and I cried and cried praying that Christine would give in true love instead of true life.

    To be honest here, my guilty and probably embarrassing pleasure is that I am addicted to the show True Blood. It is beyond disgusting and raunchy and I'm appalled by almost every scene but I've become really addicted to it! I very rarely watch tv and this is so out of character for me so I'm not sure what the draw is for me....

    What a fun post ~
    Have a great evening!

    I don't think I've noticed before that you are in Carbondale. My whole family is from Edwardsville - I was just there last week and ate dinner in Carbondale!

  3. I confess, I am in love with the Phantom of the Opera too. My kids used to play the music on the piano and my younger son who sings loves singing the music too. It's just so romantic! Thanks for this lovely post.

  4. Can you believe I've never seen it? Now I think I must.

  5. OMG I saw both the opening of the musical in Stockholm and in London. For years I too was obsessed with it and I just love the music!
    The fact that it is set in the fantastic Paris Opera is another reason to love it and how amazing wouldn't it be to have been able to visit the catacombs that lie beneath it's Baroque splendour.

    Gorgeous post Anne. Thank you.

    xx Charlotta

  6. Oh Anne, Anne, Anne I do not have words to express my secret lust for this story.
    I have heard stories of women growing up with a secret fantasy they of being one of the Disney princesses, and I would think "get real"...But when I saw the Phantom of the Opera I realized I never wanted to be someone else so badly. To have these two men, each intriguing in their own way, fighting for your affection...SIGH!!!!!!!!
    My name is Irma and I am a Phantom of the Operaholic ;o

    BTW I saw the play for the first time in San Francisco while on my honeymoon.

  7. What a fabulous post!
    I love it, too.
    You see, I just think the Phantom is just terribly misunderstood, and all he needs is the love of a good woman.
    Poor baby... ;-)


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