Phantom of the Opera at Solaire: How to Make the Most of Your Theater Experience in Manila
When Andrew Lloyd Webber co-wrote a musical edition of The Phantom of the Opera based on the eponymous book by Gaston Leroux, he was widely responsible for putting the story of Christine Daaé and the obsessive yet brilliant titular character on the map. Fortunately for us in the Philippines, an international production is currently running at the Theatre at Solaire and has recently been extended until April 6.
The show runs for a little over two hours, including a 20-minute intermission. Before heading to the theater, be sure to grab a bite to eat. Fortunately, there are dining options aplenty at Solaire, which a few of Town&Country’s guests experienced firsthand at the first-ever Theatrical Dine Around on March 6.
Where to Eat and What to Do Before the Show
If it’s opulence and the complexities of Italian cuisine that you’re craving for, Alan Marchetti will not disappoint. Marchetti is the chef de cuisine of Italian steakhouse Finestra, and he has recently returned from a trip to Italy to rediscover the roots of his trade.
Our guests for the evening got to experience a few of the souvenirs from his travels in the form of a mushroom-themed degustation. Chanterelle, black truffle, and morel are distributed among the dishes, highlighted in the beef carpaccio, the wild mushroom and dehydrated porcini cream, and the tender top blade steak, respectively. The regular menu is no less special, featuring an abundance of USDA Angus Beef, Snake River Farms Wagyu beef, and Japanese Omi beef cuts prepared in a Josper charcoal oven.
You no longer need a plane ticket to Japan for fresh seafood. All you need today is a table reservation at Yakumi, which prepares a selection of the freshest ingredients straight from Tokyo’s Toyosu Fish Market. We have executive chef Norimasa Kosaka and his team to thank for this.
The sushi and sashimi platter is the ideal way to sample the seafood offerings. It’s served together with fresh wasabi root that diners can experience grating themselves. A great follow-up would be the unconventional green tea batter tempura, the chawanmushi, and the savory U.S. beef rib eye robatayaki, paired with the seafood and Japanese mushrooms mixed rice.
If you have a hankering for dim sum and Peking duck, Red Lantern provides an excellent array of authentic Chinese dishes. Accented by black marble floors, wooden panels, and glass walls, Red Lantern provides a contemporary venue for modern renditions of traditional Chinese recipes.
Start off with a dim sum selection of steamed scallop dumpling and steamed shrimp dumpling ‘Ha gau’ with black truffle, and work your way to the main course of double-boiled American ginseng in superior broth, Shanghai style pan-fried king prawns with chili and minced. Delight in the the towering pork belly pyramid with mantou and share the steamed green garoupa or the braised USDA beef short ribs with Chinese herbs and vegetables in a Sichuan sauce. If you’re dining with a big group, you could have these served family-style.
Cigar Bar and Poker Room
Before or after the show, theatergoers will find that there are plenty of activities to keep them busy at Solaire Resort and Casino. One of the newer additions is the intimate Cigar Bar and Poker Room, where Phantom of the Opera-themed drinks are served for a limited time. There are world-class gaming areas, plush accommodations, luxury shops, and more dining options to complete the experience.
Facts About Phantom
Over three decades after it was first staged in London, the popular musical is now distinguished as the longest-running show on Broadway and the second longest-running West End musical. Here are seven fascinating facts about the award-winning Broadway musical that will help you appreciate the production better.
Some 140 million people have watched a staging of the show worldwide.
According to The Phantom of the Opera’s official website, various productions have toured 35 countries and 166 cities in the world. Its estimated earnings are at $6 billion, making it one of the most profitable musicals in history.
The iconic chandelier on set is a replica of the one in the Palais Garnier.
It was first duplicated using 6,000 beads. It hangs at three meters wide and weighs a ton. The original chandelier used for the first production was built by five people in just one month.
The role of the titular character in this staging is played by Jonathan Roxmouth, the youngest English-speaking actor to take on the role.
Those who have seen the international production of the musical that played at the CCP in 2012 might recognize Roxmouth’s rich voice. He was only 25 years old when he first took the role in 2011.
Actors who play the Phantom have a custom mask molded specifically for their faces.
In its 30 years on Broadway, over 300 personalized masks have been made for the many actors that have filled the Phantom’s shoes. It also takes a total of two hours to put on the Phantom’s makeup and 30 minutes to remove it.
In the book by Gaston Leroux, the Phantom is given a name—Erik.
There are some differences between the musical and its source material and although it’s never mentioned in Lloyd Webber’s version, the Phantom’s name is Erik. He was also fully deformed in the book.
A record costume change is timed at 12 seconds.
If you’ve ever wondered how the cast members change from one costume to the other, the answer is it’s a team effort. In a past production, the head of wardrobe revealed that they had only 12 seconds to have Christine change from an orange dress in the Don Juan scene to the white wedding dress she wears in the last scene.
There is a sequel and it will be staged in Manila soon.
Love Never Dies, the sequel to the musical, is reportedly coming soon to the Theatre at Solaire. It takes place 10 years after the events in Phantom and is set in New York. Andrew Lloyd Webber explains that it takes off from the events of the book and you would not have to watch the first musical to have to understand this one.
Basic Theater Etiquette
Going to the theater is an exciting experience. Below, three essential courtesies to remember.
The doors to the theater open 30 minutes before the show, so come early.
Once the show starts, ticketholders will not be allowed inside until an opportune time to open the doors presents itself. Come at least 30 minutes before the curtains go up.
Dress in a decent manner.
The dress code at the theater is smart casual to formal and articles of clothing such as tank tops, sleeveless undershirts, and flip-flops are prohibited.
Leave the little children at home for this one.
As much as your little one might want to watch the show, it might be best to leave them at home. Not all productions are open to children, and the Theatre at Solaire has advises theatergoers not to bring children below the age of seven.
Read more of our theater etiquette rules here.
Discover a new #SolaireExperience when you visit Solaire Resort and Casino to watch #PhantomManila. Solaire Resort and Casino was also one of a handful of Philippine hotels given the coveted 5-stars in the Forbes Travel Guide for the third year running.
Solaire Resort and Casino, Entertainment City, 1 Aseana Avenue, Parañaque, 888.8888, solaireresort.com