question about Phantom of the Opera: the movie

Our internet was down earlier this evening, and we couldn’t get on Netflix, so my daughter went to the DVR and cued up a recording of The Phantom of the Opera. And something struck me.

Early in the film, the diva La Carlotta is singing the aria from Hannibal, “Think of Me,” while dressed in the costume of her character, a costume that is very ornate, gilded, kinda ancient Roman-looking (maybe Carthaginian). And then the Phantom monkeys with one of the scenes and drops it on her, inciting her to flounce out of the opera house. Desperate to not have to refund the entire house, the opera’s new owners agree to listen to chorus girl Christine sing the same song. And while she’s singing, the scene shifts to later that evening, during the performance.

Now, I’m not going to complain about the fact that Christine sings the aria in a different key than the orchestra had prepared to accompany La Carlotta in (although maybe I should). No, I’m too :confused: wtf :confused: about the fact that the costume she’s wearing bears not the slightest resemblance to what La Carlotta had been wearing. She looks like she could be playing Cinderella in that white gown. She does not look like she is going to be keeping the home fires burning in Carthage in 200 BCE.

So what the hell?

Christine is a virgin. La Carlotta is a whore. Their costumes reflect that.

That makes sense for the people watching the movie; it makes NO sense for the audience in the opera house. “WHY isn’t she dressed like the rest of the people in the opera?”

Since La Carlotta presumably took off in the costume, perhaps there wasn’t anything else the costume director could come up with on such short notice?

Pfft. Christine was wearing a chorus girl costume that was at least in the same period. Couldn’t have been that hard to fancy it up a little.

It’s not like La Carlotta’s get-up was Christine’s size anyway.

shrug But, I guess it looks like I’m the only person this really bothers. My daughter thinks that, as a repertory company, even though they were rehearsing Hannibal, that doesn’t mean that was on the bill for that evening. :dubious: Or, possibly, that the aria was being performed out of order, just so the new owners could hear it. :dubious: :dubious:

It’s been a while since I saw the film, so I am not sure if it was changed, but this is indeed how it’s portrayed in the stage show. Carlotta sings “Think of Me” because the new managers ask to hear it, and they say that the aria is from act three of Hannibal. I don’t know if the scene of Hannibal that they are rehearsing is the opening scene of the opera or what, but it’s made clear that the aria is from a later scene. In the stage show Christine & Carlotta do wear the same costume while singing it however, so I think it’s really just another costume fail on the part of Joel Schumacher.

I think La Carlotta was in costume for an earlier act and asked to sing the aria from a later act. I always assumed that she would have had a different costume for that later act that would have been similar to the one that Christine wore. So I’m not convinced this was an error. I would have enjoyed the scene even if Emmy Rossum wore no costume at all.

How Shameless.

Thanks so much for the explanation. That works for me.

Not Cinderella, but Empress Sissi.

But I agree…she does NOT look like she should be Queen of Carthage. It’s just one of the many, many logical flaws in that adaptation. The filmed 25th Anniversary performance has this beat. (And has Ramin Karimloo instead of Gerard Butler.)

If you’re referring to the Albert Hall performance, I was a little disappointed by it. They had to make some adjustments to the set in order to accomodate the stage and it just didn’t have the epic scale that you get in the regular stage version. For example the staircases weren’t as majestic and the Phantom’s lair was far less dramatic. Plus I just found it so distracting to see the microphones on the performers.