Paper faces on parade
Hide your face so the world will never find you”
Taken from the album The Phantom Of The Opera: Original Soundtrack
My favourite song from Phantom is the epic piece ‘Masquerade’, which takes all the excess of the theatre and crams it into one huge track, traditionally the main spectacle showcase in any live production of the show. Coupling a catchy chorus with the overexaggerated pompous tone that infects the rest of the musical, this is for when you want to feel highbrow while staying “down to earth”.
The lead-in to the chorus and the build-up to the word “MASQUERADE!” are wonderful moments, and the rapid fire lyrics reminiscent of Evita’s ‘Rainbow High’ contrast brillaintly with the extended notes in the chorus. Interrupted by Christine and Raoul having some annoying conversation about their engagement, it’s a relief when the rest of the cast comes crashing back in – but somebody comes crashing in too. It’s the Phantom! Everyone looked shocked! Someone get a fan for Madame Giry!
The lyrics of ‘Masquerade’ are clever little nods to the fact that the Phantom wears a mask himself, and it is one of the shows main themes and most famous songs, along with the title song and ‘The Music Of The Night’. I love that in the future within the story, at the very beginning of the play, the music box plays the ‘Masquerade’ melody, making it the first song we hear. A fitting honour for the best song to come out of this incredible musical.