The end of the Music of the Night: ‘Phantom of the Opera’ closes historic Broadway run

Ajay Suresh | Wikmedia Commons


Ajay Suresh | Wikmedia Commons

Inga Keselman

On April 16, ‘The Phantom of the Opera’ concluded its historic 35-year run in the Majestic Theater on Broadway. The show opened its doors in January 1988, and shas since played to over 20 million people, according to The New York Times.

This beloved production announced its final date in September 2022. The show’s composer Andrew Lloyd Webber and producer Cameron Mackintosh decided to close the show because it had not been profitable since before Broadway’s pandemic closures.

“The following week, we were profitable for the first time, so, you know, it was the right decision to take at the right time,” Mackintosh said in a phone interview with NPR. “And, you know, I think people’s memory now is back with people saying ‘Phantom of the Opera’ is one of the great successes of all time, which is what one always prays when a great show finishes.”

The show follows a ghost who haunts the Paris Opera House and becomes infatuated with Christine, the opera’s newest soprano. The Phantom is driven to murder those who stand in the way of his love for Christine. But love prevails as Raoul, the true love of Christine’s life, helps her escape from the Phantom. The haunting begins when the Paris Opera House’s staff acquires a chandelier at auction, but this chandelier comes with a ghostly surprise.

The show was both a romance and a horror that tackled themes of love, jealousy, revenge and redemption, making it a relatable and fantastical watch.

The final performance was invite-only and honored the friends and families of the cast and crew as well as the show’s longtime fans. Other Broadway superstars like Lin-Manuel Miranda and Glenn Close were in attendance.

The show ended with a reprisal of its most famous song, “The Music of the Night,” sung by the current cast, actors who have previously taken on these roles, including Sarah Brightman — the original Christine — and crew members. At curtain call, everyone who had ever worked on the show was invited to take a bow. Projections of deceased members of the original creative team were on the walls of the theater. Applause filled the room. Even the infamous one-ton chandelier took a bow.

The show concluded with a speech from Andrew Lloyd Webber. After the final curtain, he revealed that the final performance was dedicated to his son, Nicholas, who died just three weeks earlier from gastric cancer.

Emilie Kouatchou, who made her Broadway debut as Christine in January 2022, played Christine in the final show.

“We get to celebrate at the end of this,” Koutachou said. “We get to all come together and drink and laugh and talk about the show and all the highs and lows. It’s ending on a big note.”

Most Broadway shows do not have such a grand sendoff, which speaks to the level of love and respect the musical theater community has for “The Phantom of the Opera. 

As far as a revival , Mackintosh just had one thing to say.

“The one question I keep getting asked again and again — will the Phantom return?” he said.

“Having been a producer for over 55 years, I’ve seen all the great musicals return, and ‘Phantom’ is one of the greatest. So it’s only a matter of time.”

For those who haven’t seen it, there may be another chance to experience the music of the night sooner than you think.