So as one does, I was listening to the recent Force Over Distance chapters, and got to the discussion here
about the use of pitch arcs in speaking to designate a certain kind of seductive fascination, particularly in male characters. Think Robert Carlyle as Mr. Gold in OUAT... or Claudia Black in anything ...or Michael Crawford, in basically anything but in particular POTO. (Though the fact that he kind of tries to do it in everything -- I seriously think he doesn't know how to turn it off
-- means that I can't listen to him try to do non-threatening characters. Like Jean Valjean *shudder*)
And then there's the Canadian recording of Phantom.
So on zopyrus
's recommendation, I listened to the Canadian recording of POTO on Spotify, and despite my saying up and down that I wouldn't like any other recording because I imprinted on the London recording at a young age, I liked it a lot
. I wasn't particularly taken by Canadian!Raoul (sorry, Steve Barton really did imprint me), but Rebecca Caine as Christine was lovely, and then the Phantom -- well, so, I listened not knowing who the Phantom was at first (thanks Spotify!), which was great, because now that I know it's a little creepy -- but anyway, it is a very, very different interpretation than Crawford's. Canadian!Phantom has a sort of disjointed, flat way of speaking/singing that brings forth a character who isn't used to socializing, isn't used to normal human discourse, writes self-insert Don Juan operas, is desperately in love with a girl way out of his league: is really a bit pathetic.
I sort of adore this interpretation. "Past the Point of No Return"
, for instance, is quite frankly incredibly fascinating to me for how different it is from Crawford's interpretation. Crawford, to me, is all about sweeping Christine off her feet, in an incredibly creepy and emotionally controlling way. Canadian!Phantom is -- well, yeah, he's still incredibly creepy and emotionally controlling, but in a much sadder and pathetic way, and in "No Return" I feel like it comes across much more as a "Hey, I finally get to star as Don Juan... and it's actually a little nervewracking."
But now it's very clear to me why a whole generation of fangirls has woobified the Phantom. Because Crawford's interpretation is very sexy, very darkly fascinating... And it's also wildly interesting to me that Crawford essentially does this by very controlled use of the way he varies both his pitch and his nasality in speech and singing; and Canadian!Phantom is able to achieve a very different effect by flattening that out quite a lot.