The Music of the Night
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"The Music of the Night" (also labeled as just "Music of the Night") is a major song, as a male solo, from the 1986 musical The Phantom of the Opera. The music was written by Andrew Lloyd Webber with lyrics by Charles Hart. It has appeared on multiple soundtracks of the musical, such as the original cast version in which English actor Michael Crawford sings the song.
History and performances
Initially made famous by Michael Crawford, the actor who originated the role of the Phantom both in the West End and on Broadway, the song has sold millions of copies worldwide and has been translated into many different languages. The Really Useful Group filmed a video starring Crawford and Sarah Brightman (who did not sing), which featured the original lyrics to the song. Crawford later recorded the song as a duet with Barbra Streisand for her album Back to Broadway (1993).
In the musical, it is sung after the Phantom lures Christine Daaé to his lair beneath the Opera House. He seduces Christine with "his music" of the night, his voice putting her into a type of trance. He sings of his unspoken love for her and urges her to forget the world and life she knew before. The Phantom leads Christine around his lair, eventually pulling back a curtain to reveal a mannequin dressed in a wedding gown resembling Christine. When she approaches it, it suddenly moves, causing her to faint. The Phantom then carries Christine to a bed, where he lays her down and goes on to write his music.
Sarah Brightman declared at the London's Royal Albert Hall Concert in 1997, that the song was originally written by Andrew Lloyd Webber for her, the first time he met her. That version had different lyrics and was called "Married Man". The lyrics were later rewritten and the song was added into The Phantom of the Opera.
A year before The Phantom Of The Opera opened at Her Majesty's Theatre, the original version of the song was performed at Andrew Lloyd Webber's own theatre at Sydmonton, along with the first drafts of the show. The audience were a specially gathered group of Webber's acquaintances. The Phantom was played by Colm Wilkinson, who sang "The Music Of The Night" in Act One. As Charles Hart had not yet become involved in writing the song, in places the lyrics were very different from the ones used in the three variations of the song.
Since Brightman was the first soprano to sing this song, Jackie Evancho performed the song for her movie-themed concert called Songs from the Silver Screen with the words, "compose the music of the night".
One version of "The Music of the Night", as performed by Sarah Brightman, has alternative lyrics, as well as a different ending, replacing the line "To the power of the music that I write," with "To the harmony which dreams alone can write".
Due to similarities between the song and a recurring melody in Giacomo Puccini's 1910 opera, La fanciulla del West (The Girl of the Golden West), the Puccini estate filed lawsuit against Webber, accusing him of plagiarism. An agreement was settled out of court and details were not released to the public.
- Meryl Davis and Charlie White used the song when ice dancing at the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver and won a silver medal.
- 2010: Mark Vincent covered the song for his album Compass
- 2016: Marina Prior and Mark Vincent covered the song on their album Together