Κυριακή, 6 Ιουνίου 2010

Swedish opera singers that fit Christine's description

Sigrid Arnoldson

Sigrid Arnoldson (20 March 1861 – 7 February 1943) was a Swedish opera singer with an active international career at the end of the 19th century and into the 20th. Possessing a fine coloratura soprano voice with a range of three octaves, music critics believed she was Jenny Lind's successor and dubbed her "the new Swedish Nightingale". Her voice is preserved on several recordings made in Berlin for the Gramophone Company between 1906 and 1910.

Olga Björkegren

Olga Augusta Christina Björkegren, (8 September 1857 - 30 April 1950), was a Swedish opera singer.

Daughter of the Sommelier Per Björkegren and Anna Söderberg. She was a student at Dramatens elevskola in 1873, and active at Swedish Theatre (Stockholm) in 1875-79 and the Royal Swedish Opera in 1879-87. She was described as dignified and classic and well suited for parts of great dignity.

She married the art collector and writer Klas Fåhraeus in 1887. In 1909, the couple used their villa as a combined art gallery, and their home became a center of artists: many young artists were also allowed to live there free of costs to develop their talent.

Ellen Gulbranson

Ellen Gulbranson (4 Mar 1863 - 2 January 1947) was a Swedish operatic soprano. She was a leading figure among the second generation of Bayreuth singers, whose fame was largely due to the Wagner festivals there. Her voice is preserved on a few recordings made with Edison Records and Pathé Records during the early part of the 20th century.

There are more, but this one,

Margareta Sofia Lagerqvist, caught my attention.

Margareta Sofia Lagerqvist (1771 - 6 June 1800 in Norrköping), was a noted Swedish opera singer and stage actor.

She was emplyed as an opera singer at the Royal Swedish Opera, and as an actor at the Royal Dramatic Theatre, in 1788-99, and additionally as both an actor and a singer at the Stenborg Theatre in Stockholm in 1784-99.

Her father worked as a caretaker. She debuted at the Eriksberg Theatre in Stockholm in January 1784. The same year, she became a student at the Royal Opera, but she was not contracted there until 1788. She was the student of Carl Stenborg.

The memoirist Gjörwell wrote about her: " She lived with her mother and lived a modest life. She was a fairly beautiful girl, sang beautifully but acted with coldness and spoke monotoniously".

At her performance in Norrköping 1800, she was given the critic: "Mrs Brooman have given the part to our complete pleasure. We can only regret, that an illness to the chest deny her voice the strength". She died soon after.

She married her colleague Jan Erik Brooman in 1798.

Very, very Christine-ish, although in the wrong era.

Also, remember that if the book is set in 1880-1881, then Christine must've been born 20 years before that, 1860-1861.

Δευτέρα, 17 Μαΐου 2010

Little Lotte Mystery explained!

From http://ezinearticles.com/?Who-Is-Little-Lotte?--Discovering-the-Mystery-Character-in-The-Phantom-of-The-Opera&id=65223

One of the more inexplicable details in the movie version of The Phantom of the Opera consists of Christine confessing to her friend Meg that when she and Raoul were children, he nicknamed her Little Lotte. Lotte was a common diminutive nickname for Charlotte, not Christine. It seems that the dialogue was added simply to explain to the audience why they then sing a duet about Little Lotte.

So why does Andrew Lloyd Webber have a duet about Little Lotte in his musical, then? Simple. It's in the original story by Gaston Leroux.

Now we get to the crux of the issue. In the 1980's, when Phantom first debuted, no one knew who Little Lotte was. The offhand reference in the lyrics made no sense to most theatre-goers. But at the time when Leroux was writing his book, readers would have known exactly what he was referring to.

Little Lotte is a parlor game, similar to Twenty Questions, where one person knows the answer, and other people try to guess it. But in this case, the person lists three items, and the others must guess which of the three Little Lotte prefers. The secret is hinted at by the name of the game -- Little Lotte prefers items with double consonents in their names.

So now, we have the lyrics: Little Lotte thought am I fonder of dolls or of goblins or shoes?

The correct answer should be dolls because it has the double-L. Since they both know the answer, they don't bother answering, merely posing the next set.

Or of riddles or frocks? Or of chocolates?

Again, Lotte would prefer riddles, because of the double-D.

You can see why the game quickly fell out of favor. Once you know the secret, there's no challenge. And that's why modern theatre-goers needed an explanation for who Little Lotte was.

Hidden Chamber under Paris...

In September 2004, French police discovered a hidden chamber in the catacombs under Paris. It contained a full-sized movie screen, projection equipment, a bar, a pressure cooker for making couscous, a professionally installed electricity system, and at least three phone lines. Movies ranged from 1950s noir classics to recent thrillers.

When the police returned three days later, the phone and power lines had been cut and there was a note on the floor: “Do not try to find us.”

Ha. Familliar much?

Παρασκευή, 14 Μαΐου 2010


I took some time and searched on ancestry.com Christine Dahe's name. And yes, I got something!
Here, I copy pasted it all.
View Record


Name: Christine Dahl
Age: 25
Estimated birth year: abt 1895

There's more to see

A picture of the original document

And things like

Home in 1920Birthplace
Relation to Head of HouseSpouse's name
Father's Birth PlaceMother's Birth Place
Marital StatusRace
SexAble to read
Able to WriteHousehold Members
Christine Dahl
[Christine Dahe]
name city, Adams, North Dakota abt 1895 location race

As you can read, it needs someone to sign up to find all that. But to sign up, you need to pay. We have a problem with that :P But, through Christines description, it seems that if the story was set in the 1880's, this Christine wouldn't have even been born! But maybe Leroux changed the dates a lot...But still, we don't know. And this Christine is in the states, and in Leroux's book she was in Europe. More updates soon.

Possible inspiration for Erik; The Elephant Man

Thanks to Eric, a member of Phantomoftheopera.com, my favourite Phantom forum, I found out about a man who might have served as a small inspiration for Leroux's Erik. I just read his wikipedia page, and got chills. What horrible things happened to him? His family did not want him, and pictures of him are all over the internet! Although there's a possibility that a real Erik existed, he might have inspired Leroux. The man's name was Joseph Merrick, also known as "The Elephant man".

Here is his story compared to Erik's, summed up (from bookstove.com) :
He might have been based on Joseph Merrick, a disfigured sideshow performer. Its not entirely clear which disease he had, it might have been a combination of Proteus syndrome and Neurofibromatosis type I. Just as Eric in the novel, Joseph used a mask and worked at shows where he sometimes would be shown as some kind of “curiosity exhibition”. It´s said that when Alexanda of Denmark once visited him she touched his hand and Jospeh almost got a heart attack, for he never thought someone would bear to touch him. This might have inspired the scene where Christine kisses the Phantom.

Πέμπτη, 13 Μαΐου 2010

Pictures and paintings of the inspirations...

Just to give you a quick impression on what they looked like, and the way they were invisioned by Leroux.

Adelina Patti as Marguerite in Faust:
Adelina Patti in a Carlotta-ish pose:
Adelina in a painting:

Christina Nilsson:

Wow, a really rare picture of Mme. Nilsson, old and casual outside a house: http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3291/3048139338_be0deff313.jpg

Carlotta Patti:
http://img3.photographersdirect.com/img/262/wm/pd1848038.jpg <

Cecile Sorel: (Wow, she looks exactly like I envisioned La Sorelli, so beautiful!)
http://www.terra.com.br/istoe-temp/edicoes/2067/imagens/i122969.jpg (In this picture, she reminds me of myself)

Marie Miolan-Carvalho (Another possible inspiration for Carlotta):

Various dancers who danced at the paris opera house (All were painted/made by Degas):

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/4/41/Glyptoteket_Degas1.jpg/160px-Glyptoteket_Degas1.jpg (This young girl was Marie van Goethem)

Gaston Leroux...Gaston, Gaston...

I look at his picture on a website, and I wonder: "Were you lying, Gaston Leroux? Or was there even a small piece of reality in your words?". Sure, there have been many stories after his about the Phantom.
"What could be the truth? There have been stories about you, one of them saying that when you were on your death bed, you said that the Phantom is real...whatshould I believe?"
That's all I know:
The Phantom wanted to disappear, and back in the 19th century, it was extremely easy. Only in our time it's hard to do. Christine wasn't Daae, but Dahe, she was a chorus girl/dancer, so completely anonymous, not a singer, not a famous renowned dancer...just a plain girl. No one would've mentioned her anywhere, unless she was famous and rich or extraordinary talented. She was probably french, too. Probably, the De Changy's weren't even involved with the story. Leroux wanted to make it interesting...so he put in drama. He made Christine from "Pauline Bellini" (as mentioned in the first drafts of his novel) to Christine Daae, probably wanting to make it closer to the real story. Erik was just a name, I guess. But we cannot be sure on that. Rouen (Erik's birthplace) was Leroux's mother's birthplace, and he had been visiting often. Also, the De Changy's had a permanent residence nearby! I just wish the story were completely and one hundred per cent true...but he was probably...faking it.
Excuse my use of "probably" so often in this text...
Thank you, Gaston Leroux, for giving us something to love :)
P.S. This post DOESN'T MEAN THAT I will stop posting stuff like before. This was just...more of a personal post. A recap.