Tag Archives: Celia Graham

A night with the Phantom – Manchester, October 22nd 2011

25 Oct

It was time for another road trip to see the talented Ramin Karimloo on stage. After my trip to Bristol the other week I got on a plane to Manchester to attend the second concert of the „A night with the Phantom“ tour.


Obviously I knew what to expect now but I was still in for a few surprises as there had been some slight changes to the show (nothing major but still noticable).
Accompanied by the Manchester Concert Orchestra and The Capital Voices Ramin and his guest singers Celia Graham and Olivia Archbold delivered a fantastic show.


After a few tiny mess ups during the show in Bristol Ramin seemed more settled and secure this time around and was obviously really enjoying a little banter with the crowd now and then.
I’ve been trying to pick a favourite song but found it next to impossible as there were so many highlights. From classic musicals like „Some enchanted evening“ to the well known songs from Phantom of the Opera and Love Never Dies, this evening was a real treat for every fan of musical theatre.


Ramin’s „Bring him home“ once again proved to be a real show stopper and got a well deserved standing ovation. Honestly, he needs to play the part of Jean Valjean at some point in his career. It would be such a loss to the theatreworld if we never got to see his take on that character.


Although Ramin once again assured us that he loves Jazz but doesn’t sing Jazz I was really taken by his version of „They can’t take that away from me“. It’s such a beautiful song and Ramin definitely did it justice.


I admit I wasn’t too sure about some of Celia’s song choices. She does have an amazing voice but in my opinion it is more suited to classic musical tunes. So while she did a good job throughout the show I liked her best in the Phantom of the Opera and Love Never Dies section of the concert. Her Miss Saigon and Sunset Boulevard duet with Ramin was a joy to listen to as well – those two have such a great chemistry on stage!


After hearing Ramin’s take on „Why God why“ for a second time I’m starting to really regret that I never saw him in the show. Miss Saigon has a beautiful score but so far it’s not been a show I was really dying to see. But Ramin as Chris must have been breathtaking. Everyone who was lucky enough to see him back in the days: I do envy you! A lot!


I’ve been talking about slight changes to the show and one of those changes was Ramin and Celia staying on stage until the very end of „Do you hear the people sing“ which wrapped up the first half of the concert. In Bristol I found it a bit unfortunate that Ramin went off stage after singing the first verse of the song in French and just left the orchestra and The Capital Voices to finish the first act. This time both he and Celia remained on stage and even tried to make the audience act as the choir – I’ve got a feeling not as many people as Ramin expected actually knew the words to the song though (either that or everyone was just being really shy).


Olivia Archbold once again did two songs in act two of the concert. She definitely has a fantastic voice but I wish she had chosen a different dress for the tour. While it is a lovely dress I don’t think it suited the whole evening. But then that’s just me being picky really. Plus I’m most likely biased because I simply adored every single dress Celia wore that evening. Olivia is a real talent and I’m glad I had the chance to see her on stage.


I was most looking forward to hearing the two original songs from Ramin’s upcoming album. And „Constant Angel“ has been stuck in my head for days now. It’s such a stunning song – great lyrics and a really catchy melody. Just as „Coming home“ it shows that Ramin is definitely someone to watch out for in the future and I’m not talking musical theatre but international chart success here. I personally can’t wait to listen to the album in January.


As expected the last section of act two got a huge reception – after all The Phantom ist the part Ramin is best known for in the world of musical theatre. I liked the new version of „Music of the night“ the first time I heard it. After listening to it again in Manchester I can say that I’m totally in love wit that song. Good thing both „Music of the night“ and „Till I hear you sing“ are part of Ramin’s album as that means we’ll hopefully get to hear both songs again on his next tour.


On a side note: It was lovely to see Ramin after the show. He spent ages (and I really mean that – he was still signing autographs well after 11:30pm) with his fans. I’ve been a supporter of musical theatre for around 15 years now and have met many performers along the way. And I can honestly say that Ramin is one of the nicest and most charming people I’ve had the pleasure to meet. I’m proud to support a performer that is not only amazingly talented but is also such a lovely and down to earth person.


Thank you Ramin!



Don’t forget to pre order Ramin’s album!



And if you’re around please support him on the last two dates of the „A night with the Phantom“ tour in Birmingham and Southampton.

Go here for more info and tickets: http://www.raymondgubbay.co.uk/whatson/a-night-with-the-phantom

A night with the Phantom – Bristol, October 13th 2011

16 Oct

Ramin Karimloo is best known for playing the Phantom in both The Phantom Of The Opera and Love Never Dies. So it is definitely a good choice to call his first solo tour after taking off the mask “A night with the Phantom”.

But although the all time favourites from both Phantom shows are obviously part of this concert the audience is in for much more than that. From South Pacific to some Gershwin classics, from Les Miserables to Miss Saigon and Sunset Boulevard – this show takes the audience on a journey through the world of muscial theatre. Ramin and his special guest (and leading lady) Celia Graham perform some of the greatest musical tunes ever written. But it doesn’t stop there. Ramin even treats the audience to a sneak preview of his upcoming album.
This first concert took place at Colston Hall in Bristol, a lovely venue in the heart of the city. I you’re ever in Bristol make sure to check out their schedule.

I’m not going to review every song from the show but I do want to mention my personal highlights. “They can’t take that away from me” takes Ramin to unknown territory as he doesn’t do Jazz (his words, not mine). But seriously, after hearing this song I think he should from now on. His voice suits the song beautifully – and this is coming from me who absolutely adores Robbie Williams’ fantastic version of that very tune.
After looking through the song list before the concert I was looking forward to hearing Ramin’s take on “Stars” from Les Miserables. Imagine my surprise when that song was replaced by “Bring him home”. I could have died happily at that moment. I have seen Alfie Boe as Jean Valjean and his “Bring him home” brings tears to my eyes. But I can honestly say that hearing Ramin sing this song is even more special – he manages to put so much emotion into it – and this is “only” a stand alone as part of the concert. Just imagine him as Jean Valjean in the actual show – there wouldn’t be a dry eye in the house!
The title song from Sunset Boulevard is another one of my favourites. I have never seen the show and am not very familiar with the score. But I think that needs to change as I was blown away by that song.
Ramin’s second special guest is Olivia Jade Archbold who a lot of you will know from Britain’s Got Talent (I admit I don’t but then I’m German and can’t watch the show on tv which is a good excuse I guess). She’s only 16 years old but – my God – she has the most amazing voice. Her “Anyone who had a heart” is absolutely fantastic.

After hearing “Constant Angel” and “Coming home” from Ramin’s upcoming solo album I definitely can’t wait for January. It’s great to hear him sing some original material and if the rest of the songs on the album are just half as good as those two this is going to be one hell of a CD!

The show concludes with some all time favourites from both The Phantom Of the Opera and Love Never Dies. The audience in Bristol was on their feet after almost every song. But then every song deserves a standing ovation. Just hearing Ramin sing “Till I hear you sing” and being treated to Celia’s “Love never dies” again is worth the money for the ticket alone. And without spoiling the surprise I can assure everyone: You will love the very last song of the show (which will also be on the album). I’d like to add that really enjoyed the slightly new arrangement of that song.

The whole evening is a pure delight. Ramin is obviously having a great time and shows off his entertainer qualities by throwing in some funny anecdotes here and there. He really manages to connect with his audience. And the fact that not everything went exactly to plan in Bristol didn’t matter at all – those slight muck ups just made the audience take to Ramin even more.

As much as I have enjoyed watching Ramin in Love Never Dies and lately in the Phantom Of The Opera Anniversary concert it is even more special to see him on stage in this tour. Just the man himself (plus his special guests), an orchestra and a brilliant support by the Capital Voices – it doesn’t get much better than that. Special kudos to the Welsh Concert Orchestra who did a fantastic job at the concert in Bristol.

I’m very much looking forward to seeing the show again in Manchester. Everyone who doesn’t have a ticket yet – what are you waiting for? The tour will take Ramin to Manchester on October 22nd, Birmingham on October 29th and Southampton on November 4th.


For more info check out http://www.raymondgubbay.co.uk/whatson/a-night-with-the-phantom

And go to http://www.amazon.co.uk/Ramin/dp/B005Q870PE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1318791594&sr=8-1 to pre order Ramin’s album which is out on January 2nd 2012.