When: January 10th, 2004; Matinee show
Once upon a time...An unsuspecting "Phantom Phan" ... winced as senseless screams
bellowed as a brilliant spark of "electric light" manifested, cringed while wrappers were ineptly crumpled during Music of
the Night ... in it's entirety and uselessly bit her flustered lip as she now unforeseeably found herself ... postdated tickets
in hand ... unavailing understudy slips in lap ... trapped at a Saturday afternoon matinee.
Julie Hanson... I had the
distinct pleasure of meeting her once and she seemed no more than a tenacious child herself. I insightfully believed that
she was part of the ballet chorus ... she was darling and shy ... petite and reserved.
I had since heard brief audio
clips of AOM, POTO and Whishing, but was hardly impressed. I enjoyed her young, fresh style, but she was noticeably distant
in vocal training, strength and composure that "Christine" greats such as Lisa Vroman possess.
With unavoidable self-restraint,
Julie danced out during Hannibal with the same discerning look as when I first met her ... an unsecured gaze of a frightened
child not ready to perform a tedious leading role alone. But today that look fit ... it was as fitting and comforting as the
satisfaction one feels after interlining two correctly adjacent pieces of puzzle.
I was still tentative though, trying
to disregard those less than perfect audio clips.
And then she sang...
And sing did she!
self-questioning that would lead one through windows when door knobs are locked ... daring ability ... sparking luster had
me shift altogether to the utmost corners of my chair with perplexing arousal, while yet reducing me to a motionless sentiment.
once frail, delicate ... ever slightly transparent flower had opened before my own startled eyes. Her pitch and clarity glistened
as though sleekly polished with radiant, exotic oils ... complemented more so by her actual beauty and innocence. Without
streaming too far from conscious reality, one would swear that she was hand picked ... plucked out of the novel itself ...
consistent of a grape chosen for the finest wine.
Julie Hanson sanctioned acclaim and respect shamefully from my biased
mind which now hesitantly discharged any notion of a presumptuous incomplete audio clip.
As I sat with a gaping mouth,
she sang with such spectacle authority and command comparable to that of a mature volcano ... that came of age without a sound
... secret as a mouse ... erupting with preeminent supremacy and power ... bridged furthermore, with the twinkling of a song
bird's lyric. I confide to have progressively follow her maturation while on stage.
Every separate word had perfect
diction that prevailed evenly and composed throughout the entire performance. Her emotions were climatic, spanning from a
toddlers tearing eyes of delight on Christmas morning to recluse and loyal intentions sequestered amid the aloof mind of a
woman in love.
From the first tranquil snow flake on an early December morning to a confident roar of thunder on a
May evening ... to know Julie Hanson is to know Christine.