My first introduction to Jule Hanson came through
sound clips, and I must say those song clips don't do her justice at all. not because there were not pretty - they certainly
were - but because of her stage presence and appearance. I've seldom seen such a natural Christine. She avoids the big arm
movements and the sobby "poor me" interpretation. Instead, she gives us a Christine which has a will of her own, and holds
the power in her heart.
I will metion scene by scene what I liked and disliked about her:
HANNIBAL: I actually wonder why she doesn't dance the whole slavegirl part, because she looks
like a very good dancer - very gracious and rhytmic. She is easily recognizeable because of her lovely eyes, and because she
enters later in the dance, but she definitely fits in with the dancers. Does she wear en pointe shoes? Julie
is (as basically all Christines) revealed by her sloppy leg in the final Hannibal pose, though....
THINK OF ME: Julie Hanson starts out with a weak voice, and builds it up to the "...you
take your heart back and be free...." - a wonderful transaction. And the rest of the song is a joy to both watch and hear.
Her serious/excited look is so gorgeous, and again, it strikes me how natural she moves on stage and how comfortable she looks.
The cadenza is as perfect as can be, with a looong high note - very decadent!
ANGEL OF MUSIC: Christine's wig look very synthetic to the European productions I've
seen. Not that THAT belongs to this song, I just noticed... I like that she sings her first lines slowly (father once spoke
of an angel....), but gets more excited and looks like she's happy to share her secret with someone.
LOTTE / THE MIRROR: I love how excited she look when she's hugging Raoul, and how she suddenly gently pushes him
away. I also like how distant she becomes later in that scene. Her fading "Raoul!" is also very convincing. Another thing
I like, is how she shakes his head when the Phantom sings "...basking in your glory". THANK GOD she doesn't do the extreme
arm raising in the Mirror scene. Many European productions, and especially London, seems like they're competing in the World
Championchip in arms.....
PHANTOM OF THE OPERA: Interesting to see that Julie Hanson is facing the
audience, but turns towards the Phantom with a new conciousness in "...were both... in you...". But does she really... Does
she sing the cadenza live?? It could sound like it, but I'm not sure. And grabbing her throat after the high E is a cheap
MUSIC OF THE NIGHT: Julie Hanson seems more aware (and again, natural) in MOTN compared
to most other Christines. She doesn't look totally hypnotized, not very scared and not super erotic.... And that is meant
as a compliment. She also seems genuinely interested in the Phantom.
I REMEMBER: The "American spin"
Christine does when falling, does almost always look fake. Please stop it! There are other ways to fall! Anyway, Hanson look
very playful before grabbing the mask, and the way Hugh Panaro turns his head all the time looks more convincing that I can
remember seeing elsewhere. But I felt she became a little anonymus int he rest of this number. On the other hand, we ARE supposed
to focus on the Phantom, so maybe it's the only right interpretation?
IL MUTO: She's amazingly boyish
in Il Muto!! Her "voila!" jump and the way she "straightens" her pant is priceless! I think it's interesting to see later
on (when we've heard the Phantom) that she keep giving the chandelier some glances.
WHY HAVE YOU BROUGHT US
HERE: One thing I REALLY like about Julie Hanson, is that her Christine seems to have more guts than the classic
interpretation. One example of this is how she angrily pushes Raoul away when she's singing "Raoul, I've been there!!". On
the other hand, she is looking perfectly fragile in the whole rooftop scene. An interesting combination.
Again, Julie Hanson looks like a good dancer. She's very gracious all throughout this number, and blends in to the chorus/dancers,
and it looks like she moves with ease. Raoul even lifts her three times - most stick to one.... She puts up one of the loveliest
scared looks I've ever seen in the end of "Masquerade", but I wish she would either seek out Raoul, or look for ways to escape.
Instead, she stands there until Raoul taps her shoulder. On the other hand, I prefer Christine to run off stage rather than
seek comfort at Raoul's shoulder when Red Death rips her necklace off. I guess I have to decide what I prefer....
NOTES II: Interesting to see how Christine slowly rotates around while reading the
score. Oh, and have I mentioned I LOVE that blue Wishing gown???? *drools* Another exaple of Julie Hanson being a Christine
with guts: it's awesome to see how she slowly walks towards Carlotta in "How dare you!". I was sure they would rip out eachothers
eyes, but then, Christine suddenly turns (in anger?). Simply perfect acting. She also does a very convincing "Twisted every
way". I love how she seems comforted by Raouls "You said yourself he was nothing but a man..." - until she realizes there
is a but..... Oh, and she is the second polite Christine I've seen/heard who's said "I'm sorry" when she rushes out
- I love that!
DON JUAN REHEARSAL: I'm used to see Christine rush in, sing her part, and then sit
down. But Julie Hanson keep standing when Piangi is singing too, and sits when he is interrupted by Reyer. Interesting.
I love how she almost hugs her scarf in the opening of the song. She looks so fragile and little. This is a really excellent
performance by Julie Hanson!!!
WANDERING CHILD: The disbelieving look she displays when hearing the
Phantom's voice, is just wonderful. And I also love the way she look spellbound, until Raoul enters and physically stops her
from entering her father's grave. A truly spooky scene - although I DO prefer the graveyard trio in London....
OF NO RETURN: Hey - she's running in while singing the first lines! Makes Aminta look like an energic girl. This
is another standout number for julie Hanson. She looks som damn sensual and erotic (I feel I am allowed to say this, because
I am a girl...), but at the same time, not looking like a vamp. A mixture of fragile and charming. An interesting observation:
In West End, Christine raises in disbelief, because Don Juan is grabbing one of her breasts. On Broadway, the Phantoms turns
away because Christine/Aminta is trying to kiss him. How... very different... I adore how she "tempts" Don Juan with the apple
to get him closer, but when she's about to take a bite (of the apple, that is...), he steals it and replaces it with a goblet.
The whole scene is very sensual, and it's nice to see that they don't look like they've done this a hundred times before.
Yet another example of this Christine having guts: when she's trying to run off stage, but is grabbed by the wrists, she tries
several times to free her hands, and she has a quite pissed expression in her face... I like it. What I don't quite get, is
why she keeps smiling when receiving the ring. What are her motifs? Is she trying to distract him so that she can unmask him?
THE LAIR: She faces the Phantom quite bravely in the Lair scene, and she's not an easy
defied Christine. I also like how it seems like she's trying to TALK to the man, rather than cry, fold her hands and ask for
mercy. Oh, and the way she throws the veil at the Phantom while she sings "...lies shattered...." is very symbolic. She does
a very strong lair scene indeed. The kiss is also wonderful and beautiful, but the fact that she's wiping her mouth afterwards,
breaks the moment. At least a little. Wipe it iff stage, but not in front of the audience - you know who they want you to
choose..... When that is said - when she's returning with the ring, her Christine actually look like she wants to stay with
Erik, the mysterious Phantom, and she has a haaaard time breaking loose.
All in all, Julie Hanson made me a big fan with her serious/ excited/ sensual/natural interpretation
and her wonderful voice. I hope that if I ever get to play the part, I will display a Christine which appears as natural and
sensual as the Christine created by Julie Hanson.