Evening Trip: The Phantom of the Opera (Chantal Umuhoza, ITP 2018, Rwanda)

I am Chantal Umuhoza, Curator at the Institute of National Museums of Rwanda, and ITP Fellow 2018.

Last Thursday (19 July), ITP 2018 Fellows spent the evening together as usual, but this was a very particular evening…

Despite enjoying very much their work in the British Museum, ITP fellows like to have fun as well. And the ITP programme takes care of that! After spending a long day working in different departments, we went to the theatre in order to watch one of the classic musicals and most famous theatrical performances of the last decades, Andrew Lloyd Weber’s The Phantom of the Opera.

group photo before the show

ITP fellows and team before the show

The least we can say is that we were not disappointed: it was a top-notch performance, with excellent singers and dancers, a marvelous scenography and amazing effects. We had a great time: even colleagues who are not into musicals praised the show and the performers. I have to point out that this is my visit to London and the UK as well, and I never imagined that I would also have the opportunity to see one of the most famous London musicals.

Reading the novel is one thing (indeed the musical is based on a French novel by Gaston Leroux), but seeing the theatre adaptation is something completely different.

cover photo

Chantal ready for the Phantom!


The plot is a love story about a young woman, Christine, torn between a charming young man she loves since childhood, Raoul de Chagny, and a mysterious genius, her tutor, both threatening and inspiring, to whom she owes her singing talent. The latter, Erik, is of course the Phantom of the Opera, a disfigured and lonely man, obsessed with Christine and the Opera itself, that he sees as his own…

It is a story of impossible love and any such story is always sad, and we may hardly say that this musical had a happy ending, but it was still a thrilling and most enjoyable experience!