Five on Friday Set 86

Posted: Friday, September 16, 2011 by Travis Cody in

You may recall that I love musical theatre.  I've enjoyed a ton of great music from Broadway and movie musicals over the years.  I couldn't really say what my all time favorite musical is.  It's always tough to decide which show I like over all the other shows I've seen.  So I try to stay away from that question.

I might tell you a show is one of my all time favorites, but you'll have to guess how many might be on the list.  HA!

What I can do is tell you that there are two songs from musical theatre that will stand above all the others for me.  One is Bring Him Home from Les Miserables.  The other is The Music of the Night from The Phantom of the Opera.

For Set 86, I bring you five versions of The Music of the Night.

It is meant to be vocalized, preferably by a tenor or a baritone.  But the brilliant Andre Rieu makes a violin sing, and truly captures the haunting beauty of the music, which is often lost beneath the vocal.

I saw Frank D'Ambrosio perform The Phantom in San Francisco years ago and he was amazing.  He is classically trained and in fact studied with Maestro Pavarotti, so he brings a much more operatic style to the role.  And any time you pair beautiful music with the elegance of Brian Boitano, you get magic.

If you are casting a musical and your lead role requires a dramatic tenor, you'll be hard pressed to do better than Colm Wilkinson.  He will forever be know to me as Jean Valjean, and his signature performance will always be Bring Him Home.  He brings that powerful, clear, ringing tone to any performance.  And the money note?  Blissfully built on a rising scale as few others can do.

Don't laugh.  There is something to be said for a rock vocalist who can bring the proper depth to the performance of an iconic piece of music from the theatre.  David Cook did that during his winning season on American Idol.  The raw power of his voice is balanced by a clear gentleness in his higher register.  It works.  

And finally, the definitive performance for me...Michael Crawford.  His voice is not a classic theatre voice.  What draws me to this version is the romantic nuance he brings to the performance, which underscores the tragedy...he begins as The Phantom, but ends as Eric.  The moment builds without rushing, painted by the unique tone and surprising power of Mr Crawford's voice.  He is not a typical tenor, and that is what I enjoy.  And of course, the final note.

If you'd like to join in, here are the guidelines:

1. Grab the banner, make your post title Five on Friday, and be sure to link back here.
2. Go to to make your Set of five songs. You may choose a particular theme to share with us, or post random tunes if that's your vibe for the day. You can simply post the Set, or you can add a little summary about what you are sharing.
2a. Don't feel restricted by the tracks listed on And don't be discouraged if the Embed code won't work. You're welcome to use any type of media to share your Sets.
3. Be sure to sign Mr Linky so everyone can visit your Set.
4. No tags, but feel free to invite your friends to play along if they need a post topic on a Friday.

Go forth and enjoy music!


  1. Akelamalu says:

    'Bring Him Home' is a favourite of mine, sung by Alfie Boe.

  1. Jamie says:

    Normally I play for team Sondheim, but I have to give you Music of the Night and Bring Him Home as completely heart stirring pieces of music. Wonderful choices this week.

  1. Anonymous says:

    I'm ba-a-a-a-ack! LOL. Good list by the way. And thanks for keeping the meme going.

  1. Lana is a fan of David Cook.

  1. Linda says:

    Phantom is a show that I have always wanted to see but have yet to get the opportunity yet. I have owned the soundtrack for years and just love it.

    One of my favorite renditions of "Bring Him Home" was done by Mandy Patinkin.

  1. a great set.I still emjou Michael Crawford form the 1986 Muscical

  1. Travis,the Michael Crawford version of the Music of the Night will be this Mondays Music Monday meme that I participate in. I will give you a Tip of The Hat and Link back for inspiring it.Also this weeks 5 on friday has a twist 5 SONG more than 5 artists thought.I hope yoy have a Great weekend.

  1. Marilyn says:

    I love hearing the same song with different interpretations.

  1. wow..everyone went old school...opera, show tunes...interesting FoF week

  1. JohnH985 says:

    Interesting list. I have to admit that I'm not all that familiar with showtunes so I wouldn't be able to make a list like this. But that's what is so cool about this, is that it introduces me to music I might not be all that familiar with.

  1. Anonymous says:

    I can't wait for my lunch break today so I can listen to your set. It looks fabulous.

  1. Travis, I thought I'd left you a comment, but obviously not! LOL!

    Being partial to Gerry - that's Gerard Butler for anyone who is not a rabid fan - it goes without saying that his is my favorite version. I know his voice isn't technically perfect, but I far prefer emotion to technical brilliance - always have. That's why Gerry's version is tippy tops for me.

    Having said that, I was completely privileged to see Colm Wilkinson in the first Toronto run of Phantom with my husband and parents-in-law. It was as awesome as you would think it would be.