Ramin Karimloo (original London production)
OK, Ramin lovers, here's where I rain on your parade a tiddly bit. I'm not such a fan of his voice when he guns it on those big notes. Not sure why. I just prefer when he sings softer and gentler. Then, THEN...*le sigh* Give me that stuff in my ears, and I'll turn to butter. But I'll admit, he knocked that last note flat on its backside!
Ben Lewis (revised Melbourne production)
Interesting...here we have the exact opposite. I love the power and control in Ben's big notes, but the mellow ones do nothing for me. There's something that feels pretty dang Phantom-y in the dark, dangerous opening (but I can't quite take him seriously when he turns on the ooh-I'm-scary) and I straight up got goosebumps when he got to "Let hopes pass, let dreams pass." I'm still not sold on LND, but it has its moments, and that one is one of them.
I call this one a draw. Ramin's got the crooning down to an art, and Ben blew the roof off the place. If only there was a singer who nailed both...if only...
No, wait! I got it!
Ben, Ramin, I got some bad news, boys. You just. Got. Served.