I have read the other reviews and responses, and while I agree with the criticisms of those who only gave this wonderful CD 3 stars, I feel that there is enough there to make up for any flaws that are most likely due to the fact that this is a live CD, and most likely a rushed one. I came from the States and was there for all three performances; I ordered the CD from Amazon UK so I would not have to wait until February to get it. I love Ramin Karimloo as Phantom and Sierra Boggess as Christine, and there is little if any problem in this CD to take away from their glorious passion and voices, and that awesome booming organ at the Royal Albert Hall. I get cold chills every time I hear those opening chords. I have attended Phantom at Her Majesty's many times, and I certainly noticed the ensemble being so much fuller at this celebration. Of course the ensemble is better than usual; it is made up of singers like Simon Bailey (former Raoul at Her Majesty's), Killian Donnelly (current Raoul at Her Majesty's), and Sophia Escobar, (current Christine at Her Majesty's). Yes, it is most regrettable that Sarah Brightman's performance is not on the CD; I can only assume that there was a copy write problem, because it was a glorious rendition. Michael Crawford, I'm sure, chose not to sing, and there is nothing anyone could do about that. He was offered the opportunity I am sure. He did not even show up until the last performance; he was not present for the first two. Perhaps he felt he could no longer do the music justice? Who knows? Yes, I also agree that sometimes one has to adjust the sound because the music is louder than the spoken parts, but again the fuller ensemble, and the more modern orchestration (I mean I even heard an electric guitar in a number or two!) more than makes up for any flaws in the engineering. . I much prefer this rendition over the original. The applause captures the excitement of the audience. I , for one, am glad for a new CD
of "The Phantom of the Opera."