Les Miserables Manila 2016

For the record, Les Miserables will always be my all-time favorite musical. A cousin, who happens to be a fanatic of musicals, once said that Les Mis is too overrated compared to the other musicals, and that he would ditch it over the rest. I didn’t take offense in it as he had reasons. One, probably the story is too typical, too flat compared to the new ones that come out, which tackle present-day issues and probably new morals. Second, it is based on a novel that has told history, the theme of love based in the past, and just the known story of life as set on a common tragedy and conflict. I understand this, and although I may say this is true, I have my own reasons I still keep pushing for it, and that I still have teary eyes when “One More Day” and “Do You Hear the People Sing” are sung in chorus.

I have heard of Les Miserables in high school. But it just came to life to me when I started college. With Sociology to back me up in understanding this musical, I have created a solid ground for my love for it. As set in France during the Industrial Revolution, Les Mis shows so much of the social injustice, inequality, and abuse, but despite this, there is the natural human reaction to revolt and change things. With Marxism, functionalist and conflict theories, and structuralism, this musical meant more than just a colorful and artistic masterpiece.

With all conviction, I have listed three primary reasons I continue to fall in love with this musical:

Meaning of life

Rachelle Ann Go Fantine Les Mis London Manila

What does it really mean to live? Some say it’s just a matter of living with one’s interests. Others go for fame or fortune. But a few will say it is about serving and fighting for life. Les Mis showed this time and again. In the revolutionist mindset, there is always the struggle to live a life, a life that is not for only a few people on top, but for all. In my education, I have learned that there is no possibility of getting to that point of a Utopia society where great equality is achieved. This is true. And the musical just simply unfolded a story of aiming for it, casting one’s life to live that human life for everybody. What is so beautiful about Les Mis is its constant picture of people aiming for a good life showing that there is no point of stopping, that there is continuous struggle no matter what, but this said struggle keeps people alive, in order to live the real life.

What is more beautiful is that the musical is interspersed with themes of love, death, renewing of life after a mishap or strategy, and hope. With this, the musical just presents a human life that is real beyond the materialistic wants and simple joys. It puts up human beings on top  of the ladder of needs and priorities. I admire the revolutionist who advocate for change when it is needed, and Les Mis just reaffirms this.

Les Mis is the meaning of life, to live in order not to die, to fight not to hide in the dark, and to love people in order to have meaning in fighting to live for hope to flourish.

 

The lyrics, music, and story

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The music and lyrics just simplistically tell that story of live. It doesn’t dwell so much with what is necessary. It just straightforwardly tells life, love, and hope. I am not any expert in music and composition, but I can tell as audience that the songs and the character simply present life despite the struggle, seeming hopelessness brought about by power, the desperation to achieve, and the constant conflict amidst differences among people. The music and lyrics move me more than anything. And people will continue to sing and feel this.

 

The platform for change and realization

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Yes, this may be overrated and classic in present day, but it still presses among people and watchers the reality of struggle. Though the challenges in present day may differ in totality from the past, Les Mis reminds us of the human vigor, strength, and hope to fight in order to live. To me, every time I go back to the lyrics and music, I am reminded of how people can come together amidst many challenges of life. Les Mis is a symbol and inspiration of life and hope altogether.

The lyrics of “Do You Hear the People Sing” just wraps everything up for Les Mis.

Do you hear the people sing?
Singing the song of angry men?
It is the music of the people
Who will not be slaves again!
When the beating of your heart
Echoes the beating of the drums
There is a life about to start
When tomorrow comes.

Combeferre:
Will you join in our crusade?
Who will be strong and stand with me?
Beyond the barricade
Is there a world you long to see?

Courfeyrac:
Then join in the fight
That will give you the right to be free!

All:
Do you hear the people sing?
Singing the song of angry men
It is the music of the people
Who will not be slaves again!
When the beating of your heart
Echoes the beating of the drums
There is a life about to start
When tomorrow comes!

Feuilly:
Will you give all you can give
So that our banner may advance
Some will fall and some will live
Will you stand up and take your chance?
The blood of the martyrs
Will water the meadows of France!

All:
Do you hear the people sing!
Singing the song of angry men?
It is the music of the people
Who will not be slaves again!
When the beating of your heart
Echoes the beating of the drums
There is a life about to start
When tomorrow comes!

Source: [http://www.metrolyrics.com/do-you-hear-the-people-sing-lyrics-les-miserables.html]

Photo Credit: [www.rappler.comwww.broadwayworld.com

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