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It’s an enduring tale steeped in uber-dramatic design, longing and love, tragedy and terror – and it’s the PERFECT party theme for Halloween or any time you’re feeling a little bit Goth.
It’s Phantom of the Opera, and once you discover how cool this idea can be for your Halloween party, you’ll wonder why you didn’t get your hands on it sooner.
Here we offer your spookiest (and most darkly romantic) tips on how to plan memorable Phantom of the Opera masquerade ball, from the dark invitations to that gorgeous ballgown. Enjoy!
Invoking The Phantom: Your Party Invitations
Set the mood for your guests by sending out invitations that reflect the theme of the party and the mood you want – for instance, very formal; casual dress but high drama; or whatever your choice is for the evening.
Most masqued balls involve the women being masqued too; if so, add this to your invitations.
One memorable invitation idea is to print your invites on heavy card stock and then cut each invitation into the shape of the infamous Phantom mask. Clip two holes in each mask and run a thin elastic through to act as a band, making your invitation a wearable memory.
Another phantom-themed invitation idea is to print your invite on sheet music paper. Available at most music stores, you can purchase sheet music paper and age it to look old by staining it with tea, crumpling it and burning the edges – after you print your invitation details, of course! Roll each invitation up and seal it with a few drops of crimson red wax.
On your invitations, remember to include the date, time, location, whether or not food and refreshments will be served, and your expectations of how guests should dress. If you want to host a formal masquerade balll, indicate so on the invitation – ladies wear masks too! If you want to create a more casual event, let your guests know so they don’t show up in ball gowns and tuxedos. It’s all up to you!
Creating The Opera – Your Decorations
Create a Gothic and operatic feel with simple but stunning decorations. Start with dim lighting and an emphasis on candle light. From there, try this list of decorating suggestions to set the mood at your Phantom of The Opera Ball:
- Rent or make dark red velvet curtains. Use these to line the walls of your party area and drape your staircase. When draping fabric, always be careful of candle placement.
- Purchase fake or real red roses. Separate the roses and use them to decorate the room. For sit-down dinners, don each guest’s plate with a single red rose.
- Play the soudtrack from the musical in the background as well as any favorite opera pieces. For dark and scary classical music, try Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana, Bach’s Toccata and Fugue, Mozart’s Requiem, or Mussorgsky’s Night on Bald Mountain/Pictures at an Exhibition. Any of these are sure to get your guests’ hearts pumping.
- Hang fake cobwebs from the ceiling and around the edges of the table, giving the entire room a haunted and gothic look.
- Use a sporadic fog machine to create a spooky and haunting ambiance throughout the evening. These are easily rented from most party and event supply vendors.
- Hang a framed print of the poster for the popular musical, either over the mantel or in a prominent place that’s visible when guests first arrive.
Activities for a Phantom of the Opera Evening
If it fits within your budget, hire an opera singer to perform at the party – including selections from the Phantom of the Opera score and pieces of their choosing. For a less expensive performer alternative, try advertising at the local music school for advanced students who would be interested in performing at an event.
Your guests will most likely be dressed up, so provide a space for dancing and a line-up of music for later in the night. You can begin the evening with operatic and classical selections, but as the night wears on you and your guests may want some selections that are a little more contemporary and danceable.
What To Wear to a Phantom of the Opera Masquerade Ball
The primary criteria is a mask. A number of online retailers sell masks that range from elaborate and feathered to simple and basic, including ones based on the classic Phantom of the Opera mask. The general rule for most masquerade events is that guests must wear their masks until midnight.
For dress, the host should indicate how formal or casual the event will be. Typically men will wear dark suits or tuxedos and women will wear opera-style ball gowns.
In true opera form, women can also opt for an elaborate updo hair style. Grab a realistic hair piece or extensions for ultra-glam and dance the night away in romance…for a night you’ll never forget.