To avoid uber-long post (which this is)…
endless raumble view of R/C and E/C.
The triangle, with a favour to Raoul and Christine without a doubt. Why?
First of all, it’s canon. Say what you’d like, but it is. Sad truth.
Christine and Raoul have a fantastic history. The little boy who rescued a strange girl’s scarf from the sea and got soaking wet as a result? Sweetest meeting ever. Ever read Jeff Smith’s “Bone”? The way Thorn and Fone Bone meet might be the greatest introduction between characters ever, and Christine and Raoul’s come second. From the very beginning they had an instant click. Raoul fell in love with her in their teens. Leroux states that in their last meeting prior to the tale itself, after they said goodbye (Raoul said something along the lines of “Mademioselle, I shall never forget you!) and walked away regretting his words, can’t stop thinking that she could never be his (a Vicomte’s) wife. Here comes the part when I prefer the ALW’s course - Leroux!Raoul can get very insecure at times. But I love the relationship they develop afterwards in the novel. Christine play with Raoul and drives him nuts, brings him to the nearest point to a mental breakdown, but the does the same to her as well. You may say that she chose him because he was safe/familiar/rich = cozy life in the future (thus making her a gold digger. DO YOU REALLY THINK THAT WHO CHRISTINE IS?), which is true at some degree, but she did love him. Even more than she loved Erik. Romantic love, anyway. Christine and Raoul go excellent together. Also, Oliver Eyre and Tabitha Webb made me ship that. Blame them.
As for Erik and Christine… I ship that as well. Not in the same way as Raoul/Christine, but I still feel a very strong connection to it. I’m fascinated, if you’d like. One of the more intriguing aspects of their relationship is that both of them play both the parent and the child. Erik serves, for Christine, as both father figure and her closest friend (when he was just The Voice, at least), while at times Christine is sort of a mother figure to Erik (which I don’t like). The whole “lover” aspect is marginal. I believe that, above all, Erik thought of Christine as another creation, something he could shape and perfect to his likes - one of the main reasons why he’s so possesive. He doesn’t treat Raoul as a rival until said guy snatches his “possession” under his nose. It’s very interesting, I think, what first drew Erik to Christine. The arguement of “her voice held so much potential, but at the same time was awful" is valid, yes, but Erik hides in the Opera. Many singers come and go every day - why would Christine’s voice be any different, especially when it’s so rough and undeveloped? I think it had something to do with her character, and any dark quality or innocence she might had had don’t play any part here in particular. Any physical attarction that they had was lust, desire and nothing more. Oh, and I simply despise the way Kay states that Christine looks like Erik’s mother. I hate the whole Oedipus Syndrome idea for them. It’s… sick. Really. I love Erik being dark and twisty, but having an Oedipus Syndrome… ew.
At the end of the day, all I really see in Erik/Christine is the aspect of redemption. Her kiss (in any version) turns a ghost into a man. An extremely broken, lost, miserable man, but man nontheless. Erik and Christine love is not romantic. It never was, it never will be. That’s a different kind of love.
Christine and Erik are in the psychological level (So close, yet so far away kind of thing. They’ll always have some kind of a very thick wall between them), whilst Christine and Raoul are in the more worldly, live and usual level.
Christine’s relations to both men is the key here. She’s conflicted within herself - and a choice will never be made. She realises she loves Raoul after Mme. Valerius tells her that the Voice (Erik) is jelous of him. But she can’t bring herself to hate Erik. To put it in Raoul’s words: ”No, of course not … Why, you love him! Your fear, your terror, all of that is just love and love of the most exquisite kind, the kind which people do not admit even to themselves.”
There’s a perfect picture for Erik and Christine, and to me it’s:
As for Raoul and Christine… Well, I’m sorry, I’m really biased here. SHAMELESS SELF PROMOTION AHEAD.
Favorite stage versions are: E/C: John Owen-Jones and Gina Beck/Tabitha Webb, and I think that had Hugh Panaro and Gina performed together… the planet would explode. R/C: Tabitha Webb and Oliver Eyre, Gina Beck and Simon Bailey.