Chanson de l'Ange

Posts Tagged ‘Paisley Swan Stewart’












I am thrilled to announce that Toni Gibson has been cast in the role of Christine for New  Zealand’s production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Phantom of the Opera!  As you may recall, Toni is the featured vocalist on the Chanson de l’Ange CD, now in production by Immortal Aria.  Toni has recorded 3 of our original songs, including

“The Bleeding Rose”












The following article appeared on the New Plymouth Opera’s face book page:

“New Plymouth has an “Angel of Music”

New Plymouth Operatic has great pleasure in today announcing that 21 year old Toni Gibson will play the iconic role of ‘Christine’ in the New Plymouth season of ‘The Phantom of The Opera’.

While new to both New Plymouth Operatic and Musical Theatre, Ms Gibson brings a wealth of experience to what is her ‘dream role’ “I’m bursting with excitement” comments Toni “I can’t wait to get into rehearsals – I know the words of all the songs already”

Toni began performing at the age of 7. She was part of a group called the Starlight Kids at the ages of 9-11, a group of 5 pop performers that travelled the north island performing numerous shows. Toni has studied singing and opera extensively, including under the tutelage of Ellen Barrett and two years of Classical Voice (or Opera) training under Linden Loader at the Young Musicians Academy at Victoria University Wellington.

Of recent times, Toni has performed with the NZ POPS Orchestra at the Auckland Town Hall, as well as at Coca Cola Christmas in the Park, on the Good Morning Show on TVNZ, as well as performing alongside well known New Zealand icon Gray Bartlett, and singing in numerous competitions and concerts.

In 2013 Toni released her first Debut Album ‘Echo in My Soul’ and was awarded ‘Top Female Artist’ for the New Zealand VAC AWARDS, and is working with Ambition-Fanfare Record Label, who also represent Michael Crawford (the ‘Original’ Broadway and West End Phantom)

“The audition process for this role in Phantom attracted an incredible number of very talented auditionees,” said New Plymouth Operatic president Kevin Landrigan “It was a very competitive process”.

“Toni has real star quality” said Mr Landrigan. “Her voice is angelic.” “Toni embodies much of what we at New Plymouth Operatic stand for. As a young women with exceptional potential, we look forward to seeing her develop into a true star through this role”.

Auditions for other principal roles, and the company, for The Phantom of the Opera will be held next weekend (1/2 February) at the New Plymouth Operatic rooms.

A further casting announcement regarding the role of Phantom is also imminent.

The Phantom of the Opera opens at New Plymouth’s TSB Theatre of 3 July 2014, and tickets are on sale now at Ticketmaster King Street.”


Check out their website for more information: New Plymouth Opera Society


Last Updated on Friday, 17 January 2014 09:27

countdownSPGreetings fans and friends!  Please let me take a moment to extend Thanksgiving best wishes to all of you!  I pray that as you gather around the table, you will experience warmth and happiness!

I am hoping that by now a few of you have read, or are reading Chanson de l’Ange.  If you have completed the series, I hope you will engage with me by commenting on this post.

As most fans of Phantom of the Opera know, there is a bit of mystery that surrounds the Phantom’s name.  Although “Erik” is the name he is given in Leroux’s original novel, the ALW musical never uses the name “Erik”, and we never actually learn the Phantom’s first or last name.

In my retelling of the story, I also call my Phantom “Erik”, but I also make it clear that this is not his true given first name.   Although I never tell the reader what that name is outright, I have deliberately woven clues through the trilogy, a little trail of insights into what his actual Christian name is.

I would like to invite my readers to reply to the following questions: 


  1. Did you pick up on the name clues woven throughout Chanson de l’Ange?
  2. Do you think you know what my Phantom’s Christian name is?
  3. Do you think it matters what his name is?
  4. Do you have a guess?
  5. Are you interested in knowing why his name is important to this retelling?

I will tell you that there is a remarkable true story all wrapped up in my choice for the Phantom’s name in Chanson de l’Ange.  Would you like to hear it?

Let me know!

Last Updated on Tuesday, 26 November 2013 09:35

countdownAWell, I hope that by now, many of you have ordered your copies!   Some of you are already receiving them, and some of you are already reading them!  I would like very much to stay in touch with my readers, so I invite you to join my Facebook author page to take part in the discussions between myself and others about the Chanson de l’Ange series.

Please join (like) my author page here: Paisley on Facebook

Jump in there and let me know your thoughts, opinions about Chanson de l’Ange!

If you have not yet purchased the series, you may order both in Kindle and paperback here: Chanson de l’Ange

When you click on the book pages, you will see that the series is now being discount bundled!  Enjoy!

Last Updated on Monday, 28 October 2013 01:07














Happy Release Day to Me!!!

Thrilled to announce that my 3 part novel is NOW available! May I humbly request your reviews on Amazon after you’ve read the series? Reviews mean everything to an indie author! You will find Chanson de l’Ange in both paperback and ebook formats here:  Chanson on Amazon

Last Updated on Tuesday, 22 October 2013 11:52


Greetings fans and friends!  As we all start our morning, Chanson de l’Ange will be officially released the day after tomorrow!   To be honest I have major butterflies in my stomach.  Whether you started reading my story online back in 2005, bought the first edition and have been waiting for the continuation of the story, or will be a first time reader–I am looking forward to hearing from you!

I am pleased to present the following review from the only person who has thus far read the entire series.  I submitted it to her a few months ago for consideration to review on her site, and she graciously agreed to do so .

You may find the review on her site directly, but she has given me permission to post it here as well.

WordFlix HD Silversmith


“Run – do not walk – to buy Paisley Swan Stewart’s Chanson de l’Ange, a glorious, opulent, and sensitively written trilogy of novels that transports the reader back to 19th century Paris, its famous opera house, and the even more famous phantom that haunts its depths. A wholly original reimagining of Gaston Leroux’s The Phantom of the Opera (1909-1910), Stewart’s three novels simultaneously remain faithful to Leroux’s core elements while reworking and deepening the characterizations of such well-known figures as Erik (the Phantom), Christine Daaé, Raoul de Chagny,  Mme. Giry, and her daughter Meg in ways that fans of both the Leroux novel and  much more recent film and theatrical adaptations will appreciate and find riveting. Stewart also strikes out in new directions of her own, particularly in the final volume, while still remaining faithful to the spirit and beauty of the original tale – and her own retelling of it. As something of a Phantom devotée in all its incarnations, I was riveted from the first page of Orphan in Winter to the last page of The Angel’s Song.

Stewart’s trilogy has been years in the making, with Books One and Two debuting in earlier editions. I had sped-read my way through the original editions, happy to learn more of Christine’s and Erik’s earlier histories, their separate experiences at the Paris Opera, their original meeting when she was a child and his training of her exquisite voice, as well as to watch the powerful, dark bond between Christine and Erik grow during Christine’s maturation from child to young woman in Orphan in Winter. Riveted, I saw their relationship develop further in The Bleeding Rose and witnessed the inexorable influences in their different lives and their emotional wounds at once drawing them together in powerful ways and coming between them, to the point that tragedy seemed inevitable. To say that the second volume ends on a cliffhanger would be putting it mildly; I remained on metaphorical tenterhooks for a good three years before the appearance of Book Three, The Angel’s Song, in October 2013 – and I was not disappointed.  Except that I did not want the series to end and thus deliberately took my time reading the third installment, I devoured the final book as eagerly as I did the first two. Without divulging any spoilers, I can say that Stewart spins perhaps the richest part of her three-part tale here: The Angel’s Song respects the arc of the story that she has spun in Books One and Two while developing the narrative in deeply moving ways that do justice to the complexity of her characters, their fates, and the fascination that readers have for Erik, Christine, and Raoul and others.  

Stewart is particularly gifted at establishing a sense of place and time: one longs to walk the boulevards of Paris that she describes as well as to explore the nooks and crannies of Erik’s underground lair, made eerily beautiful by his celestial music, candlelight, and the eclectic mix of treasures he has accumulated during his lonely life. She also excels as establishing multiple points of view – without confusion — so that all of the major characters in her tale are rendered three-dimensionally, allowing the reader to identify with and appreciate their respective struggles. Perhaps most importantly, she successfully builds, establishes, and deepens the relationship among Erik, Christine, and Raoul that has captured the imagination of readers for over 100 years. Each volume of the trilogy reduced me to tears and exhorted me to joy in ways that no other version of Phantom has.

Until now, perhaps the most respected retelling of Leroux’s The Phantom of the Opera has been Susan Kay’s Phantom (1991), which is, indeed, a wonderful tale.  However, with all due respect to Ms. Kay, it’s time to make room on your bookshelf for Paisley Swan Stewart’s Chanson de l’Ange trilogy, this century’s logical and worthy successor and an exceptional and moving read.”

Last Updated on Monday, 21 October 2013 09:54