Sydney Opera House, Sydney.
26 August 2022.
A new re-imagined production of one of the greatest hit musicals of all time, The Phantom of the Opera, has opened at the Sydney Opera House to resounding applause. Whether you’ve seen The Phantom of the Opera or have always wanted to see this musical, you will be surprised and captivated by the superb musical scores, incredible costumes, mystery, melodrama and romance, enjoying a fresh new take on a wonderful masterpiece.
Based on the classic novel Le Fantôme de L’Opéra by Gaston Leroux, The Phantom of the Opera tells the story of a masked figure who lurks beneath the catacombs of the Paris Opera House, exercising a reign of terror for all who inhabit it. He falls madly in love with an innocent young soprano, Christine, and devotes himself to creating a new star by nurturing her extraordinary talents and by employing all of the devious methods at his command.
So how do you bring an already iconic musical to a new generation? Successful British theatrical producer Cameron Mackintosh started with a new creative team that includes Director Seth Skylar-Heyn, Choreographer Scott Ambler with restaging by Nina Goldman, Lighting Designer Paule Constable, Sound Designer Mick Potter, Set Designer Paul Brown, and Costume Designer the late Maria Björnson, who was part of the original team and whose original costume design concepts that had been archived are now incorporated into this production.
The magic of the set design with an unexpected floating staircase suddenly appearing and disappearing from a curved wall, the eerie lake and gondola leading to Phantom’s lair, the vibrant, bold and embellished costumes, the pyrotechnics, the moody and gritty lighting design including the innovative use of shadows, the haunting voice of the Phantom that surrounded every corner of the Sydney Opera House through to his final disappearance brings incredible dramatic effect. While Phantom’s iconic mask remains unchanged, the giant chandelier that hangs precariously over the theatre audience is new and has a surprising and thrilling reveal.
A strong lead cast step into the roles once made famous by musical theatre royalty Marina Prior and Anthony Warlow who starred in the original Australian production. In this production, Josh Piterman as the Phantom made this role his own with his amazing vocals and wonderful performance. He brings depth, emotion and vulnerability to the stage, where you feel sympathy toward this hauntingly disfigured man. Australian Amy Manford (Christine Daaé) shines with her breathtakingly beautiful operatic vocals, her versatile dance skills and strong heart-warming performance. Together with Piterman, they are reprising their roles, having successfully performed together on London’s West End. With charisma and charm, Blake Bowden (Raoul Vicomte de Chagny) gives a delightful performance rounding out this passionate and twisted love triangle.
The extraordinary music by Andrew Lloyd Webber soars to new heights courtesy of an incredible 27-piece orchestra. It’s hard not to get goose bumps when you hear those first chords of ‘The Phantom of the Opera’ resound throughout the theatre. Driving the narrative forward are Webber’s beloved and iconic musical scores: ‘Think of Me’, ‘Angel of the Music’ and ‘The Music of the Night’. The opening of Act 2, ‘Masquerade’ is a visual feast. The wonderful costumes,choreography and singing is truly exceptional.
This must-see production of The Phantom of The Opera is only at the Sydney Opera House for a limited time. Secure your tickets before they disappear.
The Phantom of the Opera is now showing at the Sydney Opera House until 16 October, and the Arts Centre Melbourne from 30 October. For more information, visit phantomoftheopera.com.au.
By Nicole Saleh of Dance Informa.