Epic Andrew Lloyd Webber Musical to Play Melbourne Arts Centre in November
The Phantom of the Opera Opens in Sydney in September
In March, it was announced that Andrew Lloyd Webber’s THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA would make its Australian premiere at the Sydney Opera House in September. Now, Opera Australia in association with The Really Useful Group, have announced that this spectacular new production by Cameron Mackintosh of the world’s most famous musical will also be playing at Melbourne’s Arts Centre from 14 November 2020.
Marking almost 35 years to the day since it opened in London’s West End, before going on to become one of the most successful musicals of all time, this will be the first time in the show’s history that it will play in the iconic Joan Sutherland Theatre or staged at the Arts Centre in Melbourne.
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 over 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.
This spectacular new staging by Cameron Mackintosh premiered with a record-breaking sell out tour of the UK followed by a 7-year tour of the United States which grossed over US$400 million and thrilled critics and audiences alike. Australia is now only the third country to see this new PHANTOM with its beloved and thrilling score including the hit songs The Music of the Night, All I Ask of You and Masquerade. With stunning new staging and scenic design, Maria Björnson’s iconic original costumes and many special effects including a spectacular new realisation of the show’s chandelier. It will be performed in Australia by a cast and orchestra of 65, making it one of the largest musical productions ever in Australia.
Cameron Mackintosh said, “I am thrilled to be able to bring this exciting new production of The Phantom of the Opera to Arts Centre Melbourne with its spectacular new staging by director Laurence Connor and fabulous designs by Paul Brown and Maria Bjornson. The unprecedented demand for tickets to this new Australian production has set box office records in Sydney and we look forward to an equally successful season in Melbourne, where my original production was a legendary success in 1990, running for over 2 1/2 years.”
“Andrew Lloyd Webber’s ravishing score, intense and spectacular, a stunning new design with fresh drama and added momentum.” ⏤ Sunday Express
“Take a deep breath and prepare to be dazzled; this kind of gorgeous escapism is exactly what audiences need.” ⏤ The Scotsman (U.K.)
“This PHANTOM is for a new generation.” ⏤ Chicago Now
The cast will be led by Melbourne’s Josh Piterman playing the coveted role of The Phantom. Josh recently scored an impressive personal triumph playing the role in London’s West End before sadly the show had to close due to the pandemic. Josh is an established musical theatre performer and classical crossover artist who has been working consistently on Australian and UK stages over the past 15 years. His past credits include being a part of international pop opera group The Ten Tenors, Tony in the 2010 Australian production of Westside Story, Bustopher Jones/Gus/Growltiger in the 2015/16 Australian season of Cats (a role that won him the Green Room Award for best supporting actor in a Musical), Corny Collins in the UK tour of Hairspray and Gerry Goffin in the 2017/18 Australian tour of Beautiful: The Carole King Musical. His impressive West End debut came as he took on the most coveted role as The Phantom in THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA in 2019.
The full cast will be announced at a later date.
Andrew Lloyd Webber and Cameron Mackintosh said, “We are thrilled to be bringing this exciting new production to Australia with its spectacular new staging by director Laurence Connor and fabulous designs by Paul Brown and Maria Bjornson. The show has already proved a sensational box office success on National tours across the UK and the US. It is a great delight to us both that a new production which has a totally original take on our beloved Phantom has been embraced with as much enthusiasm as the brilliant original.
“Our wonderful cast will be headed by the terrific Australian star Josh Piterman who recently scored a huge personal triumph playing the role of Phantom in London before we had to close because of the pandemic. So let our Opera begin at the Opera House!”
“Words cannot describe how I feel about being cast in this Sydney Opera House season of THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA. The role of The Phantom has truly been a lifelong dream of mine and donning the mask on the West End stage in such a legendary production was magical in every way. Experiencing the global effects of the pandemic especially on the theatre industry over the past year has been difficult for so many, which makes it an even bigger honour to now be able to play The Phantom at home, helping to resurrect our industry and bring people back to our theatres,” said Josh.
Opera Australia’s Artistic Director Lyndon Terracini commented, “We are thrilled at Opera Australia to be presenting such an iconic piece of musical theatre at the Sydney Opera House. We are looking forward to working with Cameron Mackintosh and Andrew Lloyd Webber to present this new production in Australia, creating incredible theatre for audiences to enjoy and opportunities for many arts professionals to return to.”
“This is a fantastic opportunity for people to see one of the most iconic works in musical theatre history. We’re looking forward to continuing our work with Cameron Mackintosh and Andrew Lloyd Webber to present this production in Australia’s culture capital. Together we’re creating incredible theatre for audiences to enjoy and ongoing work opportunities for our arts industry,” said Terracini.
Directed by Laurence Connor with choreography by Scott Ambler, set design by Paul Brown, Tony Award-winning original costume design by Maria Björnson, lighting design by Tony Award-winner Paule Constable and sound design by Mick Potter, THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA has music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, lyrics by Charles Hart (with additional lyrics byRichard Stilgoe), book by Richard Stilgoe and Andrew Lloyd Webber, orchestrations by David Cullen and Andrew Lloyd Webber. This new production is overseen by Matthew Bourne and Cameron Mackintosh.
THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA in Australia is directed by Seth Sklar-Heyn and produced by Cameron Mackintosh, The Really Useful Group and Opera Australia.
PHANTOM is set to be an enormous hit all over again!