Update 22.07.21: Opera Australia is disappointed to announce the forced postponement of their production of The Phantom of the Opera that was scheduled to open at the Sydney Opera House in September and Arts Centre Melbourne in November.
The company has taken the incredibly difficult step to postpone both seasons due to the uncertainty created by the ongoing restrictions imposed by both the New South Wales and Victorian Governments because of the indefinite COVID-19 lockdowns.
Opera Australia acknowledges the health and safety of the community – including its performers, crew and audiences – is of the utmost importance and respects the health advice and orders in place to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
Although a disappointing development for OA, Artistic Director Lyndon Terracini is confident new dates will be secured for 2022.
Opera Australia in association with The Really Useful Group, will present Cameron Mackintosh’s spectacular new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, and are delighted to announce the full cast for its highly anticipated Australian production. 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 at the Sydney Opera House, opening on September 3rd before making its way to Arts Centre Melbourne from November 14th.
As previously announced the lead role of The Phantom will be played by Josh Piterman and now joining him in this new Australian production making her Australian theatre debut, Perth’s own Amy Manford will take on the role of the ingénue Christine Daaé and Raoul, Vicomte de Chagny will be played by acclaimed musical theatre star Blake Bowden.
Cameron Mackintosh and Andrew Lloyd Webber said, “We are thrilled with the wonderful new Australian cast we have found for THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA. The exciting talents of Josh, Amy and Blake will lead a terrific company and orchestra”.
Starring alongside the lead cast will be Australian musical theatre stalwart David Whitney playing shrewd theatre manager Monsieur Firmin, the newly appointed theatre manager Monsieur Andre will be played by experienced musical and opera performer Andy Morton, soprano Giuseppina Grech will play the role of opera diva Carlotta Guidicelli, seasoned musical theatre performer Jayde Westaby will take on the role of ballet mistress Madame Giry, the Italian opera singer Ubaldo Piangi will be played by classical crossover artist Paul Tabone, and newcomer Mietta White will play young ballerina Meg Giry.
Joining them will be the talented ensemble cast including Annie Aitken, Anton Berezin, Laura Bianchi-Bishop, Eleanor Blythman, Gavin Brown, Benjamin Clark, Bridget Costello, Andrew Dunne, Lewis Francis, Christina Gibbs, Claudia Hastings, Olivia Jenkins, Daniel Koek, Naomi Livingston, Aaron Lynch, Kayleigh Marven, Emma McFarlane, Lachlan O’Brien, Brittany Page, Kiran Rajasingam, Edward Smith, Anna Stephens, Troy Sussman, Liam White, Paul Whiteley, Raphael Wong and Elisha Zion Lee.
Born and raised in Perth, Amy Manford has had an exciting start to her career after graduating from WAAPA and making her way to London. She did a Masters degree at The Royal College of Music whilst landing her first role on the West End cast as the Christine alternate in the original London production of THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA in 2017. During her time in London, she also had the privilege of performing for Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace and for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
Blake Bowden has starred on many Australian stages with his most acclaimed performance to date, leading the cast in the Australian production of The Book of Mormon in the lead role of Elder Price which also garnered him a Helpmann Award nomination for Best Male Actor in a Musical in 2019. Blake has also starred in productions including Fiddler on the Roof, South Pacific, Sweeney Todd, West Side Story and The Boy From Oz Arena Spectacular with Hugh Jackman.
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 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.
Opera Australia’s Artistic Director Lyndon Terracini commented, “It’s such an exciting production, with arguably the most well-known score and lyrics in musical theatre history. So we’re thrilled to have such a talented cast of homegrown singers to present this new production of PHANTOM to Australian audiences.”
“The chemistry between Josh and Amy as the Phantom and Christine, is electric, and together with Blake as the aristocratic Raoul, they lead an extraordinary cast. They’re all wonderful performers whom I know fans are going to absolutely love, trust me, it will be worth the wait”, said Terracini.
The Sydney season of PHANTOM is supported by the NSW Government through Destination NSW.
NSW Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney Stuart Ayres said tickets for the production of PHANTOM at Sydney Opera House had been in high demand, and with finalisation of the cast, anticipation for opening night was building.
“There is no more evocative venue than Sydney Opera House and we expect that fans of the Andrew Lloyd Webber original, and this new adaptation produced in partnership with Cameron Mackintosh will visit from near and far to experience the magic and power of the PHANTOM here in the Harbour City,” Mr Ayres said.
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 by Richard 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.
Joan Sutherland Theatre
Sydney Opera House
From 3 September 2021
Art Centre Melbourne
From 14 November 2021