Phantom of the Opera returns
Opera Australia’s Phantom of the Opera is riveting
The Phantom of the Opera is still keeping its audiences riveted 113 years after it was published. The story focuses on the Swedish, Christine Daae whose father was a famous musician but dies. Christine is raised in the Paris Opera House and begins to hear a voice who teaches her how to sing. She thinks this is the angel of music as Christine’s father promises her the angel will guide her.
All is going well until Raoul, a childhood friend omes to visit his parents. They are patrons of the opera. Raoul falls in love with Christine whom he sees singing on stage but the angel of music who is actually a deformed murderer named Erik becomes jealous. Gaston Leroux’s serial offers up characters such as the prima donna, Carlotta through to a mysterious Persian from Erik’s past. This Gothic horror literature is transformed on the stage by Andrew Lloyd Webber’s production.
Paul Brown’s set
This production departs from the original staging with Paul Brown’s set dispensing with the staircase but creating technical marvels with pyrotechnics from the chandelier, intimate spaces of the Paris Opera House and an incredible spectacle when descending into the catacombs.
You could watch this for the costumes alone. They are filled with colour and add verve to the performances of all the singers. The stand out is Amy Manford who plays Christine. The Australian-American soprano is born for this role. Josh Piterman who played the Phantom in the West End returns to Australia with his rock solid performance and Blake Bowden’s vocals ensconce the audience with a magnetism that shows a real chemistry for the leading lady.
The supporting cast are experienced with some wonderful performances from Paul Tabone as Piangi and Guiseppina Grech as Carlotta. The orchestra is superb under the supervision of the brilliant Guy Simpson.
If you’ve seen Rob Guest and Anthony Warlow in Phantom, you’ll love this refreshed version just as much.
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