It’s here and for the first time ever The Phantom of The Opera, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s hit musical, is actually at the Opera House! Having played in countless Australian theatres (and one outdoor floating stage earlier this year) the opera that is actually a musical has been given the home that its name and setting so demands.
This is the “new” version that has been brought over to Australia following a tour through the UK and a 7 year tour of the US, but despite this old-new status, Australia is only the third country to see this version. The production is produced by Cameron Mackintosh and The Really Useful Group through Opera Australia, admittedly the same company that staged the same show earlier this year, but this is a different interpretation, with new costumes, set, direction and choreography.
There’s not much to say really… most people reading this article have no doubt seen Phantom before, if not earlier this year, then at several other points in their lives. But like other classics, it’s something that can be enjoyed again and again. With talent like Josh Piterman as The Phantom and Amy Manford as Christine, who are both fresh over from performing these roles on The West End, as well as Blake Bowden in the role of Raul, we are in good hands. The performance that they put on for the media shows that this musical-kinda-opera has not lost its punch, with even the grizzled photographers surrounding me admitting to getting goosebumps during the rendition of All I Ask Of You.
So Phantom of the Opera is like a your favourite couch; you can reupholster it in any material you want… it’ll look brand new, but it’ll still be the cosy thing you enjoyed for years before. So if you didn’t get along to it earlier this year, or even if you did, go see this version. There’s an epic chandelier, amazing costumes, wonderful performers, and wonder of wonders… a roof – so if it rains, who cares! Although, sorry to say there are no free ponchos.