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The Phantom of the Opera

Theatre, Musicals
Josh Piterman in the famous half-face mask of The Phantom of the Opera
Photograph: Supplied/Manuel Harlan

Time Out says

The Sydney Opera House run of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s famous musical has been postponed until 2022

NOTE: This show has been postponed until 2022. You can read more here.

We've spoken about ghosts at the Sydney Opera House before, and the lights left on to keep them company. But now the greatest phantom of them all is set to haunt the iconic white sails. Opera Australia, in association with The Really Useful Group, will strike up the discordant organ to announce, with a caped flourish, the arrival of arguably Andrew Lloyd Webber's most famous musical.

The Phantom of the Opera will open on September 3, with West Side Story star Josh Piterman in the title role (and ghoulish half face mask). The Aussie star recently brought The Music of the Night to the West End, playing the Phantom in London right up until that production was forced to shut down.

“Words cannot describe how I feel about being cast in this Sydney Opera House season, Piterman says. "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 [lockdown], 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.” 

He’ll be joined by rising star Amy Manford as ingénue Christine, the chorus singer whose heavenly voice draws the Phantom up from the pit. The WA soprano has many strings to her bow, having previously performed as a soloist for the Perth Symphony Orchestra. She also had a short stint in the Christine role on the West End too. Fiddler on the Roof and The Book of Mormon star Blake Bowden will play her lover, and the Phantom’s rival, Raoul.

Australian musical theatre stalwart David Whitney steps into the role of theatre manager Monsieur Firmin, alongside experienced musical and opera star Andy Morton as Monsieur Andre, with Giuseppina Grech as diva Carlotta Guidicelli, Jayde Westaby as ballet mistress Madame Giry, Paul Tabone as Italian opera singer Ubaldo Piangi and newcomer Mietta White as young ballerina Meg Giry.

Unbelievably, it's the first time the box office smash will grace the Opera House's Joan Sutherland stage in its near 35-year history. And you can bet it's going to dazzle, right down to the fateful plunge of the centrepiece chandelier. This spectacular staging conjured by Cameron Mackintosh will be brought to life in Sydney by director Laurence Connor and will show off the fabulous original costume designs of Maria Björnson.

This is set to be one of the largest musical productions ever in Australia, performed by a cast and orchestra of 65, with special effects including a spectacular new realisation of the show’s chandelier (which might just rival the massive one Opera Australia has hovering over water for La Traviata on Sydney Harbour).

Tickets go on sale on April 19, and you can join the waitlist here. As the title song goes, "In all your fantasies, you always knew... [that you have to book tickets for the campest show in musical history]".

Love musicals? Read our interview with the stars of Hamilton

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