Opera Australia, in association with The Really Useful Group, will present Cameron Mackintosh’s spectacular new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Phantom of the Opera, and is delighted to announce the full cast of its highly anticipated Australian production. Marking nearly 35 years to the day since it opened in London’s West End, before becoming one of the most successful musicals of all time, it will be the first time in the history of the show that it will perform at the Sydney Opera House, opening September 3rd before heading to the Arts Center Melbourne from November 14.
As previously announced, the lead role of The Phantom will be played by Josh piterman and now join him in this new Australian production debuting at the Australian Theater, Perth’s own Amy manford will play the role of the ingenuous Christine Daaé and Raoul, the Vicomte de Chagny will be played by the famous star of musical theater Blake Bowden.
Cameron Mackintosh and Andrew Lloyd Webber said: “We are delighted with the wonderful new Australian cast that we have found for The Phantom Of The Opera. The exciting talents of Josh, Amy and Blake will lead a great company and orchestra ”.
Cameron Mackintosh added; “I am sure that this spectacular new staging supervised by Matthieu bourne and I will draw audiences to Sydney this spring (where most performances are already sold out), and Melbourne later this year ”.
Alongside the main actors, a pillar of Australian musical theater David whitney playing the astute theater director Monsieur Firmin, the newly appointed theater director Monsieur André will be played by an experienced musical and opera performer Andy Morton, soprano Giuseppina Grech will play the role of opera diva Carlotta Guidicelli, a seasoned musical theater performer Jayde westaby will play the role of ballet mistress Madame Giry, Italian opera singer Ubaldo Piangi will be played by classic crossover artist Paul tabone, and newcomer Mietta White will play the young ballerina Meg Giry.
Joining them will be the talented cast of the ensemble, 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.
Josh piterman recently won a huge personal triumph with an impressive West End debut as he took on the most coveted role of Phantom in the London production in 2019. He is an established musical theater performer and classic crossover artist who has always worked on the Australian and British scenes. over the past 15 years. His past credits include being a member of the 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 earned him Green Room Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Musical), Corny Collins on Hairspray’s UK Tour and Gerry Goffin on Beautiful: The Carole King Musical 2017/18 Australia Tour.
Born and raised in Perth, Amy manford had an exciting start to her career after graduating from WAAPA and traveling to London. She did an MA at the Royal College of Music while also landing her first role in the West End casting as Christine’s replacement in the original London production of The Phantom of the Opera in 2017. While 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 appeared on numerous 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 earned him a Helpmann Award nomination for Best Male Actor in a musical in 2019 Blake has also starred in productions such as 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 of Cameron Mackintosh kicked off with a record-breaking UK sold-out tour, followed by a 7-year US tour that grossed over US $ 400 million and wowed critics and audiences alike. Australia is now only the third country to see this new Phantom with its beloved and exciting score including hit songs The Music of the Night, All I Ask of You and Masquerade. With stunning new staging and stage design, Maria Björnson‘s iconic original costumes and many special effects including a spectacular new achievement of the show’s luster. It will be performed in Australia by a 65-person cast and orchestra, making it one of the greatest musical productions ever to be made in Australia.
Australian Opera Artistic director Lyndon Terracini commented;
“It’s such an exciting production, with arguably the most famous score and lyrics in the history of musical theater. We are therefore delighted to have such a talented cast of local singers to present this new production of Phantom to Australian audiences.
“The chemistry between Josh and Amy as a ghost and Christine is electric, and with Blake as aristocratic Raoul, they lead an amazing cast. They are all wonderful performers that I know the fans will love, believe me it will be worth the wait, ”said Terracine.
The Sydney season of Phantom is supported by the Government of New South Wales through Destination NSW.
Minister of Employment, Investment, Tourism and West Sydney for New South Wales Stuart ayres said tickets for the production of Ghost at the Sydney Opera House had been in high demand, and with the finalization of the cast, anticipation for opening night intensified.
“There is no venue more evocative than the Sydney Opera House and we expect fans of the Andrew Lloyd Webber original and this new adaptation produced in partnership with Cameron Mackintosh will come close or from afar to discover the magic and power of the ghost here in the port city ”, Mr. Ayres mentionned.
“It will be a historic moment when history and the voice of the Phantom will fill the sacred Sydney Opera House for the very first time.”
Directed by Laurence Connor with a choreography by Scott ambler, scenography by Paul Brun, original Tony Award® winning 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, words of Charles Hart (with additional lyrics by Richard stilgoe), book by Richard stilgoe and Andrew Lloyd Webber, orchestrations of David Cullen and Andrew Lloyd Webber. This new production is supervised by Matthieu bourne and Cameron Mackintosh.
The Phantom of the Opera in Australia is led by Seth Sklar Heyn and produced by Cameron Mackintosh, The really helpful group and Opera Australia.
Based on the classic novel Le Fantôme de l’Opéra by Gaston Leroux, The Phantom of the Opera tells the story of a masked character who hides under the catacombs of the Paris Opera, causing terror to reign over all who inhabit it. He falls head over heels in love with an innocent young soprano, Christine, and devotes himself to creating a new star by cultivating his extraordinary talents and employing every devious method at his disposal.
Location: Sydney Opera House
Dates: from September 3
Location: Melbourne Center for the Arts
Dates: from November 14
Tickets available through TakeYourSeats.com.au or PhantomOfTheOpera.com.au
Photo credit: Jake Terry