The original musical The Phantom of the Opera by Andrew Lloyd Webber opened on Broadway in 1986 and it is the longest running Broadway show of all time. Now, Cameron Mackintosh has created a new production of the musical where Broadway Across Canada is presenting it at the Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium and touring across North America. Complete with a cast and orchestra of 52, this is the largest musical production on tour in 2017.
This new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera still tells the same powerful story. A story of possession and love. The new owners Firmin (David Benoit) and Andre (Edward Staudenmayer) of the Opera Populaire in Paris are being terrorized by The Phantom of the Opera (the amazing Derrick Davis). He sends them notes, listing demands, most especially how he doesn’t want Charlotta Guidicelli (Trista Moldovan) on stage and how they need to feature his student Christine Daae (Eva Tavares), otherwise there will be ‘dire’ consequences. Christine unknowingly has been learning opera singing from the Phantom and he seems to have a strange power over her. The owners must decide how to deal with the Phantom and Christine, they must find a way to break the spell that links them together.
The Phantom of the Opera now has a powerhouse production to match the powerful music. The musical now has some incredible set design by Paul Brown, in which entire set pieces turn and stairs appear and disappear. The chandelier that threatens to drop from the ceiling of the Jubilee is a really nice touch. The costume design by Maria Bjornson is elaborate, rich, and tops off this production which is full of talent. The production is heavy with amazing voices, most especially Davis and Moldovan. The only unfortunate aspect of the musical for opening night, the production was really loud and the lyrics in part were drowned out, which made it difficult to follow the narrative.
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s enchanting music, played the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, is part of this outstanding production. There are still aspects of the story that are contrived, but you can look past that to really love this musical.
Cameron Mackintosh’s new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera is presented by Broadway Across Canada and runs until August 20th. More information is available online.
Photo Credit: Matthew Murphy