Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Phantom of the Opera at the Royal Albert Hall

The Phantom of the Opera at the Royal Albert Hall, a fully-staged, lavish 25th anniversary mounting of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s long-running Broadway and West End extravaganza, comes to Great Performances on WSBE Rhode Island PBS on Friday, June 8 at 7:30 p.m. (please note early start time).

To mark the musical’s Silver Anniversary, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Cameron Mackintosh presented “The Phantom of the Opera” in the sumptuous Victorian splendor of London’s Royal Albert Hall. International audiences were invited to join the celebration when the evening was transmitted live to cinemas worldwide. This dazzling restaging of the original production recreates the jaw-dropping scenery and breathtaking special effects of the original, set to Lloyd Webber’s haunting score.

The Phantom of the Opera at the Royal Albert Hall stars Ramin Karimloo as The Phantom and Sierra Boggess as Christine. Both had triumphed in the London premiere of “Love Never Dies,”* Lloyd Webber’s sequel to “The Phantom of the Opera,” both earning prestigious Olivier Award nominations for their roles.

Karimloo and Boggess are joined by Barry James as Monsieur Firmin, Gareth Snook as Monsieur André, Liz Robertson as Madame Giry and Wynne Evans as Piangi, together with a cast and orchestra of more than 200, including special guest appearances by the original Phantom and Christine, Michael Crawford and Sarah Brightman.

Illustrious past Phantoms Peter Jöback, John Owen-Jones, Anthony Warlow, and Colm Wilkinson join forces for a powerful “Music of the Night,” all introduced by a beaming Lloyd Webber. Besides that hit tune, the show contains such favorites as “All I Ask of You,” “Think of Me,” “Prima Donna,” “Masquerade” and “Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again.”

Lloyd Webber’s “The Phantom of the Opera” first opened in 1986 at Her Majesty’s Theatre in London and is based on the French novel Le Fantôme de l’Opéra by Gaston Leroux. Set against the glamor and spectacle of the Paris Opera House, Leroux told of a horribly disfigured Phantom, once a promising musician, who now terrorizes the opera company. Shamed by his physical appearance and feared by all, the Phantom is drawn to the beautiful ingénue Christine Daaé and begins coaching her secretly, as a tragic romance unfolds between the unlikely pair.

Worldwide, “The Phantom of the Opera” has grossed more than $5.6 billion. It has been seen in 145 cities in 27 countries and played to more than 130 million people. The show has won more than 50 major theatre awards, including seven Tony® and three Olivier® Awards in the West End. It is currently showing in London, New York, Budapest, Las Vegas, and Kyoto. In 2006, it became Broadway’s longest running show ever.

Ramin Karimloo - The Phantom
Sierra Boggess - Christine
Hadley Fraser - Raoul
Wendy Ferguson - Carlotta Guidicelli
Barry James - Monsieur Firmin
Gareth Snook - Monsieur André
Liz Robertson - Madame Giry
Wynne Evans - Ubaldo Piangi
Sergei Polunin - Slave Master – Hannibal / Shepherd – Il Muto
Daisy Maywood - Meg Giry
Nick Holder - Joseph Buquet
Earl Carpenter - Auctioneer
Philip Griffiths - Monsieur Reyer
Simon Green - Monsieur Lefevre
Stephen Davis - Don Attilio (”Il Muto”)
Garðar Cortes - Passarino (”Don Juan Triumphant”)
Heather Jackson - Madame Firmin
Ellen Jackson - Wardrobe Mistress
Rosemary Ashe - Confidante (”Il Muto”)

The Phantom of the Opera at the Royal Albert Hall was directed by Laurence Connor, with musical staging and choreography by Gillian Lynne, based on the original London production directed by Hal Prince with musical staging and choreography by Gillian Lynne. The Royal Albert Hall was transformed with a spectacular and unique design by Matt Kinley, inspired by Maria Björnson’s original design. Lighting was by Patrick Woodroffe and Andrew Bridge, and sound by Mick Potter. The production was produced by Cameron Mackintosh. The Phantom of the Opera at the Royal Albert Hall was directed for television by Nick Morris.

*Love Never Dies will air on Saturday, June 9 at 2 p.m. on WSBE Rhode Island PBS.