Opera Australia in association with The Really Useful Group, will present Cameron Mackintosh’s spectacular new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera, and are delighted to announce the full cast for its highly anticipated Australian production.
Marking almost 35 years to the day since it opened in London’s West End, before going on to become one of the most successful musicals of all time, this will be the first time in the show’s history that it will play at the Sydney Opera House, performing from Friday 3 September, before making its way to Arts Centre Melbourne from Sunday 14 November 2021.
As previously announced the lead role of The Phantom will be played by Josh Piterman and now joining him in this new Australian production making her Australian theatre debut, Perth’s own Amy Manford will take on the role of the ingénue Christine Daaé and Raoul, Vicomte de Chagny will be played by acclaimed musical theatre star Blake Bowden.
“We are thrilled with the wonderful new Australian cast we have found for The Phantom of the Opera. The exciting talents of Josh, Amy and Blake will lead a terrific company and orchestra,” said Cameron Mackintosh and Andrew Lloyd Webber.
“I am certain this spectacular new staging overseen by Matthew Bourne and myself will capture audiences in Sydney this spring (where most performances are already sold out), and Melbourne later this year,” added Cameron Mackintosh.
Starring alongside the lead cast will be Australian musical theatre stalwart David Whitney playing shrewd theatre manager Monsieur Firmin, the newly appointed theatre manager Monsieur Andre will be played by experienced musical and opera performer Andy Morton, while soprano Giuseppina Grech will play the role of opera diva Carlotta Guidicelli.
Seasoned musical theatre performer Jayde Westaby will take on the role of ballet mistress Madame Giry, the Italian opera singer Ubaldo Piangi will be played by classical crossover artist Paul Tabone, and newcomer Mietta White will play young ballerina Meg Giry.
Joining them will be the talented ensemble cast 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 scored 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 theatre performer and classical crossover artist who has been working consistently on Australian and UK stages over the past 15 years.
Piterman’s past credits include being a part of international pop opera group The Ten Tenors, Tony in the 2010 Australian production of West Side Story, Bustopher Jones/Gus/Growltiger in the 2015/16 Australian season of Cats (a role that won him the Green Room Award for best supporting actor in a Musical), Corny Collins in the UK tour of Hairspray and Gerry Goffin in the 2017/18 Australian tour of Beautiful: The Carole King Musical.
Born and raised in Perth, Amy Manford has had an exciting start to her career after graduating from WAAPA and making her way to London. She did a Masters degree at The Royal College of Music whilst landing her first role on the West End cast as the Christine alternate in the original London production of The Phantom of the Opera in 2017. During her time 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 starred on many 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 garnered him a Helpmann Award nomination for Best Male Actor in a Musical in 2019. Blake has also starred in productions including 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 by Cameron Mackintosh premiered with a record-breaking sell out tour of the UK followed by a 7-year tour of the United States which grossed over US$400 million and thrilled critics and audiences alike. Australia is now only the third country to see this new Phantom with its beloved and thrilling score including the hit songs The Music of the Night, All I Ask of You and Masquerade.
With stunning new staging and scenic design, Maria Björnson’s iconic original costumes and many special effects including a spectacular new realisation of the show’s chandelier. It will be performed in Australia by a cast and orchestra of 65, making it one of the largest musical productions ever in Australia.
“It’s such an exciting production, with arguably the most well-known score and lyrics in musical theatre history. So we’re thrilled to have such a talented cast of homegrown singers to present this new production of Phantom to Australian audiences,” said Opera Australia’s Artistic Director Lyndon Terracini.
“The chemistry between Josh and Amy as the Phantom and Christine, is electric, and together with Blake as the aristocratic Raoul, they lead an extraordinary cast. They’re all wonderful performers whom I know fans are going to absolutely love, trust me, it will be worth the wait.”
Directed by Laurence Connor with choreography by Scott Ambler, set design by Paul Brown, Tony Award®-winning original 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, lyrics by Charles Hart (with additional lyrics by Richard Stilgoe), book by Richard Stilgoe and Andrew Lloyd Webber, orchestrations by David Cullen and Andrew Lloyd Webber.
This new production is overseen by Matthew Bourne and Cameron Mackintosh. The Phantom of the Opera in Australia is directed by Seth Sklar-Heyn and produced by Cameron Mackintosh, The Really Useful 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 figure who lurks beneath the catacombs of the Paris Opera House, exercising a reign of terror over all who inhabit it. He falls madly in love with an innocent young soprano, Christine, and devotes himself to creating a new star by nurturing her extraordinary talents and by employing all of the devious methods at his command.
The Phantom of the Opera will play the Joan Sutherland Theatre – Sydney Opera House from Friday 3 September, before playing in the State Theatre – Arts Centre Melbourne from Sunday 14 November 2021. For more information, visit: www.phantomoftheopera.com.au for details.
Image: Amy Manford, Josh Piterman and Blake Bowden to star in The Phantom of the Opera – photo by Jake Terry