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Stellar cast for Phantom Australia  
A cast drawn from the finest Australian performers has been named for the Australian season of The Phantom of the Opera.
Anthony Warlow

“We auditioned hundreds of this country’s best artists,” said Producer Tim McFarlane of The Really Useful Company Asia Pacific.  “And we now have a stellar cast who will bring their own magic to the much awaited return of Phantom, which stars Anthony Warlow reclaiming the role which made him a star and –  as Christine –  Ana Marina, the beautiful young singer who has understudied and played the role overseas.

John Bowles will play the young aristocrat Raoul, a role for which he has been acclaimed in Australia and Asia.   Among his many awards are two Mo Awards and a Gold Album, an album recorded as a child.  He grew up on television as one of the stars of Young Talent Time and since then has made hundreds of appearances internationally in  musicals including The Phantom of the Opera, Cats, Hello Dolly!, Gala concerts and television specials.

John O’May is cast as Monsieur Firmin.  A winner of two Green Room awards, John has been performing in all branches of show business for over 34 years. He has played Firmin in Hong Kong and Singapore as part of the current Asian tour. He played the role of  Monsieur Andre in the original production of The Phantom of the Opera in Melbourne and Sydney, Harry Bright in Mamma Mia! for three years, and other memorable roles in Godspell, The Twenties and All That Jazz, Evita, Seven Little Australians, HMS Pinafore, Crazy for You, and Kiss Me Kate.  As well, television, film, radio, concerts and cabaret have kept him one of this country’s busiest performers.

Derek Taylor plays Monsieur Andre.   A graduate of the Elder Conservatorium, University of Adelaide and the Queensland Conservatorium, Derek made his musical theatre debut as Monsieur Reyer in the original Australian cast of The Phantom of the Opera in 1990.  He appeared in Madame Butterfly, Carmen, La Boheme and Il Trovatore, The Secret Garden, Sweeney Todd, and received huge critical acclaim for his role of Mary Sunshine in the Australian/Asian tour of Chicago, before being invited to play the role in the London production.
Andrea Creighton, one of the most outstanding young sopranos to emerge from New Zealand , has the role of prima donna Carlotta. Winner of many international awards, Andrea made her debut with the Opera National de Paris in Verdi’s Nabucco, followed by many roles and covers with that company including Der Rosenkavalier, Parsifal, and Carmen. Ms Creighton toured Europe and the Middle East as part of the Paris National Opera programme. Some of her recital highlights include the New Zealand International Festival of the Arts 2000, many recitals in Venice Italy, and singing to a home crowd of 150,000 people in a memorable New Zealand Symphony under the Stars.

Jackie Rees has won the role of Madame Giry, a role she has enjoyed playing in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Seoul, and Taipei. Welsh born, Jackie arrived in Australia to play in The Rocky Horror Show and has since played lead roles in The Glitter Sisters, The Shifting Heart and O’Flaherty V.C. With the Mo-Award-winning cabaret group The Ritz Company, Jackie played to packed out houses in Europe, Asia and Australia.  Other theatre credits include Man of La Mancha, Pirates of Penzance, Me and my Girl, and Nine. She is well known to television audiences.

David Rogers-Smith is Piangi. David is currently touring Singapore with the Asian production of The Phantom of the Opera. A regular on the opera, musical theatre, concert, oratorio and cabaret stages, David’s credits include the original Australasian tour of The Phantom of the Opera, the international tour of Les Miserables, Funny Girl, Chicago, Lloyd Webber’s Requim; The Merry Widow, and Salome. Recent highlights include singing the Missa Criolla with the National Boys Choir at the Melbourne Concert Hall and guest starring in The Proms at the Melbourne Town Hall.

Julie Goodwin  is the alternate Christine. This is the beginning of what should be an exciting career for Julie who, after graduating from the Sydney Conservatorium High School, was awarded a scholarship to the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. She has toured Singapore with the Queensland Symphonic Winds and in 2002 was privileged to sing for HRH the Duke of Edinburgh during CHOGM. This talented young performer has won an Australian Young Citizen Award and the 4MBS Classic FM Outstanding Student Award.

Nadia Komazec plays Meg Geary. Born into a theatrical family in Adelaide, Meg danced onto the stage at age two and has been dancing and singing ever since. She played Brigitta in The Sound of Music, and other theatrical roles include Dainty June Gypsy, and Raja in I Never Saw Another Butterfly. Nadia has won many prizes and awards for various forms of dance.

Producer John Frost of Gordon/ Frost says, “When Associate Director Arthur Masella was in Australia for the auditions, he enthused about the wealth of talent we have and is thrilled with the final casting. He has steered 15 productions of Phantom under Director Harold Prince, yet he still treats each new opening with the reverence it deserves and the auditions were pain-staking and meticulous. And that has all paid off. It is a great cast.”

Among the singers and dancers who will be part of the exciting season of The Phantom of the Opera, which plays at the Princess Theatre from 19th July, will be these hugely talented performers:

Sean Andrews, Eleanor Brasted, deborah Caddy, Rebekah davey, Donna-Maree Dunlop, David English, DJ Foster, Todd Goddard, Mietta Gornell, Natasha Hunter, Simon Meadows, Kathleen Moore, Michael Lee Porter, Simon Pryce, Anna Lee Robertson, Chloe Smith, David Somervile, Georgia Taylor, Natasha Usmar, Sophie Viskich, and Roy Weissensteiner.

The Musical Supervisor  for The Phantom  is Guy Noble,  one of Australia’s most versatile conductors, performing music theatre, classical and popular repertoire with all major orchestras. The Phantom Orchestra will be conducted by Vanessa Scammell.

The Phantom of the Opera has won over 50 major awards including seven Tony Awards and is the longest-running show ever on Broadway. It has played more than 65,000 performances in 20 countries in 110 cities around the world to over 80 million people and has celebrated its 20th birthday on London’s West End. The Phantom of the Opera last played in Australia between 1990 and 1998, selling over 1,510,100 tickets in Melbourne.

With spectacular sets and more than 230 costumes by international designer the late Maria Bjornson, The Phantom of the Opera contains some of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s most famous music, including  “The Phantom of the Opera” and “Music of the Night”.

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical is based upon the novel Le Fantome De L’Opera by Gaston Leroux.

Original London production by Cameron Mackintosh/The Really Useful Group.

Posted on: 26th April 2007

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