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By Sarah Ward
April 14, 2021
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By Sarah Ward
April 14, 2021
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Before donning a face covering became a regular part of life for everyone during the pandemic, one of the most famous mask-wearing figures in popular culture was doing it first. And, the fictional character will be doing so again in September at the Sydney Opera House, with the venue set to play host to The Phantom of the Opera.

Yes, the music of the night will soon be crooning its way into the Joan Sutherland Theatre, thanks to a new season of the acclaimed Tony-winner. It's being staged by Opera Australia, who is bringing Cameron Mackintosh's new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's hit to the city. If you're fond of big anniversaries, the show will kick off just a month before the popular musical will mark 35 years since it first opened in London's West End back in 1986.

The current production of The Phantom of the Opera comes to Sydney after breaking records in the UK and touring the US for seven years, with Australia becoming just the third country to witness its take on the tale. All of the familiar songs are part of it, such as 'All I Ask of You', 'Masquerade' and the titular number (obviously). You'll also be lapping up Maria Björnson's original costumes, too. But, if you've seen the show before, expect the chandelier to look a little different.

The musical's season will run from Thursday, September 2–Friday, October 29, with Australian musical theatre performer Josh Piterman playing the Phantom after first wearing the character's mask in London pre-pandemic. He'll be joined by a cast and orchestra of 65 people, which'll make The Phantom of the Opera one of the largest musical productions in Australia.

If you need a refresher on the musical's story, it follows soprano Christine Daaé and the masked musical genius who lives beneath the Paris Opera House — and the latter's obsession with the former. Although first turned into a stage musical in the 80s, it's based on Gaston Leroux's 1910 novel. And yes, you might've seen the 2004 movie, which starred Gerard Butler as the Phantom.

Tickets for The Phantom of the Opera go on sale for Sydney Opera House e-newsletter subscribers from 9am, Wednesday, April 14 — and for the general public from 9am on Monday, April 19.

Top image: Earl Carpenter and Katie Hall in The Phantom of the Opera. Photo by Alastair Muir.

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