Cameron Mackintosh has confirmed the leads for the 25th anniversary celebration of The Phantom of the Opera, to be held at the Royal Albert Hall on 1 and 2 of October 2011.
Ramin Karimloo, who is currently playing the Phantom in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Love Never Dies, which runs at the Adelphi Theatre until 27 August, will star in the title role, joined by Sierra Boggess as Christine. Both stars have enjoyed extensive periods playing the roles in both the original show and Love Never Dies.
Tickets will go on sale for the Royal Albert Hall show on Monday 4 July at 10am.
A cast and orchestra of over 200 will feature in the three special performances, which promises to be a lavishly staged new interpretation of the musical, directed by Laurence Connor with musical staging and choreography by the show’s original choreographer Gillian Lynne. A brand new set will feature in the Royal Albert Hall production by Matt Kinley inspired by Maria Björnson’s original designs.
Other cast will include Barry James as Monsieur Firmin, Gareth Snook as Monsieur André, Liz Robertson as Madame Giry and Wynne Evans as Piangi.
Sir Cameron Mackintosh, who produces the original show, said “From the very first performance, audiences have fallen in love with the unique alchemy of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s gorgeous score and Maria Björnson’s fabulously beautiful design, so brilliantly staged by Hal Prince and Gillian Lynne. The success of the show has become the stuff of theatrical legend so Andrew and I felt we needed to create a really special performance to celebrate the 25th anniversary.”
The last celebration for The Phantom of the Opera took place on 23 October last year, to mark the 10,000th performance of the show.
Speculation over a concert or special performance of Phantom had been fuelled by Ramin Karimloo posting on Twitter in March that he would be appearing in the 25th anniversary celebrations, and by an Ebay auction held in aid of Comic Relief, to win “two great tickets to the Celebration of Phantom’s 25th Birthday in October 2011 – when he [Karimloo] will don the mask as the original Phantom one more time”.
Michael Crawford, currently playing the Wizard in Lloyd Webber’s new production of The Wizard of Oz at the London Palladium, originated the role of the Phantom, alongside Sarah Brightman as Christine. It is still unconfirmed whether Crawford and Brightman will play any part in the celebrations for the show.
The Phantom of the Opera originally opened at Her Majesty’s Theatre on 9 October 1986 directed by Harold Prince and has won over 50 major theatre awards, including seven Tonys on Broadway and three Olivier Awards in the West End, and has grossed over £3.2 billion worldwide.