We got a lot of questions about the “new” production of The Phantom of the Opera.
So we went to a top honcho, who answers to those questions.
How is the new production of The Phantom of the Opera “new”?
Following the 25th anniversary of The Phantom of the Opera, producer Cameron Mackintosh chose to honor Phantom’s worldwide success and its many fans with a new production. He chose a new creative team, including director Laurence Connor and allowed them the freedom to tell this beloved story utilizing advances in theatrical wizardry. The production retains the beloved music, script, lyrics and the Tony Award‐winning costume design by Maria Björnson. Critics have hailed this new Phantom as “bigger and better than ever before.” Theatrical technology has advanced significantly since 1986, when the original production of Phantom began. This new production was an opportunity for the creative team to utilize these innovations that were not available or imagined in 1986. These new advances can be found in the lighting, scenic design, pyrotechnics and sound in this production.
Is this new production of The Phantom of the Opera still the Phantom I know and love?
Absolutely. The show, from original producer Cameron Mackintosh, retains the beloved story and score
by Andrew Lloyd Webber. The sets, lighting, and sound have been redesigned for this new production, while retaining the original Tony Award‐winning costumes. This Phantom is as grand and enormous a spectacle as the original and brings a fresh, new design to the stage. This production travels in 20 trucks with a cast and orchestra of 52, making this one of the largest touring productions of a Broadway musical.
Is the new production appropriate for my family? What is the running time? Age recommendation?
The new production is suggested for audiences ages six and older. The production is 2 hours and 45 minutes (including a 20 minute intermission), and includes gun shots and pyrotechnics. We encourage parents to consider these factors when making their decisions about attending the performance.
Is there a chandelier? What will it do? Will it fall?
Yes! There is a chandelier which incorporates advances in theatrical technology since 1986, when the original London production opened. The chandelier and the scene where the Phantom exacts his revenge have been conceived in an exciting new way, utilizing elements on the stage and in the theater house, including the famous plunge over the heads of the audience, but with new surprises.
Are there other special effects in the new production, such as the boat, candles, etc?
Christine’s journey into the Phantom’s lair has been completely redesigned and will incorporate a boat and candles in a brand new way. The new set design is by Paul Brown, a well-known opera designer. He has created an authentic Paris Opera House environment with unique surprises and thrills for the
audience, including the use of pyrotechnics and theater magic throughout the show.
Is this new production playing elsewhere?
This new production toured the UK from February 2012 through May 2013 and was a tremendous success, selling out many performances. The North American tour is currently the only place to see the new production.
Is this the same production as The Phantom of the Opera at the Royal Albert Hall televised on PBS?
No. This tour is an all‐new, fully staged production that has never been televised.
What will the music be like in this new production?
The entire original score and all the songs by Andrew Lloyd Webber (including “The Music of the Night,” “All I Ask Of You,” and “Masquerade”) remain completely intact–no changes have been made. The orchestrations have been updated with a fresh and modern feel and have been implemented in all other productions of The Phantom of the Opera worldwide.
What about the original Phantom–where is it playing?
There are currently eight productions of The Phantom of the Opera around the world: The flagship London production (approaching 28 Years and counting), New York (26½ Years and counting), Sapporo (Japan, 25 Years and counting, in repertory), Budapest (Hungary), Hamburg (Germany), the Asian Pacific Tour (now in Taipei, Taiwan), Moscow (Russia, which has its official opening on October 4) and Cameron Mackintosh’s spectacular new production now on North American Tour. Following Moscow, the next international opening will be in Istanbul (Turkey) in April 2015.