‘Phantom’ returns to cheers from his fans

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‘Phantom’ returns to cheers from his fans

Very few musicals have achieved such phenomenal success and popularity as Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “The Phantom of the Opera” since it made its debut in London’s West End in 1986. In Korea, the show has been staged in both Korean and English, with enormous success. And this summer, fans of the musical will be thrilled to know that their favorite phantom is returning for a three-month run at the Seoul Arts Center.
Directed by Harold Prince, the musical will have cast members from both Broadway and the West End, including, in the title role, Brad Little, who has been playing both the Phantom and Raoul on Broadway. The Really Useful Group, Mr. Lloyd Webber’s production company, will oversee the show here jointly with the Seoul Arts Center.
The musical is based on the novel by Gaston Leroux, which tells of a mysterious figure, living in the basement of the Paris Opera House, whose musical talent and eccentricities are a wonder to those who know him.
The Phantom, who wears a mask to hide his partially deformed face, trains and falls in love with the young ingenue singer Christine. However, Christine is in love with Raoul, a young aristocrat and childhood acquaintance, much to the wrath of the Phantom, who tries to separate them.
“The Phantom of the Opera” is renowned for its magnificent and elaborate stage design, particularly a scene from the opera “Hannibal,” the masquerade ball, and the collapse of the opera house’s chandelier. The musical has a number of songs that have been immortalized over the years, such as “Think of Me,” “All I Ask of You” and “Music of the Night,” among many others.
The show made its debut on Broadway in 1988, and has been performed in 110 cities in 20 countries. For the performance in Seoul, stage sets and designs have been brought from Britain and Australia. Thirty-seven foreign actors and actresses, 10 creative staff members and 16 technicians will also be here for the run.
Prior to coming to Seoul, the musical was performed for two months in South Africa and in Shanghai, to nearly sold-out houses.
VIP and other high-end tickets have nearly sold out for this month; ticket sales for August have begun. Already, online community sites dedicated to Phantom fans (those who have already bought tickets and those who are willing to see the show several times) have already sprung up.

by Choi Jie-ho

“The Phantom of the Opera” will be at Seoul Arts Center’s Opera Hall from tonight until Sept. 1. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. on weekdays and 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. on weekends. Ticket prices range from 40,000 won ($40) to 150,000 won. For more information call (02) 514-7888 or visit www.musicalphantom.co.kr.
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