This weekend, you can experience the breathtaking spectacle of The Phantom of the Opera right from your living room!
Produced by Cameron Mackintosh, this 2011 production was filmed at the Royal Albert Hall in London, and was inspired by the original staging by Hal Prince and Gillian Lynne. The show stars Ramin Karimloo in the title role of The Phantom, Sierra Boggess as Christine, and Hadley Fraser as Raoul alongside a stellar lead cast and full orchestra. It will be streamed on ‘The Shows Must Go On,’ a channel uploading a variety of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musicals to Youtube to fill cravings for live theatre during isolation.
Ramin is no stranger to The Phantom Of The Opera. With the show going live tomorrow, I had a quick chat with him about his journey with Phantom and why people should tune in!
Ramin has always loved The Phantom of the Opera. He first saw it at age 12, with Colm Wilkinson in the lead role, and was hooked from that moment on. He tells me that when he was a kid, he even went as far as to skip school to go and watch the production – “The teachers knew it was because I was seeing Phantom.” But even detentions couldn’t stop him. Years later, he had the opportunity to be a part of the production for himself.
Across his career, Ramin has performed in The Phantom of the Opera 4 times – once as Raoul, and 3 times as the Phantom. He also went on to star once again as The Phantom in the sequel, Love Never Dies, for its West End run. He had worked on the show with Sierra previously, but not Hadley. “They’re my best friends… Hadley said to me that [the producers] were asking him to do it for ages… and I was like ‘you have to!'”
Having played an extensive list of leading roles in his time, Ramin has still managed to revisit The Phantom on several occasions. When I asked how he remembers it after so much time has passed, he laughed. “My memory is a bit like a hard drive… if I have to learn new things, it means I have to forget other bits!”
When I asked if he remembers anything special from the filming of the 25th Anniversary special, there was one particular thought that sprung to mind. During one of the songs, The Phantom and Christine make their way from one end of the stage to the other in quite a short period of time. “Normally we’d have doubles, but because we had such a short time to put the show together we had to do it, run really fast, to get there in time!”
It always appears that in times of crisis, the Arts industry bands together to support not only each other, but others. When I asked for his thoughts on Andrew Lloyd Webber’s ‘The Shows Must Go On’ initiative, Ramin thought it was a brilliant way to keep the theatre community together during such crazy and uncertain times. “It’s bringing people together from all over the world, they’re all uniting to watch this at the same time no matter where they are.”
The streaming of the show is also a way for different parts of his world to collide. Ramin tells me that he is currently filming a TV show in the UK, and some of his fans made a shock discovery when hearing that he was in The Phantom of the Opera – “I’m on a medical drama here at the moment and people didn’t realise that I could sing… someone told me I should perform more and I was like ‘Oh yeah, maybe!’ [laughs]”
Considering he has such a history with the show, when I asked if he’d ever be interested in returning to the title role, Ramin said “You learn as you get older. You can bring new things and new experiences to the part every time. You know, it’s been a while since I played [the Phantom]… I still have the masks and everything!”
The Phantom of the Opera will be available to stream from 4am Australian time on Saturday 18th for 48 hours only. Click here to visit The Shows Must Go On on Youtube.