Here comes West End musical 'The Phantom of the Opera'

Writer: Yu Yuanfan  |  Editor: Lin Qiuying  |  From: Original  |  Updated: 2024-07-01

Scenes from "The Phantom of the Opera," to be staged in Shenzhen on July 2-Aug. 4. Photos from the show organizer

"The Phantom of the Opera," one of the most successful theatrical productions ever, is poised to captivate Shenzhen audiences this week.

The acclaimed musical from London’s West End will kick off its new international tour in Shenzhen, with 40 performances at the Bay Opera of Shenzhen from July 2 through Aug. 4.

Adapted from French novelist Gaston Leroux’s novel of the same name, the musical follows the story between Christine Daaé, a gifted and beautiful young singer at the Paris Opera, the Phantom, a secretive existence in the opera house who guides Christine’s singing, and Raoul, Christine’s childhood friend with whom she is falling in love.

Albeit grateful for the mentoring her “Angel of Music” provides, Christine is, at the same time, haunted by his obsession with her, which grows unchecked and ultimately threatens Raoul’s life. As the storyline unfolds, the Phantom’s past and secrets unravel, and what choice Christine will make remains to be seen.

Premiered in West End in 1986, “The Phantom of the Opera” has achieved massive commercial success and earned glowing critical reviews, amassing more than 160 million viewers in 195 cities across 46 countries and regions with a box-office revenue of more than US$6.9 billion.

The production has garnered accolades such as “God’s gift to musical theater” (The Times) and “If you see only one show, make sure this is the one” (The Daily Mirror), in addition to securing more than 70 theatrical awards, including the 1986 Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Musical and the 1988 Tony Award for Best Musical.

Jonathan Roxmouth, the youngest actor for the musical’s title role who played the role in the musical’s 2012 and 2019 international tours, will star as the Phantom in the new touring version. Grace Roberts will play Christine, and Matt Leisy will play Raoul.

To recreate the splendor of a 19-century Paris opera house, the theater stage has been refitted to house customized props, including a 1-ton and 3-meter-wide chandelier crafted using 6,000 beads, which takes five people four weeks to assemble.

The sets and the 230 costumes worn by performers were all designed by the late theater designer Maria Björnson, for which she won a Tony Award for Best Scenic Design and for Best Costume Design. And for each show, 281 candles and 250-kilogram dry ice are used to bring to life the famous scene of the Phantom leading Christine across a subterranean lake on a small boat to his secret lair.

Following its Shenzhen debut, the tour will continue to cities across China including Xi’an, Shanghai, Suzhou, Chengdu, Beijing, with a final stop yet to be announced.

Time: 8 p.m., July 2-Aug. 4 (except for Mondays); weekends also at 3 p.m.

Tickets: 280-1,480 yuan

Venue: Bay Opera of Shenzhen, Bao’an District (深圳滨海艺术中心)

Metro: Line 5 to Baohua Station (宝华站), Exit D

"The Phantom of the Opera," one of the most successful theatrical productions ever, is poised to captivate Shenzhen audiences this week.