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Warlow and Marina to Star in Australian 'Phantom'

Anthony Warlow and Ana Marina will headline the cast of the upcoming Australian production of The Phantom of the Opera, which will open at the Princess Theatre in Melbourne on July 19th.

"We auditioned hundreds of this country's best artists," said producer Tim McFarlane of The Really Useful Company Asia Pacific.   "And we now have a stellar cast who will bring their own magic to the much awaited return of Phantom, which stars Anthony Warlow reclaiming the role which made him a star and -  as Christine -  Ana Marina, the beautiful young singer who has understudied and played the role overseas."

John Bowles will play the young aristocrat Raoul, a role for which he has been acclaimed in Australia and Asia.  Among his many awards are two Mo Awards and a Gold Album, an album recorded as a child.   John O'May is cast as Monsieur Firmin.   A winner of two Green Room awards, he has played Firmin in Hong Kong and Singapore as part of the current Asian tour and played the role of Monsieur Andre in the original production of The Phantom of the Opera in Melbourne and Sydney.  Derek Taylor plays Monsieur Andre.   A graduate of the Elder Conservatorium, University of Adelaide and the Queensland Conservatorium, Taylormade his musical theatre debut as Monsieur Reyer in the original Australian cast of The Phantom of the Opera in 1990.  

Andrea Creighton, one of the most outstanding young sopranos to emerge from New Zealand, has the role of prima donna Carlotta.   Winner of many international awards, Andrea made her debut with the Opera National de Paris in Verdi's Nabucco, followed by many roles and covers with that company including Der Rosenkavalier, Parsifal, and Carmen.  Jackie Rees has won the role of Madame Giry, a role she has enjoyed playing in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Seoul, and Taipei.  Welsh born, Rees arrived in Australia to play in The Rocky Horror Show and has since played lead roles in The Glitter Sisters, The Shifting Heart and O'Flaherty V.C.  David Rogers-Smith is Piangi.  He is currently touring Singapore with the Asian production of The Phantom of the Opera and is a regular on the opera, musical theatre, concert, oratorio and cabaret stages.

Julie Goodwin is the alternate Christine.  After graduating from the Sydney Conservatorium High School, she was awarded a scholarship to the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.  Nadia Komazec plays Meg Giry.   Born into a theatrical family in Adelaide, Komazec danced onto the stage at age two and has been dancing and singing ever since. 

Among the singers and dancers who will be a part of the musical, which plays at the Princess Theatre from July 19, are Sean Andrews, Eleanor Brasted, Deborah Caddy, Rebekah Davy, Donna-Maree Dunlop, David English, DJ Foster, Todd Goddard, Mietta Gornel, Natasha Hunter, Simon Meadwos, Kathleen Moore, Michael Lee Porter, Simon Pryce, Anna Lee Robertson, Chloe Smith, David Somervile, Georgia Tayloe, Natasha Usmar, Sophie Viskich and Roy Weissensteiner.

The Musical Supervisor for The Phantom of the Opera is Guy Noble, one of Australia's most versatile conductors, performing music theatre, classical and popular repertoire with all major orchestras.   The Phantom Orchestra will be conducted by Vanessa Campbell.

The Phantom of the Opera has won over 50 major awards including seven Tony Awards and is the longest running show ever on Broadway.   It has played more than 65,000 performances in 20 countries in 110 cities around the world to over 80 million people and has celebrated its 20th birthday on London's West End.   The Phantom last played in Australia between 1990 and 1998, selling over 1,510,100 tickets in Melbourne.

With spectacular sets and more than 230 costumes by international designer the late Maria Bjornson, The Phantom of the Opera contains some of Andrew Lloyd Webber's most famous music, including  "The Phantom of the Opera"  and "Music of the Night".

Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical is based upon the novel Le Fantome De L'Opera by Gaston Leroux.  

Bookings for The Phantom of the Opera are through Ticketek 132 849.   Online bookings may be made by visiting www.thephantomoftheopera.com.au.

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