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BWW Exclusive: How THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA Brought Theatre Back to Seoul and Is Giving Hope to Shows Around the World

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How has the show made it through the pandemic? We investigate!

BWW Exclusive: How THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA Brought Theatre Back to Seoul and Is Giving Hope to Shows Around the World

The music of the night plays on in South Korea! As BroadwayWorld reported in April, the world tour of The Phantom of the Opera resumed performances in Seoul on April 23- just weeks after the show was suspended because of illness within the cast. Following a 15-day self-quarantine for the rest of the cast and crew, all but one of the 126 company members went on with the show- with a slew of health and safety measures in place (see video below).

The show has been running at Blue Square, Interpark Hall since then, where it plays until August 7, before moving on to Daegu's Keimyung Art Center.

How did the The Phantom of the Opera overcome what other productions around the world have not? BroadwayWorld checked in with The Really Useful Group's Vice President of Production, Serin Kasif to find out more about what others can learn from the Phantom South Korea model.

Since the show resumed performances, have procedures changed to become more relaxed or evolved?

The Phantom of the Opera World tour was always scheduled to open in Seoul on March 12 and we opened as scheduled. Early in our season shows were suspended in Seoul for a few weeks because one of our cast members became ill with Covid-19. Upon resuming performances, the protocols haven't changed. It was epidemiologically determined that there was no transmission in the venue, and this demonstrated that the protocols and guidelines put in place to facilitate heightened hygiene are effective.

Have other touring productions/theatre companies sought out advice in relaunching their own shows?

Yes, Phantom continuing to play in Seoul at a time when every single other production around the world had closed, offered the arts industry around the world a great sense of hope. Since the show opened in March we've been working and liaising with industry members around the world - partners, producers, theatre companies, think tanks to share what we've learnt.

What kind of response have you gotten from the community in regards to beginning performances again?

We've had an overwhelming outpouring of support and encouragement. The audiences in South Korea are amazing, they love musical theatre and during this time our South Korean fans have been incredibly generous in sending messages of support.

What do you think other theatres around the world can learn from the success in Seoul? Why do you think it worked?

Phantom in South Korea offers theatres around the world a working model, a blue print to getting theatres operating again in a responsible way. There is a much larger conversation about the different approaches of different territories but ultimately the model in South Korea works because the approach is rooted in science and data.

THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA tells the tale of a disfigured musical genius known only as 'The Phantom' who haunts the depths of the Paris Opera House. Mesmerized by the talents and beauty of a young soprano - Christine, the Phantom lures her as his protégé and falls fiercely in love with her. Unaware of Christine's love for Raoul, the Phantom's obsession sets the scene for a dramatic turn of events where jealousy, madness and passions collide.

Andrew Lloyd Webber's most famous musical is also onea??of the most successful in entertainment history, playing to over 145 million people in 150 cities across 30 countries. a??It is the longest-running show on Broadway, having celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2018, and has won more than 70 major theatre awards, including seven Tony Awards and four Olivier Awards, including one for Best Musical... This is a??a musical masterpiece not to be missed.

The musical usually plays on Broadway at the Majestic Theatre, however performances are currently suspended.

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