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Rebecca Eichenberger Will Step In as Madame Giry in THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA on Broadway

Australian native Maree Johnson will take a leave of absence to star in the Sydney production.

The Phantom of the Opera

As BroadwayWorld previously reported, Opera Australia will soon present the upcoming new Sydney production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera, which will be the first major outdoor production of the musical. The Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour season of PHANTOM, directed by Simon Phillips with set and costume design by Gabriela Tylesova, will open on Sydney's iconic over-water stage on March 25.

Australian native Maree Johnson, who currently plays mysterious ballet mistress Madame Giry in New York, will take a leave of absence from the Broadway production, returning to her home country to play Madame Giry in Sydney. Her final performance in New York will be Sunday, February 13 and she'll return to the New York cast on Thursday, May 12.

During this time, veteran PHANTOM cast member Rebecca Eichberger will return to the Broadway production to pay Madame Giry.

Both ladies have unique histories with the musical, as follows:

The Phantom of the Opera
Photo CRedit: Robert McFarlane

Maree Johnson was an original cast member of the premiere Australian production, which opened in Melbourne in 1990. She was a member of the Ensemble and the first cover for Christine (as there initially wasn't a Christine Alternate in that production). She later became the Christine Alternate for a majority of the Melbourne run through 1993. When the production moved to Sydney in 1994, Maree rejoined the cast a few months in, this time as Christine, replacing Marina Prior. She joined the Broadway production in May 2017 as Madame Giry and has played her here since.

Rebecca Eichenberger will step in as Madame Giry from Monday, February 14 to Wednesday, May 11. Ms. Eichenberger was initially cast as opera diva Carlotta in April 2011, playing 700 performances through June 2003. She returned to the New York production in April 2016, this time as Madame Giry, which she played through December 2016.

The Cameron Mackintosh and The Really Useful Group Broadway production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera recently celebrated its unprecedented 34th Anniversary at The Majestic Theatre (245 West 44th Street). Directed by the late theater legend Harold Prince, PHANTOM is the longest-running show in Broadway history. Following the industry-wide shut down due to the Covid pandemic, the New York production reopened on October 22, with an outdoor block party that made headlines around the world. As much a part of the city landscape as the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty, The Phantom of the Opera remains an iconic New York City landmark. The 34th Anniversary performsnce was the musical's staggering 13,471st, in total seen by more than 19 million people.

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