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THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA Posts Statement On Casting Of James Barbour

THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA releases a statement regarding the controversial casting of the newest Phantom!

The longest-running production in Broadway history, THE PHANTOM OF OPERA recently announced the casting of Broadway leading man James Barbour in the title role which was immediately met with social media outcry this week regarding the casting of the actor in the popular musical.

The official Facebook page released a statement today on the matter: "PHANTOM has the best fans in the world and we are deeply appreciative for all of you and listen to all comments posted here. We are of course aware of the reaction to the announcement of our newest Phantom for Broadway and want to respond to you. James gave a tremendous audition and we are confident he will be a thrilling Phantom. James fully accepted responsibility for what happened 14 years ago. Following his sentence in 2008, James resumed his career, starring in A TALE OF TWO CITIES on Broadway. In the seven years since then, he has appeared in countless productions in New York and around the country, receiving great acclaim, and maintaining a spotless reputation. Additionally, he has been an active member of the Broadway community, giving his time to numerous charitable causes. While we know some will disagree, we believe James has completely honored the second chance he was given beginning 7 years ago and we are happy to have him join the production next month."

Follow the official THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA Facebook page here.

In 2008, Barbour pled guilty to two misdemeanor counts of endangering the welfare of a minor after being indicted in 2006 on nine counts of engaging in criminal sexual acts, sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a child. Subsequently, Barbour was sentenced to 60-day jail term and 3 years of probation for the misdemeanor crimes.

The official description of THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA is as follows: "Far beneath the majesty and splendor of the Paris Opera House, hides the Phantom in a shadowy existence. Shamed by his physical appearance and feared by all, the love he holds for his beautiful protégée Christine Daaé is so strong that even her heart cannot resist. The musical opened at Her Majesty's Theatre on 9 October 1986 with Michael Crawford and Sarah Brightman in the leading roles, and there have been dozens of productions worldwide since then. Now in its 26th record-breaking year, The Phantom of the Opera continues to captivate audiences at Her Majesty's Theatre in London's West End, after more than 10,000 performances. Andrew Lloyd Webber's mesmerizing score along with jaw-dropping scenery and breathtaking special effects, magically combine to bring this tragic love story to life each night."

More information on THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA is available at the official site here.

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