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BWW Interview: Anton Zetterholm of THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA at Cirkus Stockholm

BWW Interview: Anton Zetterholm of THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA at Cirkus Stockholm
Lena Carlsson

(This interview was made the week before the Swedish premiere in september. )

Back in September, I got the chance to interview the very lovely Anton Zetterholm, who currently plays the role of Raoul Vicomte de Chagny in the 2016 Swedish production of The Phantom of the Opera.

Zetterholm's other theatre credits include the West End company of LES MISERABLES (Enjolras) as well as the the German company of WICKED (Fiyero), DISNEY'S TARZAN( Tarzan), DANCE OF THE VAMPIRES, and ELIZABETH (Rudolf).

He won the role of Tarzan via the German reality TV casting program "Ich Tarzan, du Jane!" and has been in various german tv shows since. He also played the teenage Tarzan in Tarzan 3D (2013).

Premiere next week! How would you describe it in three words?

Three words? Fun, exciting, scary. No (haha). It will be a blast!

Just like Emmi and Peter, you have performed on international scenes. Will the Swedish language affect your acting?

I have thought about it. But for us, I think you're feel closer to your native language in a way. You don't have to concentrate as much on everything else. For example in Germany, you have to concentrate on your pronunciation, same goes for London. It has to be in a certain way. So that is quite nice, to use your own language, absolutely! That's probably it, in that case.

Can you tell us more about the character you're playing?

Raoul. The Viscount. He is a spoiled little...viscount who is used to getting his own way. He is exciting in a way because the Raoul's I've seen usually aren't very... liked, because he comes from money and is a bit arrogant. It will be exciting because you get to act a bit charming, but still arrogant. He (Raoul) grows throughout the show and the book (Gaston Leroux's The Phantom of the Opera) is actually written from Raoul's perspective. There is not as much focus on him in the musical.

So you read the book before?

Yes, I did!

In Swedish?

No, I actually read it in English!

So back to Raoul! He is one of the bigger roles in the world of Musical Theatre. A role that many young boys are dreaming about playing one day.

Yes absolutely! He was definitely on my list. I have gotten the chance to play Tarzan, Fiyero (In WICKED), Enjolras (LES MISERABLES) and now Raoul. I don't know who else is on my list. So it's definitely very exciting!

BWW Interview: Anton Zetterholm of THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA at Cirkus Stockholm

Where were you when you received the casting news?

I was by chance, actually home in Sweden and the director called me in for an audition. So I came here and sang for a bit. It was a pretty long while ago, almost one and a half year ago. And it's a bit different in England where you sometimes cast a role one or two weeks ahead!

So the audition was not something you had planned on attending?

No, actually not! It was more of a coincidence. That I was home and so. So yes it's fun. It's these tiny little decisions that you make in life that brings you too cool places.

You mentioned your previous roles earlier. Is there another role that you want to play after Raoul?

I'm trying to think of one but I actually can't come up with any. I'm currently working on a project in Wien, which is a smaller, more intimate show. And it's really fun and exciting, the complete opposite of a big show. It's fun with a bit of a change...otherwise CATCH ME IF YOU CAN, if they brought it to Sweden.

Yes absolutely! That one is awesome!


What has the atmosphere at the rehearsals been like?

Great! I'm used to working with creative teams, coming from the US and Broadway in this case. It's something I'm quite used to and it has been kind of hard for some people here in Sweden who are not used to work in this tempo but I like it. And they have such an experience (The creative team). They have been doing this for 30 years. But we have a really good energy. The atmosphere is great!

Do you feel like you are working with something big? Because Phantom is a huge musical in Sweden.

Yes. I am like I said before used to working with bigger productions. So it is quite natural for me. But after meeting the audience yesterday, I realised that this is pretty huge for Sweden. It is fun to bring this production here. It's really, really fun!

BWW Interview: Anton Zetterholm of THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA at Cirkus Stockholm

Phantom ran here for a really long time. Wasn't it almost 10 years?

At least over 5!

And it became popular with that generation. Do you think the current generation and youth will appreciate it as much as the older generation?

Yes I think so. It's such a timeless show. It's a cult in some way because it was made in the 80's but it's a show that still works, even now. I mean, our audience yesterday was pretty young and they loved it!

I also have some fan questions! But we only have time for two!


Do you have a favorite scene/song in the show?

I have to say the "Rooftop scene". Christine and Raoul's love song. It's a classic.

Do you think that Raoul is a better character than the Phantom?

Well. I have to say absolutely yes! Am I right? Yes. I mean it's between a young victomte or a destroyed dude who lives down in the basement. It's your own choice!

The Swedish production of The Phantom of the Opera plays at CIRKUS until April 2017.

Tickets can be bought at:

Interviews with Emmi Christensson and Peter Jöbck will be posted soon!

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