Producers Cameron Mackintosh and The Really Useful Group have announced cast changes for the Broadway production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera, which will welcome two new principal actors beginning April 4.
Rebecca Eichenberger, who previously played the role of opera diva Carlotta for more than 700 performances, will return to the New York production as Madame Giry, the mysterious ballet mistress. Eichenberger joins the company directly from the original cast of An American in Paris.
Four-time Grammy Award recipient John Easterlin will make his Broadway debut in the role of opera tenor Ubaldo Piangi. His international opera credits include multiple productions with the Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera, Opéra National de Paris, Wiener Staatsoper, ROH Covent Garden, ENO, Teatro Real, Bolshoi and COC Toronto.
Eichenberger succeeds Linda Balgord as Madame Giry. Easterlin succeeds long-time cast member Christian Šebek as Piangi. Šebek joined the Broadway production in September 2011 and has played the role over 1,500 times.
In other news about the Harold Prince-directed production, Michele McConnell recently played her 1,701st performance as Carlotta, becoming the longest-running actress to play the role in the Broadway production. She surpasses the previous record of 1,700 performances set by former cast member Marilyn Caskey. Continuing in their roles are current stars James Barbour (The Phantom), Julia Udine (Christine), Jeremy Hays (Raoul) and co-stars Laird Mackintosh (Monsieur André), Craig Bennett (Monsieur Firmin), Michele McConnell (Carlotta) and Kara Klein (Meg Giry). At certain performances, Rachel Zatcoff plays the role of Christine.