Broadway’s The Phantom of the Opera Announces Cast Changes for 30th Anniversary

Broadway News   Broadway’s The Phantom of the Opera Announces Cast Changes for 30th Anniversary
Two opera stars join the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical as James Barbour announces his final date in the title role.
Raquel Suarez Groen and Carlton Moe
Raquel Suarez Groen and Carlton Moe

Broadway's The Phantom of the Opera will welcome a handful of new faces for the production's 30th anniversary as its current leading man sets his final performance in the history-making production.

Ali Ewoldt Matthew Murphy

With a run approaching three years, James Barbour will play his final performance as the masked Phantom December 23. A successor, who will be named shortly, will begin performances January 15, 2018, just prior to the musical's 30th anniversary. (From December 25 to January 13, The Phantom will be played by Laird Mackintosh, who currently plays the role of Monsieur André.)

Joining the company October 30 are two performers from the opera world: Raquel Suarez Groen and Carlton Moe. They assume the roles of Carlotta and Piangi, respectively, succeeding Michele McConnell and John Easterlin.

Ali Ewoldt (the first Asian-American actor to assume the role of Christine on Broadway) and Rodney Ingram (a dual citizen of Mexico and the United States who plays Raoul) will continue in their roles.

Both Groen and Moe are making their Broadway debuts and join current cast members Mackintosh (Monsieur André), Craig Bennett (Monsieur Firmin), Maree Johnson (Madame Giry), and Kara Klein (Meg Giry), all of whom will continue in their roles for the anniversary.

Kayley Ann Voorhees, recently seen in Prince of Broadway, will return to play the role of Christine at certain performances beginning the week of November 6. She succeeds current alternate Rachel Eskenazi-Gold, who plays her final performance November 5.

Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Really Useful Group and Cameron Mackintosh will officially celebrate the anniversary with a special performance January 24, 2018 (two days prior to the actual anniversary date). Details for the celebratory January 24 performance will be announced in the coming weeks.

James Barbour
James Barbour Matthew Murphy

Soprano Groen appeared Off-Broadway as Roxanne Conti in iFigaro (90210)! and as Grand Dame in Vox Lumiere’s Phantom of the Opera. Notable opera credits include Marzelline in Fidelio (Opera Carolina), Frasquita in Carmen (Opera San Antonio, Venture Opera), Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro (Opera on the James), and Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi (Opera on the James, DiCapo Opera).

Tenor Moe debuted at Carnegie Hall with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in 2013 and has performed with the Oregon Symphony, Walla Walla Symphony, Aspen Music Festival, Napa Music Festival, Savannah Voice Festival, Opera in Williamsburg, Charlottesville Symphony Society, and the Martina Arroyo Foundation.

After concluding his run with Phantom, Barbour will be starting production on his solo show Ghosts of The Majestic, which begins performances in 2018.

The Phantom of the Opera will enter its fourth decade having played 12,500 performances to 18 million people at The Majestic Theatre (247 West 44th Street) and having grossed more than $1.1 billion.

Based on the classic novel Le Fantôme de L’Opéra by Gaston Leroux, The Phantom of the Opera is produced by Mackintosh and The Really Useful Group, features music by Lloyd Webber, direction by Harold Prince, lyrics by Charles Hart (with additional lyrics by Richard Stilgoe), and a book by Stilgoe and Lloyd Webber. The musical also has features design by the late Maria Björnson, lighting by Andrew Bridge, and sound design by Mick Potter with original sound by Martin Levan. Musical staging and choreography are by Gillian Lynne. Orchestrations are by David Cullen and Lloyd Webber.

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