Phantom casts spell over audiences

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MAGICAL: Karl Perigo, who is impressing audiences in the demanding lead role as the Phantom, is pictured during rehearsals. Photo / PAUL TAYLOR
MAGICAL: Karl Perigo, who is impressing audiences in the demanding lead role as the Phantom, is pictured during rehearsals. Photo / PAUL TAYLOR

The Napier Operatic Society's production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom of the Opera is continuing to impress audiences at the Napier Municipal Theatre, many of whom have given the cast, crew and orchestra a standing ovation at the conclusion of performances.

The Gillian Davies-directed show features Karl Perigo and Daniela-Rosa Cepeda in the leading roles of the Phantom and Christine.

They are ably backed by a 20-piece orchestra directed by Michael Joel from Wellington. Also starring in the cast are Dion Thorne as Raoul, Christine's love interest; Kerry Unsworth as Carlotta, the ousted prima donna of the Paris Opera House; Thomas Barker, as the opera house's leading man, Piangi; Deborah Burnside as the stern dance mistress, Madame Giry; and John Newland and Peter Austin, as the opera house's owners.

"I'm absolutely thrilled with it," said Ms Davies. "It's a great band of people, the public has really loved it. All those who have given their time and talent are now reaping the rewards."

She said theatre "educates, entertains and informs" people and that is exactly what Phantom has done.

The rights to the show, an instant hit following its professional premiere in 1986 with Michael Crawford and Sarah Brightman in the leading roles, were released to amateur societies only last year.

It is a technically demanding show and Napier Operatic is part of a nationwide theatre consortium that secured the rights in New Zealand. Napier is only the second amateur theatre organisation in the country to produce Phantom, after Wellington.

Lloyd Webber based his hit show on a 1910 French novel. The production runs until October 5. Tickets from Ticketek.

- HAWKES BAY TODAY

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