Major cast changes will take place in the smash hit Andrew Lloyd Webber musical “THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA” from Monday 3 September. Joining the company will be Marcus Lovett as ‘The Phantom’, Simon Thomas as ‘Raoul’, Lara Martins as ‘Carlotta’ and Anna O’Byrne as ‘Christine’ at certain performances.
“THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA” will continue to star Sofia Escobar as ‘Christine’, Cheryl McAvoy as ‘Madame Giry’, Jeremy Secomb as ‘Piangi’, Barry James as ‘Monsieur Firmin’, Gareth Snook as ‘Monsieur André’ and Anna Forbes as ‘Meg Giry’.
Marcus Lovett made his Broadway debut in the original Broadway production of “Les Misérables”. His other Broadway credits include the title role in “King David” at the New Amsterdam Theatre, ‘The Phantom’ in “The Phantom of the Opera” at the Majestic Theatre, ‘Billy Bigelow’ in “Carousel” at the Vivian Beaumont Theatre and ‘Alex Dillingham’ in “Aspects of Love” at the Broadhurst Theatre. In the West End Marcus also originated the role of ‘The Man’ in “Whistle Down the Wind” at the Aldwych Theatre. He has been a soloist at Carnegie hall, L’Opera De Paris and the Royal Albert Hall, and is on the cast recordings of “Les Misérables”, “Whistle Down The Wind” and “Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Fiftieth Birthday Celebration at The Royal Albert Hall”. His debut solo album “Marcus Lovett, The Give Moment” was released in 2008. Marcus is also currently the voice of the promotions for “Good Morning America” on ABC and “The Late Show with David Letterman.”
Simon Thomas recently starred as ‘Warner Huntington III’ in “Legally Blonde” at the Savoy Theatre. Other recent theatre credits include ‘Rapunzel’s Prince’ in “Into The Woods” at the Open Air Theatre, ‘Tarzan’ in “Tarzan” at the Theatre Neue Flora in Hamburg, ‘Lucien’ in “Marguerite” at the Theatre Royal Haymarket, “Make Me A Song” at the New Players Theatre and “Merry Wives Of Windsor” at the RSC.
Lara Martins is a soprano who has enjoyed an international career singing a wide-ranging repertoire. Recent operatic engagements include ‘Sofia’ in “Il Signor Bruschino by Rossini” for the Opéra National de Bordeaux, ‘Blondchen’ in “Entfürung aus dem Serail” for Opera de Marseille, ‘Susanna’ in “Le Nozze di Figaro” for Teatro da Trindade in Lisbon and ‘Clarissa’ in “Die Drei Pintos” and ‘Princess Hirvaia’ in “Dick Whittington and his Cat” at the Bloomsbury Theatre in London. Lara has been awarded several prizes including the English Song Prize and the Anne Wyburd Award at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and first prize at the Concurso de Interpretação de Música do Estoril in Portugal.
Anna O'Byrne most recently starred as ‘Christine Daaé’ in the Australian Premiere production of “Love Never Dies”. Anna also features in the filmed version of the production which was released on DVD and Blu-Ray and screened in cinemas all over the world. Anna made her professional debut in the Australian production of “The Phantom of the Opera”, where she covered and performed the role of ‘Christine Daaé’. Anna has also been a Principal Artist at Victorian Opera where she played ‘Polly Peachum’ in the Malthouse Theatre/Victorian Opera co-production of “The Threepenny Opera”, ‘The Gossip’ in “Angélique” and ‘Pamina’ in “Die Zauberflöte”. Other operatic performances include ‘Tamiri’ in “Il Re Pastore” for Lyric Opera of Melbourne, “Die Fledermaus” for In Good Company and “La Clemenza di Tito” for the VCA Opera Studio.
THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA became the longest running show in Broadway history on 9 January 2006 when it celebrated its 7,486th performance, surpassing the previous record holder “Cats”. This coincided with the Broadway and the US national touring company celebrating an unprecedented 20,000 performances in the United States. In October 2010 the London production celebrated its 10,000th performance, and in October 2011 it celebrated its 25th Anniversary with a spectacular staging of “The Phantom of the Opera at the Royal Albert Hall” which was screened live in cinemas all over the world and subsequently released on DVD.
THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA has won over 60 major theatre awards, including seven Tonys on Broadway and three Olivier Awards in the West End. It won the ‘Most Popular Musical Audience Award’, voted by the public, in the 2002 Laurence Olivier Awards. THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, which opened at Her Majesty's Theatre on 9 October 1986 starred Michael Crawford as 'The Phantom' and Sarah Brightman as 'Christine.' It is produced by Cameron Mackintosh and The Really Useful Theatre Company Limited.
Worldwide, THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA has grossed over £3.2 billion. The box office revenues are higher than any film or stage play in history, including "Titanic", "ET" and "Star Wars". It has been seen in 147 cities in 27 countries and played to over 130 million people. THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA is currently showing in London, New York, Budapest, Las Vegas, and Tokyo. The new 25th Anniversary Production is also currently on tour in the UK.