An opera ghost has been lurking in the shadows of the Belk Theater. But, he’ll be moving on to haunt other venues following the final Charlotte performance of “Phantom of the Opera” on Sunday. The Andrew Lloyd Webber musical has been nearly sold out during its 12-day run in the Queen City.
The touring company met with a handful of journalists at the Belk Theater on Feb. 12 for a behind-the-scenes look at “Phantom of the Opera,” where Stage Manager Heather Chockley revealed some insider’s information on what it takes to put on this iconic show. Read Andrea Honaker’s review of “Phantom of the Opera.”
Jacquelynne Fontaine – She’s played “Carlotta” since the new touring production began in October 2013.
Question: What was it about this role that interest you?
Answer: “It’s a really fun role because it combines a lot of things that I’ve pursued in my life, Opera being paramount. I’ve spent a lot of time in Italy, and Carlotta is an Italian of this era. One of the reasons I even entered theater and studied theater was because I loved the history and the costumes.”
Q: What has changed in this new version of Phantom?
A: “It’s a filmic take on it. It’s very spectacular. None of the music has been changed, none of the plot has changed. The costumes are the same. Instead, we’ve updated the stage and the lights, because when it was originally created 30 years ago, they used the most advanced materials that they had. Thirty years later, we have a really cool foundation on which to build.”
Q: What’s it like being a part of such an iconic musical?
A: “You’re jumping into a family, and we call it family with a ‘ph.’ It’s really special to be a part of something that’s such a part of American, British, worldwide culture. It’s an honor, it’s humbling, and it’s really exciting.”
Storm Lineberger – He’s a recent college graduate who joined the cast as Raoul eight weeks ago.
Q: What’s your character like?
A: “He’s a little snarky. He’s got some edge and he’s not the pushover that some people can think of his being. I’ve really sort of taken that and ran with it.”
Q: What is it about Phantom that has made it such a classic, timeless musical?
A: “The first thing, without question is Andrew Lloyd Webber’s lush score. It really tugs your heartstrings. Secondly, it’s the Phantom himself. I feel people really connect with the idea that you can sort of feel isolated sometimes. And when he finds that someone has compassion for him, that really lifts him up. And sort of also the idea of deciding between two sides of yourself. … It’s really well-written, in the sense that each character has their own journey, and I think that really helps the audience sort of find their own story.”