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GREAT PERFORMANCES
THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA AT THE ROYAL ALBERT HALL

SUNDAY, MARCH 4 AT 7PM
EIGHT, ARIZONA PBS

Ramin Karimloo and Sierra Boggess star in a spectacular presentation from the ornate London concert venue
with a host of special guest stars at the conclusion

The Phantom of the Opera at the Royal Albert Hall, a fully-staged, lavish 25th anniversary mounting of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s long-running Broadway and West End extravaganza, comes to  Great Performances. Great Performances: The Phantom of the Opera at the Royal Albert Hall airs Sunday, March 4, 2012 at 7 p.m. on Eight, Arizona PBS.

To mark the musical’s Silver Anniversary, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Cameron Mackintosh presented “The Phantom of the Opera” in the sumptuous Victorian splendor of London’s Royal Albert Hall. International audiences were invited to join the celebration when the evening was transmitted live to cinemas worldwide. This dazzling restaging of the original production recreates the jaw-dropping scenery and breathtaking special effects of the original, set to Lloyd Webber’s haunting score.

The Phantom of the Opera at the Royal Albert Hall stars Ramin Karimloo as The Phantom and Sierra Boggess as Christine.  Both had triumphed in the London premiere of “Love Never Dies,” Lloyd Webber’s sequel to “The Phantom of the Opera,” both earning prestigious Olivier Award nominations for their roles.

Karimloo and Boggess are joined by Barry James as Monsieur Firmin, Gareth Snook as Monsieur André, Liz Robertson as Madame Giry and Wynne Evans as Piangi, together with a cast and orchestra of more than 200 including special guest appearances by the original Phantom and Christine, Michael Crawford and Sarah Brightman. Illustrious past Phantoms Peter Jöback, John Owen-Jones, Anthony Warlow and Colm Wilkinson join forces for a powerful “Music of the  Night,” all introduced by a beaming Lloyd Webber.  Besides that hit tune, the show contains such favorites as “All I Ask of You,” “Think of Me,” “Prima Donna,” “Masquerade” and “Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again.”

Lloyd Webber’s “The Phantom of the Opera” first opened in 1986 at Her Majesty’s Theatre in London and is based on the French novel Le Fantôme de l'Opéra by Gaston Leroux. Set against the glamour and spectacle of the Paris Opera House, Leroux told of a horribly disfigured Phantom, once a promising musician, who now terrorizes the opera company.  Shamed by his physical appearance and feared by all, the Phantom is drawn to the beautiful ingénue Christine Daaé and begins coaching her secretly, as a tragic romance unfolds between the unlikely pair.

Worldwide, “The Phantom of the Opera” has grossed more than $5.6 billion.  It has been seen in 145 cities in 27 countries and played to more than 130 million people.  The show has won more than 50 major theatre awards, including seven Tony® and three Olivier® Awards in the West End.  It is currently showing in London, New York, Budapest, Las Vegas and Kyoto.  In 2006, it became Broadway’s longest-running show ever.

Cast:

Ramin Karimloo   -    The Phantom
Sierra Boggess   -     Christine
Hadley Fraser     -     Raoul
Wendy Ferguson -    Carlotta Guidicelli
Barry James       -      Monsieur Firmin
Gareth Snook  -         Monsieur André
Liz Robertson -         Madame Giry
Wynne Evans  -         Ubaldo Piangi
Sergei Polunin -         Slave Master - Hannibal / Shepherd - Il Muto
Daisy Maywood -      Meg Giry
Nick Holder    -         Joseph Buquet
Earl Carpenter -        Auctioneer
Philip Griffiths  -         Monsieur Reyer
Simon Green   -         Monsieur Lefevre
Stephen Davis -         Don Attilio ("Il Muto")
Garðar Cortes  -         Passarino ("Don Juan Triumphant")
Heather Jackson -      Madame Firmin
Ellen Jackson  -         Wardrobe Mistress
Rosemary Ashe -        Confidante ("Il Muto")

About Eight, Arizona PBS

Eight, Arizona PBS is a trusted community resource. For 50 years, the PBS station has focused on educating children, reporting in-depth on public affairs, fostering lifelong learning and celebrating arts and culture. Eight achieves its mission through the power of noncommercial television, the Internet, educational outreach and community-based initiatives. Its signal reaches 86 percent of the homes in Arizona. With more than 1 million viewers weekly, Eight consistently ranks among the most-viewed public television stations per capita in the country. For more information, visit azpbs.org.

Eight is a member-supported service of Arizona State University.