Grand Theatre Presents the 25th Anniversary High School Project:
The Phantom of the Opera
Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber
Lyrics by Charles Hart
Additional Lyrics by Richard Stilgoe
Book by Richard Stilgoe & Andrew Lloyd Webber
Based on the novel “Le Fantôme de I’Opéra” by Gaston Leroux
Originally directed by Harold Prince
Orchestrations by David Cullen & Andrew Lloyd Webber
Original Production by Cameron Mackintosh Ltd. and The Really Useful Group Ltd.
Directed by Andrew Tribe
On the Spriet Stage
September 19 - October 7
Opening September 22
Season Sponsor: BMO
Title Sponsor: Western Fair District
25th Anniversary Sponsors: Provincial Glass and Mirror Ltd.
Program Sponsors: Thames Valley District School Board, London District Catholic School Board, Westminster College Foundation
September 13, 2023 – London ON – From September 19th through October 7th, the music of the night will swell through the streets of London, Ontario, as the Grand Theatre proudly presents the 25th Anniversary High School Project (HSP): Andrew Lloyd’s Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera. Playing on the Spriet Stage, the silver anniversary production welcomes back two-time HSP director and alumnus, Andrew Tribe to lead one of the largest companies in the Project’s illustrious 25-year history.
“Many months of hard work and rigour will come together in less than one week as the Phantom makes his ‘grand’ entrance,” exclaims director, Andrew Tribe. “Our beautiful Grand Theatre is truly the perfect venue to bring to life this powerful story – a tender and warm tale about the power of compassion, resilience, learning to stand up for yourself, and seeing each other for our most authentic selves.”
The Phantom of the Opera tells the story of a notorious masked figure, known as the Phantom, who lurks in the catacombs – far beneath the majestic Paris Opera House. A disfigured musical genius, the Phantom exercises a reign of terror and control over all who enter “his” opera house – including an innocent, young soprano. Mesmerized by her beauty and talent, the Phantom desires nothing more than to see her become a star of the operatic stage and to remain with him at the Opera for all time. And the consequences for anyone who stands in his way? Deadly.
The Phantom of the Opera premiered in London's West End in 1986 and on Broadway in New York City in 1988. A multiple award-winning musical, the production won the 1986 Olivier Award and the 1988 Tony Award for Best Musical. A film adaptation, directed by Joel Schumacher, was released in 2004. The Phantom of the Opera holds the record for the longest running show in Broadway history – where after playing for 35 years, perfroming 13,981 performances to over 20 million audience members, and grossing over $1.3 billion, it officially closed on April 16, 2023.
The Grand’s High School Project production of The Phantom of the Opera is led by Andrew Tribe (Director), Floydd Ricketts (Music Director), and Nicola Pantin (Choreographer) – supported by Hannah Elias (Assistant Director) and Matthew Atkins (Associate Music Director). Lending their seasoned design talents to the milestone production are: Lisa Wright (Costume Designer), Kimberly Purtell (Lighting Designer), Aaron Ouellette (Sound Designer), and Scott Penner (Set Designer) – who designed the opulent set for the Grand’s highly-successful holiday production: ELF – The Musical.
From an application pool of over 300 grade 9 through 12 students, The Phantom of the Opera company is one of the largest in the Project’s history. It is comprised of 48 students in performing roles; 23 working in production (wardrobe, props, scenic art, sound, stage management, photography and marketing, backstage and lighting); and three in the orchestra. Within the cast, the roles of the Phantom, Christine, and Raoul have been double cast due to the sheer strength of the students who auditioned. While the vast majority of students hail from the London region, some travel from as far as Woodstock and Petrolia – a true testament to the reputation of the program.
Speaking to diversity and strength of the student performers, Tribe remarks:
“It is thrilling to have a company made up of performers who come from a variety of backgrounds. Some are seasoned performers with years of acting and voice training, who are finding their own challenges posed by the material. And for some students, this is their first stage production! There is a wonderful rawness, freshness, and curiosity that comes from their work and serves as a reminder of that first moment we all fell in love with theatre.”
The High School Project: The Phantom of the Opera plays on the Spriet Stage from September 19th to October 7th, 2023. With over 11,000 tickets already sold, seating is limited for a number of performances, with best ticket availability on September 19th, 20th and the matinee on September 27th. Single tickets range from $26 - $46.50 and are available at www.grandtheatre.com, by phone at 519-672-8800, or at the Box Office, 471 Richmond Street.
The Grand Theatre gratefully acknowledges Season Sponsor BMO, The Phantom of the Opera Title Sponsor Western Fair District, 25th Anniversary Sponsor Provincial Glass and Mirror Ltd., and Youth Program Sponsors Thames Valley District School Board, London District Catholic School Board, and Westminster College Foundation.
To learn more about the Grand Theatre’s 25th Anniversary High School Project: The Phantom of the Opera, please visit: grandtheatre.com/high-school-project. Additional facts, photos, and updates can also be found by following @thegrandlondon and #GrandPhantom or #HSP25 on Facebook, X, Instagram, and TikTok.
THE HIGH SCHOOL PROJECT (HSP)
An acclaimed mentorship program unique in North America, the HSP began in 1998 with West Side Story. Since then, the Grand Theatre has produced 34 High School Projects.
The HSP offers an exceptional opportunity for students to receive education and training in the working environment of a professional theatre, at no cost to the participants. High school students from the London area are mentored by professional artists and coaches in all departments (acting, stage management, props, wardrobe, scenic art, sound, lighting, orchestra, and photography), culminating in a production on the Grand's Spriet Stage. The initiative provides leadership, creative, and communication skills that serve these students on and off stage - in every area of their lives.
The Grand Theatre wishes to acknowledge and honour the original stewards of the land on which our Theatre stands. Gratitude and recognition are extended to the Attawandaron (also known as Neutral), Anishinaabeg, Haudenosaunee, and Lunaapewak peoples for preserving this land where we gather and create art.
About the Grand Theatre – World Curious. London Proud.
In the heart of downtown London, Ontario lies one of Canada’s oldest regional theatres and a leading cultural hub of today: the Grand Theatre. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Rachel Peake, and Executive Director Evan Klassen, the Grand proudly presents diverse, relevant, and original stories from around the globe – and around the corner – on its two stages. The not-for-profit theatre is committed to developing, producing, and premiering original stories through its COMPASS New Play Development program. Further, it is an ardent supporter of educational programming, as demonstrated through initiatives like the High School Project and Subsidized Student Matinees. For more information, visit: grandtheatre.com.
For more information please contact:
Caitlin Core, Communications Manager
ccore [at] grandtheatre.com
519-672-9030 ext. 266
HIGH SCHOOL PROJECT: THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA
Emma Bishop - Christine
Tristan Brew - Auctioneer
Blake Carey - Joseph Buquet
Will Cramp - Raoul
Evan Doerr - M. Lefevre
Hosna Emami - Mme Giry
Spence Jackson - Phantom
Jordyn Gowling - Porter
Isabelle Parent - Meg
Ethan Pickett - M. Reyer
Kieran Prouty - Phantom
Camila Rodriguez - Christine
Ryan Shaw - Andre
Leo Sigut - Piangi
Oliver Stanton - Raoul
Isaac Szoldatits - Firmin
Stella Yanga - Carlotta
Theone "T" Damue
CORPS DE BALLET
Madeline St. Arnaud
Sarena “Onyx” Nielsen
Matheo Van Der Mark
Alexsandra “Alex” Caido
MARKETING & PHOTOGRAPHY
Riley Hales – Flute & Piccolo
Eric Kang - Clarinet
Franz Marsolais Hernandez - Keys II
Andrew Tribe - Director
Floydd Ricketts - Music Director
Matthew Atkins - Associate Music Director
Nicola Pantin - Choreographer
Scott Penner - Set Designer
Lisa Wright - Costume Designer
Kimberly Purtell - Lighting Designer
Aaron Ouelette - Sound Designer
Hannah Elias - Assistant Director
Anita Nittoly - Fight & Intimacy Director
Alice Ferreyra Galliani - Stage Manager
Devon Vecchio - Apprentice Stage Manager
Andrew Rethazi - Vocal Coach
Matthew Atkins - Conductor
Tony De Luca - Reeds
Marianna Grigg - Cello
Céline Murray - Violin
Andrew Petrasinuas - Keyboard I
Craig Robertson - Trumpet
Jake Schindler - Keyboard III
Filip Stasiak - Bass
Kate Stone - French Horn