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The Phantom of the Opera Manila: Glimpse on the Cast

Finally The Phantom of the Opera is opening in Manila tomorrow much to the delight of all the fans across the nation.  But before we see this fine masterpiece by the living legend Andrew Lloyd Webber, let us all take a quick glimpse on the actors that will play the characters that captured our hearts for years since 1986.

Jonathan Roxmouth as the Phantom
South African-born Jonathan has received numerous awards and nominations from South Africa’s premier theatre. For his outstanding performance as The Phantom for the show’s South African season, he was awarded Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical in the 2012 Fleur Du Cap Awards.

Jonathan also won the Fleur Du Cap Award, as well as the highly respected Naledi Award, for Best Performance in a Musical for the lead role of Gaston in Beauty and the Beast. He also received a Naledi Award Nomination for Best Performance in a Musical for the lead role of Danny Zuko in Grease, and nominations for both a Naledi Award and Fleur Du Cap Award for his performance in A Handful of Keys.

Jonathan has performed lead and principal roles in numerous award-winning musicals such as Cats, Beauty and the Beast, The King and I, Grease, The Buddy Holly Story and Jesus Christ Superstar in USA, Hong Kong and New Zealand.

In addition to his credits as a leading musical theatre performer, Jonathan Roxmouth is an accomplished concert pianist, performing at concerts and corporate events in South Africa.

Producer Tim McFarlane, Managing Director of The Really Useful Company Asia Pacific, said “When I first saw Jonathan’s performance as The Phantom I recognized an exceptional talent, and his interpretation of this iconic role is exciting, fresh and immensely powerful. This kind of talent is just what we are looking for, and Jonathan will be performing the role of The Phantom for the full Asian tour of The Phantom of the Opera. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him perform the role elsewhere in the world in the future.

Claire Lyon as Christine Daaé
Classically trained, Claire graduated from the Victorian College of the Arts at the University of Melbourne in Australia, with a Bachelor of Music Performance.

Most recently Claire has performed the role of Christine numerous times in the new and highly acclaimed Australian production or Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Love Never Dies, the sequel to THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA.

Prior to joining the cast of Love Never Dies, Claire was a renowned member of Australia’s national opera company, Opera Australia, performing in numerous classic operas such as The Merry Widow, Madame Butterly, Aida, La Traviata, Peter Grimes, Tosca and Carmen. She also performed the roles of Ida in Die Fledermaus and Barbarina in The Marriage of Figaro, and performed in the world premiere of Opera Australia’s Bliss, which went on to enjoy success at The Edinburgh Festival.

As a soprano soloist, Claire has performed in oratorio works such as Rossini’s Petite Messe Solenelle and Bach’s B Minor Mass and Cantata Number 149 with the Victorian College of the Arts Orchestra.

Claire is the perfect Christine,” said Mr. McFarlane. “She has the most exquisite voice which imbues the role with just the right blend of vulnerability, passion and tragedy. She is a beautiful performer.”

And of course the whole show is nothing without the supporting cast who are equally talented like the leads. Here are actors the compose the supporting ensemble.

Anthony Downing as Raoul
A highly accomplished actor, singer, dancer, pianist and composer. Trained in South Africa and London, award-winning Anthony has performed in musicals, dance productions, film and TV, and performs with a 7-part acappella group.

James Borthwick as Monsieur Firmin
A seasoned actor with many of South Africa’s prestigious theatre, film and TV awards to his credit, the Naledi and Fleur Du Cap Awards for Best Performance in a Musical (2010) for his role as Peron in Evita.

Jason Ralph as Monsieur Andre
Following his first Fleur Du Cap nomination as Most Promising Student while at the University of Cape Town’s Drama Department, Jason has gone on to receive numerous nominations and awards from both the Fleur Du Cap and Naledi Awards during his long career. He won Best Supporting Actor for his performance in The Rocky Horror Show and toured to China, Taiwan and Jakarta in High School Musical. He makes regular appearances on TV and film in South Africa.

Andrea Creighton as Carlotta
New Zealand-born Andrea has sung principal roles in numerous classic operas for many international opera companies, including Opera National de Paris and New Zealand Opera. Her concert and recital work has taken her around the world, from engagements with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra to the Orchestre National de Paris to the UK’s Halle Orchestra. Andrea has won numerous awards and scholarships during her singing career.

Rebecca Spencer as Madam Giry
Her romance with THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA began when she was cast in the role of Carlotta in the German production in Hamburg. Rebecca has performed more than 50 principal roles in operas and musicals across the USA and Canada, and has appeared on television and in film. She has performed as a soloist for numerous American Symphony Orchestras, has performed solo concerts in New York, and has recorded two critically acclaimed albums.

Thabiso Mesemene as Piangi
Recently performed the role of Don Basilio in Opera Africa’s Le Nozze di Figaro. He has also performed as Nemorino in L’Eisir d’Amore, Ernesto in Don Pasquale and Beppein in Pagliaci, Thabiso is part of a successful group called the Gaabo-motho Tenors with whom he has performed internationally.

Cat Lane as Meg Giry
Cat has performed in numerous musicals in London’s West End and internationally, including Grease, Cats, Footloose, Beauty and the Beast and Saturday Night Fever. She has also performed in Spirit of the Dance on its US tour, and in pantomimes such as Cinderella.

Dondi Ong as Piangi
Last but not the least, we are proud to announce that there will be a Pinoy representative on the cast.  Alternating with Thabiso Mesemene as Piangi, is our very own Dondi Ong.  Filipino tenor Dondi has trained at the UP College of Music gaining a degree in Music, majoring in Voice. He graduated as Magna Cum Laude and the class valedictorian. He has played lead and prominent roles in various Filipino plays, zarzuelas and musicals and has travelled to the US, Europe and Japan to perform for foreign audiences. As a stage performer Dondi had played prominent roles in: Lucio San Pedro’s “Bayan Isang Paa na Lamang”, Boni Ilagan’s “Pagsambang Bayan”, Lucrecia Kasilag’s “Why Flowers Bloom in May”, Roldan/Asencio’s “Song of Joseph”, Floy Quintos’ “Isang Panaginip na Fili” and Puccini’s “La Boheme” among others.  He is very excited to comeback in Manila and once again perform in front of his fellow Filipinos.

This is just the main cast who are actually playing most of the notable characters from the show.  But the whole ensemble definitely is composed by a lot of actors and performers that will make every scenes alive and majestic.

Now that you all know them, are you ready to experience The Phantom of the Opera?  The show starts tomorrow August 25, at the CCP Main Theater, Cultural Center of the Philippines, Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City.  Tickets are now available at TicketWorld 891-9999 or log on to www.ticketworld.com.ph.

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