Arcadians' Phantom Of The Opera opens

The chandelier flanked by co-stars Anne-Marie and Paul Fanning. Picture: ANDY ZAKELI
The chandelier flanked by co-stars Anne-Marie and Paul Fanning. Picture: ANDY ZAKELI

One of the brightest stars in the Arcadians' production of The Phantom Of The Opera doesn't sing a note and it "crashes" at the end of act one.

Yet there is no denying the dazzling quality of the eye-catching 1.8-metre wide chandelier in the much-loved musical favourite, which opens at the Illawarra Performing Arts Centre on Friday night.

The falling chandelier is one of the most famous scenes from the musical and the Wollongong conglomerate of hundreds of crystals, tipping the scales at a hefty 85 kilograms, will not disappoint, according to the production's stage manager Paul Greer.

"It's lifted on a special winch with an electric motor," Greer said.

"It has pyrotechnics included in it which means that when it goes up there will be sparks going all over the place and when it comes down and crashes onto the stage, there are further pyrotechnics at this moment.

"The rising of the chandelier is one of the most spectacular parts of the show and it's virtually the first thing the audience sees in terms of the technics."

Directed by Malcolm White, the poignant tale of a phantom who haunts the Paris Opera is also given momentum by the famed boat scene through a misty underground and the remote-controlled cymbal-playing monkey that starts moving at the cue of the synthesised organ riffs.

The orchestra, under the baton of Peter Copeland, features 28 musicians whose technical equipment includes 26 pairs of headphones, six CCTV monitors and 12.75 kilometres of cable.

Kyle Nozza has the title role in Andrew Lloyd-Webber's Gothic fantasia, Kimberley Jonceski is the Phantom's beloved Christine and Jack Dawson is Raoul.

Paul Fanning plays Monsieur Firmin and Anne-Marie Fanning is Carlotta Giudicelli.

Ms Fanning said Carlotta was one of her most challenging roles.

"Vocally Phantom has pushed me out of my comfort zone and I like that," she said.

"People will definitely get to see a side of me vocally they probably were not expecting, and hopefully they will like it.

"The diva bit is so much fun, she is a real over-the-top fun character to play."

■ The Arcadians Theatre Group presents The Phantom Of The Opera at the Illawarra Performing Arts Centre from August 15-24. Tickets:


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