The audience may well be wearing masks – and so will the lead performer, but his won’t be because of COVID.

Opera Australia and the Really Useful Group have announced that they are to stage the first ever season of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical The Phantom of the Operaat the Sydney Opera House.

What’s more, when the famous chandelier falls onto the stage of the Joan Sutherland Theatre, it will do so in a spectacular re-imagination – just one of the new effects in Cameron Mackintosh’s revised production.

Josh Piterman and Kelly Mathieson in The Phantom of the Opera,West End, 2019. Photograph © Manuel Harlan

Australian performer Josh Piterman, who played the Phantom in the West End for six months until the theatres were forced to close because of the coronavirus pandemic, will return to Australia to reprise the role of the mysterious, masked composer, who lives in the catacombs of the Paris Opera House and terrifies the members of the opera company, before falling in love with soprano Christine Daaé.

Based on the classic 1910 novel by Gaston Leroux, Lloyd Webber’s musical...

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