Close your eyes and surrender to your darkest dreams: Ramin Karimloo is returning to the role of The Phantom in The Phantom of the Opera.
In Italy, that is.
Karimloo, who has been teasing a highly anticipated return to the role on social media, will don the mask beginning July 4 at the Teatro Stabile del Friuli Venezia Giulia in Trieste, Italy. Presented in English and directed by Federico Bellone, the production will be the first time The Phantom of the Opera has been staged in Italy.
Karimloo has previously played the leading role on London's West End and in the British 25th Anniversary concert at the Royal Albert Hall; he also continued in the role through its sequel, Love Never Dies, written by composer Andrew Lloyd Webber specifically for Karimloo.
Said Karimloo: “I couldn’t be more thrilled to be part of this new production of The Phantom of the Opera with Broadway Italia. I’m excited to work with director Federico Bellone. Together we have been long-standing fans of the original production and both agree it’s a masterpiece. We want to celebrate that and have let that inspire us into creating a brand-new production of the glorious score, story and design.”
Karimloo currently stars as Nick Arnstein in the Broadway revival of Funny Girl: Information on his departure from the production, or an extended absence, will be announced at a later date.
The Phantom of the Opera has music by Lloyd Webber, lyrics by Charles Hart (with additional lyrics by Richard Stilgoe), and a book by Stilgoe and Lloyd Webber. The original production features musical staging and choreography by Gillian Lynne, scenic and costume design by Maria Björnson, lighting design by Andrew Bridge, and sound design by Martin Levan with David Caddick as music director. Cameron Mackintosh and Lloyd Webber's The Really Useful Group serve as producers. The late Harold Prince directed.
The Broadway staging of the London-originated show won seven 1988 Tony Awards, including Best Musical. Previews on Broadway began January 9, 1988, with an official opening January 26. The original Broadway cast featured Michael Crawford, Sarah Brightman, Judy Kaye, and the late Steve Barton. The Phantom of the Opera became the longest-running show in Broadway history January 9, 2006, when it surpassed the nearly 18-year run of Cats. The production’s nearly 14,000 performances have been seen by 20 million people and grossed $1.3 billion. The Broadway production will end its history-making run in April.
Tickets for the Italian production will go on sale in March. For more information, visit Phantomoftheoperamusical.it