By Janice Malone
NASHVILLE, TN — Cameron Mackintosh’s spectacular new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera is currently playing at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center’s Andrew Jackson Hall for a limited run, until Nov. 4, 2018.
The Phantom of the Opera’s return to Nashville Is part of its North American Tour. Hailed by
critics as “bigger and better than ever before,” this production boasts many exciting special effects including the show’s legendary chandelier, new scenic and lighting designs, new staging and choreography. The beloved story and thrilling score are performed by a cast and orchestra of 52, making this Phantom one of the largest productions now on the road. One of those talented cast members is Quentin Oliver Lee, who stars as the infamous “Phantom.” (www.quentinoliverlee.com)
The local press had the opportunity to meet with Quentin and some of the cast members, along with taking a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the production. Quentin shared his thoughts about playing such an infamous masked man character. ”The Phantom of the Opera is probably the most iconic show in all of musical theatre history. And the title role is the most important of all so, it’s really huge to be able to be a part of this legacy and put on that cape every evening. It’s amazing. It feels sort of like being shot out of a cannon or something,” says the 31-year-old baritone singer who received a Bachelors of Music in Vocal Performance from Northern Arizona University. Lee, a classically-trained opera singer, is the second African American to play the Phantom on tour. From performances in Porgy and Bess, Carmen, The Man of La Mancha and so many others, Quentin is no stranger to musical theater. He’s enjoyed many other performing opportunities, as a soloist for the ‘Messiah’ with the Flagstaff Master Chorale, a soloist in the Mozart Mass in C Minor with the Westchester Oratorio Society as the Soloist for the MLK Day celebration in Jackson Beach, Fl. Other highlights of his stage work include ‘Zuniga’ in Carmen with Opera NY, ‘Raimondo’ in Lucia di Lammermoor, and ‘Escamillo’ in Carmen with the New York Lyric Opera Theater.
He reveals that this was his first time performing in Nashville, and since he’s been in town the Music City experience has been a memorable one for him. “Nashville is such an amazing city! I got a chance to go to the Grand Ole Opry, which was so much fun. Maybe one day I’ll perform there.”
Phantom of the Opera continues performances at Her Majesty’s Theatre in London and in its recording-breaking run at the Majestic Theatre on Broadway and many other cities around the world. But for now, there’s still time left to see the show here in Nashville. Get tickets at www.tpac.org or 615-782-4040.