ESM to perform 'Phantom of the Opera'

East Syracuse Minoa Musical Theatre will be the only school in Central New York and among the first in the country to perform Andrew Lloyd Webber's "The Phantom of the Opera."

Rehearsals have already begun and the "music of the night" will fill the ESM Central High School auditorium for six shows on two consecutive weekends Feb. 3 to 5 and 10 to 12. Tickets are $8 each and go on sale Dec. 1.

A winner of seven 1988 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Andrew Lloyd Webber's masterwork is a timeless story of seduction and despair. It tells the story of a masked figure lurking beneath the Paris Opera House, exercising a reign of terror. He falls madly in love with the innocent Christine and devotes himself to creating a new star by nurturing her extraordinary talents.

"Andrew's passion for bringing young people into the musical theatre is so deeply felt," said Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization president Ted Chapin, "that he has authorized us to release Phantom to schools even while it continues to thrive on Broadway and all over the globe. We always believed that school performances of Phantom would bring out the best in each and every student."

The Phantom of the Opera is Broadway's longest-running hit. The sensational score includes "Think of Me," "Angel of Music," "Music of the Night," "All I Ask of You," "Masquerade" and the title song.

The ESM cast includes Chris Lupia as The Phantom, Kristen Vollmer as Christine Daae, Ray Winterhalt (Raoul, Vicomte de Chagny), Tricia Honors (Carlotta Giudicelli), Jessica Barbini (Ubaldo Piangi), Sam Rossborough (Monsieur Firmin), Jason Wieczorek (Monsieur Andre), Alexandra Durantini (Madame Giry) and Emily Bousquet (Meg Giry).

The ensemble includes Abby Adebola, Timothy Ranger, Lauren Mannerberg, Vinny Carciofolo, Sabreena Barbuto, Francesca Mastrobattisto, Tyler Hague, Matt Vasiloff, Katie Burgwin, Kirsten White, Brittany Miller, Adam Kindon, Kala Bush, Destini Travis, Gina Monteleone, Ben Lannon, Gabby Davis, Allison LaChanse, Hannah Nonnenberg, Cole LaVenture, Kourtney Day, Sara Lucisano, Antoinette Parks, Marshall Pokrentowski, Rebecca DeJohn, AnneMarie Ranger, Caitlin Hess, Stephen Russell, Victoria Schaefer, Megan Shane, Rhoda Karagiannis, Vinny Sardo and Rhiannon Sherlock.

Ensemble characters will be cast from the ensemble throughout the rehearsal process depending on acting/singing ability. Ensemble characters include Joseph Buquet, Wardrobe Mistress/confidante (Il Muto), Auctioneer, Princess (Hannibal), Madame Firmin, Innkeepers Wife (Don Juan Triumphant), Monsieur Reyer, Fire Marshals, Monsieur Lefevre, Police, Porter/Marksman/Pop (Il Muto), Hairdresser, Slave Master (Hannibal), Jeweler, Flunky/Stagehand, Attendants, Pages (Don Juan Triumphant), Stagehands and Porter/Chief Fire Officer.

For ticket information, visit ESM online at esmschools.org and scroll down to "News Flash" or contact ESM HiCentral High School at 434-3300.

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