‘Phantom of the Opera’ to strike in Tel Aviv

Phantom’s executive producer, Ken Davenport flew in to Tel Aviv from New York — for 30 hours only — just to talk to the press about the opera.

By SHIRLEY FINKELSTEIN
November 20, 2018 21:40
2 minute read.
A SCENE FROM ‘Phantom of the Opera,’ in which Ben Lewis stars as the ‘Phantom’ and Kelly Mathieson

A SCENE FROM ‘Phantom of the Opera,’ in which Ben Lewis stars as the ‘Phantom’ and Kelly Mathieson as ‘Christine Daaé'. (photo credit: Courtesy)

 
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The beloved Broadway musical Phantom of the Opera is coming to Israel for the first time next summer. The classic love story first showed in London in 1986 and quickly became a world phenomenon. In January of this year, the production celebrated its 13,000th appearance and has been performed in 16 languages in 37 countries and 172 cities around the world. It’s also won 70 theater awards, including seven Tony and four Olivier awards on its way to becoming the most profitable show on Broadway, with earnings estimated at $5.6 billion.

Moshe Yosef, Phantom’s Israeli producer, said at a press gathering Monday that he’s been trying to bring the production to Israel for 10 years.

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“It’s a special production with such a big cast coming to Israel. I think it’s big because a production of this size has never been brought to Israel before. It’s the most expensive show I have ever produced,” Yossef said.

Yosef, known for his backdrop work in Irgunit and for bringing high-profile plays to Israel, has been a theater professional since 1962. He said he looks forward to having the production in his playground at the Tel Aviv Performing Arts Center.

“The beautiful opera house here – with our technical, professional stage… we will be able to present the production in the best way. It is going to be one and the same with Broadway. All the set is coming – all the actors – with the orchestra and everything. I can say Broadway comes to Tel Aviv.”

While Yosef is focused on Phantom of the Opera, he’s not sitting idle waiting for the curtains to go up. The Jerusalem Post has learned that he’s working on some other upcoming productions.


“Matilda. I am going to produce it in Hebrew as well as the production Hello Dolly and Mama Mia. It will come in a few years… not now. But they are locked in and they will be in Hebrew, he said, adding, “Phantom of the Opera will be in English with subtitles in Hebrew.”

Phantom’s executive producer, Ken Davenport flew in to Tel Aviv from New York — for 30 hours only — just to talk to the press about the opera. He says he was inspired by the show’s beautiful love story and incredible music when he saw it as a young man. Now, he oversees all of North America’s productions of the show for the London-born composer Andrew Lloyd Webber’s theater production team “The Really Useful Group.” Davenport says what made the show go international is its pure demand.

“What’s most unique about this show it its cast. It’s a fantastic group led by Jonathan Roxmouth and Meghan Picerno. The people of Israel are in for a treat when they see these performers. It’s an international cast and they will begin performances together with this global tour. It’s a brand new production, so the Tel Aviv audiences will actually be some of the first to see it,” Davenport said.

“I personally am very excited – so much so that I’ve seen Phantom of the Opera myself several dozen times and I am secretly hoping they put me back on a plane to Tel Aviv so I can see this production. It’s that exciting,” Davenport added.

The shows begin on August 12 and tickets went on sale Monday. They will cost NIS 199 to 699. Available at *2207 or https://2207.kupat.co.il/show/phantomoftheopera

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