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Senior School Production - Phantom of the Opera

The Phantom of the Opera, without question, has been the most ambitious and daunting production we have ever realised on the Kristin stage. Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber made an unanticipated announcement last year, that for a limited period, schools in Australasia might apply for possible performance rights to the Phantom. On consequently learning that we had indeed been granted the rights - as Director, I was simultaneously struck by total disbelief, unspeakable joy and indescribable terror. However, knowing the show as well as I did, I knew that, somehow, the stars had aligned for us in Kristin’s Performing Arts in 2018. We already had extremely strong vocal and dramatic ability in the potential cast lined up for the Senior Production and, I believed we could re-group what would collectively be the most talented and experienced Production Team for Kristin, ever. Both these aspects for staging a show such as Phantom effectively were crucial to its ultimate success.

Preparation had to begin immediately on being granted the rights, to allow for the magnitude of the show and the complex elements it demanded in every area. Gruelling auditions, call-backs and secondary call-backs were held late last year and, a potentially stellar lead cast and ensemble was confirmed. The directorial vision, music planning, design concepts and technical considerations had to be in place by the beginning of the year.

Behind the scenes, the core team of exceptionally talented, generous and professional individuals which included Alumni Students, Staff (past and present), Parents (past and present), and, special friends of Kristin - began on hours, days, weeks and months of preparatory work. Daily, little miracles began to happen and, gradually, Phantom magic began to unfurl. The rehearsal process of the students was astounding to witness and will forever inspire me. Our vocal leads worked relentlessly on the immeasurable vocal demands of the show - demands that daily continue to challenge even the seasoned, adult professionals in the West End and on Broadway. Vocal and Dance Ensembles, Crew and Orchestra fully embraced their roles, in their outstanding efforts to collectively be part of what might be a Kristin masterpiece.

Together, we did indeed deliver and I could not be more proud of every student involved. Close on 3,000 audience members came to the performance season and each of the five performances concluded with a standing ovation. My deep gratitude goes to every individual who was an intrinsic part of this triumphant production. We have received an overwhelming response from audience members who witnessed it. One particular comment struck a chord: “Breath-taking. That is perhaps the only way I can describe (Kristin’s) The Phantom of the Opera. Absolutely spine-tinglingly, soul-shudderingly, magnificently breath-taking” Carla Boniolo, Kristin Alumni. 

It has always been my fervent belief that the measure of truly great theatre aligns with the quote that claims "Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away".

It has been a privilege to be a part of this moment in Kristin’s Performing Arts history.

Lorna Rood
Artistic Director of Major Kristin Production

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