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David Porter » Reviews » Phantom of the Opera

Phantom of the Opera

Norfolk Youth Music Theatre, at Norwich Playhouse

Review published in the Eastern Daily Press, 12 April 2014

The increasingly ambitious, hugely talented Norfolk Youth Music Theatre team excelled in their magnificent, confident Phantom, which is a big show by any definition.

Whether in the dramatic solos and duets or the entire ensemble on stage, this was a smooth operation allowing the music, singing and Marina Bill’s tight choreography to drive the emotions in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s dark love story.

Never easy musically, the orchestra under Mark Sharp’s expert baton sounded so good somebody near me thought it was a professional backing track. Norwich School of Dance delivered glorious ballet routines.

Adrian Connell, stage and musical director, should be proud of his performers and know that he is guiding many future stars. Hyoie O’Grady donned the Phantom’s mask with tragic aplomb, Emma Seamarks’ powerful, rich voice soared the heights as Christine, the Phantom’s iconic muse.

Calum Black pitched his love role just right and demonstrated how to lead and be part of the ensemble. A wide range of ages performed with infectious enthusiasm and joy. ‘Music of the Night’ indeed, that lingers into dawn.

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