IF YOU are putting on a production of The Phantom of the Opera in regional Victoria, there is no more fitting venue than The Capital.
The grandeur of the former Masonic Hall fits wonderfully with the atmosphere created by the cast and crew of Nexus Bendigo Youth Theatre.
Being the first youth theatre company in the southern hemisphere to perform Andrew Lloyd Webber’s famed musical is a huge and honour and Nexus – led by director Julie Lovell – has pulled out all the stops.
Right from iconic opening notes of the show, Phantom of the Opera is riveting.
The electric-based opera sounds combined with classical instruments will get audiences excited as will the detailed set that crew has constructed for the show.
Following beautiful soprano Christine who is the obsession of a masked musical genius who lives beneath the theatre, the young cast brings huge talent and professionalism to their performances.
Erin Mannix steps confidently into the challenging role of Christine. Her amazing soprano voice easily fills the theatre as Christine is conflicted by her love for her childhood friend Raoul and her being irresistibly drawn to the voice of the Phantom.
Mannix’s co-stars are just as impressive as she is. Kody Austin’s booming voice never misses a note has his character Raoul declares his love for Christine.
But it is The Phantom that audiences are eager to see.
In just his second role with Nexus, Mason Hingston puts the audience under his spell from his first appearance.
The three leads are also wonderfully supported by the rest of the 65-person strong cast.
Tara Glozier and Samuel Kelly embrace their inner divas as the lead prima donna and tenor of the show’s opera company while Chloe Lovell and Liam Brown draw laughs in their efforts as naive, money focused theatre owners Firmin and Andre.
Ashlee Taylor’s turn as ballet mistress Madame Giry is a strong support for the whole cast.
Pieces of magic and stagecraft add fantastic effects to the show thanks to the use of two-way mirrors and trick props. Also fantastic is the seemingly endless parade of costumes designed for the show.
With the opera performing shows within the show, costume designer Tracy Kidd and her team have created a huge array of beautiful costumes.
Songs from the show will swirl around your head for days led by The Phantom of the Opera and Music of the Night as well as the second act opener Masquerade.
Nexus’ huge effort on Phantom of Opera is a credit to Bendigo’s theatre scene.
Nexus’ production of The Phantom of the Opera is on from July 27 to 29 and August 3 to 5 at The Capital.