The Four Phantoms
I have sadly not had the chance to see the Phantom of the Opera on stage. But I’ve been a fan of the score from a young age, so it was such a pleasure to be entertained by not one, but four Phantoms showcasing their powerful vocals performing songs from the celebrated Andrew Lloyd Webber show, as well as a selection of other favourites from Broadway musicals and beyond.
The Four Phantoms, Brent Barrett, John Cudia, Franc D’Ambrosio and Ciarán Sheehan, blessed the Mid-Ocean Amphitheatre stage on Friday night.
Between them, they have performed as the Phantom in the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical 6,000 times, featuring in the show on stages from New York City to San Francisco to Las Vegas.
It was clear from the start that this talented quartet expertly blended their incredible range of voices together, but it was the moments in between performing individually where they demonstrated why they have such illustrious careers.
It was also a treat to hear each of their stories. They have performed in other well-known Broadway shows, including Les Misérables and Chicago, which they selected songs from.
The quartet entered the stage to the opening thunderous chords of the infamous opening organ riff from the namesake song, but it was not until late in the show that our Phantom yearnings were finally indulged. But that’s not to say that what came before wasn’t awe-inspiring.
The evening began with opening artist, Joy T. Barnum, who entered the stage singing a cappella the rousing spiritual Oh, Glory, and looked like a chiffon dream in a bright pink diaphanous custom-made gown.
But it was her final number, accompanied by a talented group of all-female backing singers, the Oscar-nominated Stand Up from the recent film Harriet, where Barnum absolutely thrilled. Talk about goosebumps — someone please give this woman her own show.
Barnum perfectly set the tone for the evening and the quartet kicked off the main event with the catchy hit Old Friends from the Broadway show Merrily We Roll Along.
As we were entertained with each performer’s solo acts. The standout was D’Ambrosio’s Speak Softly, Love, from The Godfather III. D’Ambrosio played Anthony Corleone in the third film — Michael Corleone’s opera-singing son.
It was magical, particularly when D’Ambrosio moved into the Italian lyrics, of which he sang in the movie and on the award-winning soundtrack.
Other standouts, included Cudia’s beautifully accomplished Being Alive, which really showed off his Broadway chops, Barrett’s spirited delivery of I Am What I Am from La Cage aux Folles, and Sheehan’s faultless rendition of Gethsemane from Jesus Christ Superstar.
Then what we had all been waiting for — the celebrated Phantom repertoire. The Phantoms were joined on stage by Kaley Ann Voorhees, the youngest actress to ever play the role of Christine in the musical, whose talent soared, particularly in their performance of The Phantom of the Opera.
Her voice was incredible and played off brilliantly alongside the Phantoms.
We were also treated to more of Voorhees’s talent joined by the quartet and on a solo number.
It was great to also have a stellar backing band with musical direction by Ryan Shirar that aided in a full and commanding sound to accompany such chill-inducing voices.