Softly, deftly, music shall caress you…hear it, feel it secretly possess you… Three powerhouse voices from Broadway's longest-running musical, "The Phantom of the Opera," join Pacific Symphony to deliver a revue of Broadway favorites for "The Three Phantoms-Broadway's Biggest Hits!," the second concert of the Symphony's Summer Festival 2012, sponsored by Hoag. Led by Principal Pops Conductor Richard Kaufman, the orchestra accompanies Craig Schulman, Ted Keegan and Gary Mauer -three extraordinary performers who have all played the title role of the Phantom-in the soaring melodies from Andrew Lloyd Webber's phenomenon, plus blockbusters from other shows that made them stars. Singing songs from the golden age of Broadway to the musical spectaculars of today, the Phantoms perform classics from "Jesus Christ Superstar," "Guys and Dolls," "Kiss Me Kate," "My Fair Lady," "Les Misérables," "Jekyll & Hyde," "Man of La Mancha," "Most Happy Fella" and more-all backed by the lush and expansive sounds of the full symphony orchestra.
The concert takes place tonight, July 21, at 8 p.m., at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Irvine. Individual tickets are $25 (lawn) to $99 (orchestra); kids under 14 are half price in most sections with the purchase of an adult ticket. Guests are welcome to picnic on the grounds of the amphitheater starting at 6 p.m. For more information or to purchase tickets, call the Symphony ticket office at (714) 755-5799, or visit the website at www.PacificSymphony.org.
'The Three Phantoms' was a highlight of our Pops series two seasons ago, and I'm thrilled that our summer audience at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater will have the opportunity to experience the excitement and beauty of these extraordinary singers," says Maestro Kaufman. "Most Broadway shows have very few musicians in the orchestra pit, but for our concert, the -more- Pacific Symphony/Three Phantoms Page 2 of 3 music is played by 70 members of Pacific Symphony, and that, along with three world-class singers, will make the music and the whole concert experience truly memorable."
"The Phantom is my favorite role thus far and certainly one of the most demanding," says "Three Phantoms" creator and co-star Schulman. "For one thing, it's an extraordinary vocal challenge, which I love. There's so much intense singing, and you have to maintain your voice in optimal condition for eight performances a week. But for me, concert performance is the most challenging of all. You have no set, no costumes and sometimes (in a solo concert), it's only your talent to hold the audience's attention. Your voice has to be in top shape and you have to have mastered the material as an actor as well as a singer (it's still 'musical theater!').
"Most of all, I believe that musical theater performance is about storytelling. By changing the quality of my voice, my stance and my movements I can put each song in its own context and character. My goal is to make the audience think that if they close their eyes, they feel as though they are back at a theater, watching the actual show."
Invited to represent the United States at the 10th Anniversary of "Les Misérables" in London, Schulman is the only actor in the nation to have portrayed three of the greatest musical theater roles: the Phantom in Andrew Lloyd Webber's "The Phantom of the Opera"; Jean Valjean in "Les Misérables"; and the title roles in "Jekyll & Hyde." He has portrayed Jean Valjean in four different companies in three countries for a total of over 1,900 performances. Recognized from the PBS broadcast of "The 10th Anniversary: Les Misérables in Concert," he has also played Che in "Evita," Tevye in "Fiddler on the Roof" and Archibald in "The Secret Garden." Schulman moves freely between the worlds of Broadway, opera and symphonic pops programs.