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Second Stop of Global Tour! Ten-Show Run of Original Musical Masterpiece Scheduled in China's Chongqing

By SHIHAN YANG|Nov 05,2023

On the evening of November 3, a meet-and-greet event for the English original musical The Phantom of the Opera Sequel: Love Never Dies was held at the Chongqing Grand Theatre. Four leading creators, Luke McCall (as the Phantom), Manon Taris (as Christine), Niall Sheehy (as Raoul), and Annabelle (resident director), shared the stories behind the scenes of the first-ever tour of Love Never Dies in China with the audience. 

This musical is the first English original musical in four years to be showcased at the Chongqing Grand Theatre, following the success of Matilda the Musical in 2019. It will have a ten-show run from November 5 to 12, making it the most frequently performed project since the theatre’s opening.

Luke McCall (as the Phantom) and Manon Taris (as Christine) shared the stories behind the scenes of the first-ever tour of Love Never Dies in China with the audience. (Photo/Chongqing Grande Theatre)

Manon Taris, who plays Christine Daaé, says that the character is more like a friend to her than an achievement or experience in her life. She says the character’s life experience is very similar to her own - living from her heart.

Taris said that when she was 30 years old, she chose to leave her home country and go to another city, and now that she has come to China to play the role of Christine, she seems to be in a constant state of wandering between the choices and options in her life. Perhaps for a woman, the age of 30 should be the time to start a family. However, she still chose to dedicate herself to the arts, so she understands the inner level of the character of Christine, just as she went through the same uncertainty, to firmness, growth, and sublimation. These experiences make her and Christine have a deep resonance with each other.

Taris says that whether it’s Christine in the story or herself dealing with her own life, they are not making choices but listening to her heart.

The Only One in Southwest China

The Phantom of the Opera, a global musical phenomenon created by Andrew Lloyd Webber, has captivated audiences for 37 years. In 2010, Webber’s meticulous follow-up, The Phantom of the Opera Sequel: Love Never Dies, debuted to a packed house in London’s West End. When it comes to the year 2023, this beloved romantic epic has been revived and reprised in China. The global premiere of the 2023 revival ended triumphantly on October 29, 2023, at Shanghai’s North Bund AIA Grand Theater, with 40,000 spectators across 38 performances.

Chongqing is the second destination on the musical's international tour and the sole venue for Southwest China. From November 5 to 12, locals have the exclusive chance to savor this original West End production without leaving their city. With a plot that is both grand and entrancing, a score that wields mysterious and poetic charm, and a narrative woven with threads of joy and sorrow, the musical is set to deliver an unprecedented theatrical experience to its Chongqing audience.

The Phantom of the Opera Sequel: Love Never Dies. (Photo/Chongqing Grande Theatre)

An International Masterpiece! Top-tier Team for a Stunning Stage

The production team reports that the original stage set, props, and costumes, shipped from the UK to China, are securely packed in 16 containers. These containers, weighing around 100 tons and valued over RMB 100 million, represent an international rarity in terms of scale. The show’s redesigned set pieces – including an elaborate stage, a vivacious circus troupe, a sparkling carousel, and a prism-lit jungle – elevate the musical’s grandeur to unprecedented levels. The performers, with their deep, elegant acts and stunning vocals, complement these visuals perfectly.

The cast is as diverse as it is dynamic, featuring muscular men, clowns, magicians, and glamorous ladies in distinctive attire. The audience is treated to a visual feast of extraordinary, exotic creatures and a succession of impressive, intricate mechanical devices. The musical score maintains Andrew Lloyd Webber’s delicate Phantom signature while boldly infusing elements of rock. This stylistic fusion allows for a more potent emotional expression through song, highlighting the unique charm of the Phantom series.

This spectacular new production promises to take its audience on an exhilarating roller coaster ride of suspense, insanity, and romance.


New Era, New Journey, New Chongqing

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