After 26 years, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Phantom of the Opera is coming to Lexington in a production by the University of Kentucky Opera Theatre.
The iconic Broadway musical is still playing in New York and on national and international tours, usually circumstances that keep producers from licensing shows for other theaters to produce. But Monday morning, UK Opera Theatre director Everett McCorvey said that Kentucky has joined a short list of colleges, including Brigham Young University and Elon College, that have been authorized to produce the show. The Rodgers and Hammerstein Organization, which administers rights to the show, began licensing Phantom to colleges and high schools in 2009.
National tours of Phantom have played Louisville and Cincinnati, but they have never come to Lexington because the Lexington Opera House’s stage house is too small to accommodate the touring show’s massive set, including the chandelier that crashes to the stage at the end of Act 1.
“The chandelier will fall, the boat will go, it will be a full production,” said UK Opera program director Joan Rue.
UK had to meet some stringent requirements get rights from Rodgers and Hammerstein, including that it be an all-student cast and orchestra. McCorvey says the production’s leading actors have been triple cast to accommodate a marathon of 10 performances Oct. 5 to 14.
Tickets to Phantom go on sale Monday to people who subscribe to the rest of the UK Opera season: Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro March 1-3 and It’s a Grand Night for Singing June 7-9 and 13-15. Per the rights agreement, tickets will only be available in person at the Lexington Center Ticket Office or by phone at (859) 233-3535. There are no online sales of Phantom tickets.