Part of a legacy: Actress shares what it’s like to be in ‘Phantom of the Opera’

By Rachel Teseneer
Times-News correspondent


Derrick Davis (The Phantom), left, and Eva Tavares (Christine Daae) are shown in a scene from the national touring production of "Phantom of the Opera." [Matthew Murphy

   DURHAM — A beloved classic and a spectacle   to see, the national tour of “The Phantom of the   Opera” is returning to the Durham Performing   Arts Center (DPAC) from Feb. 28 to March 11.
“The Phantom of the Opera” follows the story   of young opera prodigy Christine Daaé, who has been tutored by a mysterious man, the Phantom. When Raoul, a childhood sweetheart, comes back into her life, the opera house is thrown into turmoil. The show has a classic blend of romance and danger while boasting a gorgeous set and timeless songs.
Eva Tavares plays the role of Christine Daaé and in a recent interview shared her thoughts and experiences.
Tavares began her love for the arts early in life, first training as a dancer and then pursuing singing when she became a teen. It is this personal evolution that she finds to be the first similarity between her and Christine, who also follows the dancer to singer path.
“ ‘Phantom of the Opera’ was the first musical I saw,” Tavares said. “Being in ‘Phantom’ is like being part of a legacy.”
When it comes to opera and the arts, Tavares said that she sees artists as guides.
“We give audiences permission to react. In the theater it becomes socially appropriate to cry, laugh, even scream.”
She also related that “opera is a musical style that uses the voice to portray emotion in a more dramatic way.”
According to Tavares, playing the part of Christine comes with unique challenges.
“I sing for two hours. It’s really a test of my stamina. I also start the show dancing on pointe. There’s a lot of complexity. It’s emotionally difficult as well. I’ve had to learn to leave that on the stage and still be honest on the stage.”
“I love that Christine fights for things she needs or wants,” Tavares said when asked what she liked best about playing the character. “She finds her strength in the end and is not a victim of her circumstance. She makes her own decisions.”
“Phantom of the Opera” is “classical music in a modern format.” Tavares went on to say that there’s something for everyone. “Expect to laugh, cry, experience beautiful music and be moved. Even if you’ve seen it before, you will be moved by moments. I think that’s the reason why it’s been around so long.”

Rachel Teseneer is a sophomore at North Carolina State University and a Teens & 20s writer.

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