True work of art: ‘Phantom of the Opera’ will excite audiences

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Jordan Craig (Raoul) in the national touring production of "The Phantom of the Opera." [Matthew Murphy

By Rachel Teseneer
Times-News correspondent

   DURHAM – “The Phantom of the Opera,” one of the most extravagant musicals to hit the stage, will be ending its run at the Durham Performing Arts Center (DPAC) this weekend.
This show is a fan favorite for many theatergoers, and this national tour is no exception. It has a hauntingly exquisite set, striking costumes and a cast that leaves you wanting more. “The Phantom of the Opera” is set in the Paris Opera House in the early 1900s. Young Christine Daae (Eva Tavares) is a rising star in the theater due to tutoring from a mysterious masked man, the Phantom (Quentin Oliver Lee), who oversees the running of the theater from the shadows. When Christine’s childhood romance enters back into her life and the opera house’s new owners do not comply with the Phantom’s wishes, chaos ensues.
The plot has classic romance, action, suspense and a villain so compelling that audiences will wonder just whose side they’re on. Lee plays the Phantom with strength and tenderness. His singing voice alone commands the stage, even while he sings from offstage. He is perfectly complemented by Tavares, who is by no means a helpless Christine. Tavares brings a newfound strength to the character and gives audiences a true heroine to cheer on. Tavares has an undeniable gift in singing, which in the performance is showcased at its finest in the number “Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again.”
Supporting characters such as Christine’s lover, Raoul (Jordan Craig), and opera house diva, Carlotta (Trista Moldovan), take their respective spotlights throughout the show, adding unique voices and character perspectives. It is worth noting that Moldovan has previously played the role of Christine Daae on Broadway.
The ensemble comes together to make “Phantom” a true work of art. With superb talent in both singing and dance, particularly ballet, the ensemble is a beautiful presence on stage.
Note: There are some sudden, bright lights as well as a gunshot on stage. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 8, 2018; 8 p.m. Friday, March 9; 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday, March 10; and 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Sunday, March 11 at the Durham Performing Arts Center, 123 Vivian St., Durham. Tickets start at $35 and can be purchased at www.ticketmaster.com.

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

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