Opinion

Phantom audition has a dream role in reality

by
December 04, 2017

Cartoon courtesy of Jess Rae of Doodley Squat.

I GOT the part!
You are looking at the next Madame Giry in Echuca-Moama Theatre Company’s production of Phantom of the Opera.
I got the call last week following my audition 24 hours earlier.
One of the longest waits of my life. Checking my phone every five minutes to see if I’d missed a call.
And my daughter Ayla asking me ‘Did you get it Mum? Did you? DID YOU?!’ every two minutes.
As you all know, I am a huge musical theatre fan and have been involved in several shows over the years.
This will be my fourth with EMTC.
And Madame Giry is, by far, the biggest role I have ever landed.
She is the mysterious and stern ballet mistress of the opera house.
And the mother to ballerina Meg Giry. So, yes much older than I am, but nothing that a few drawn on wrinkles won’t fix. Because, I’m still only 39 (which I can only say for another two months) and obviously don’t have any yet.
And the best part is that she commands the attention of everyone with an awesome cane that she bangs on the ground a lot.
I am especially looking forward to that. I may just take it home to see if it works on the girls.
Plus, it’s an important part of getting into character.
We had our cast announcement on Thursday night where I got to meet the rest of the members, two thirds of whom I didn’t know.
When we sat down to read and sing through the script, I wasn’t expecting much because first run-throughs are usually pretty rough.
But holy moly, when some of the leads opened their mouths, so did I — in awe.
Sophie Miller (aka Christine) hit every high note and sent shivers down my spine. At just 19, this Echuca girl really has the voice of an angel.
And newcomer Leigh Hindle, who hails from Shepparton, blew everyone away as the Phantom — showing us all why he was picked over so many other hopefuls.
When I discovered our own Tamara Cadd scored the role of prima donna Carlotta, I was not at all surprised because, well, diva alert! Kidding, not kidding Tam. Plus she’s got one hell of a voice that will literally shatter windows (in the best way possible).
Luke Westley is also a newcomer to Moama and seems a perfect fit as Raoul, Vicomte de Chagny, while the hilarious Gerard Oman and Connor Deakin are ideal choices as the bumbling managers of the Opera Populaire.
And Kyabram’s Charlotte Goode, who plays my daughter Meg Giry, is also impressive as the sweet but brave ballerina.
And I’m glad to see Honni Goulding, who has been cast as a man one too many times for her liking, taking the role of Monsieur Reyer (the opera maestro) and making it her own — as Madame Reyer.
And then what an awesome ensemble and ballet chorus we have who range in age from 16 to 86.
And there’s a few characters among them who I’m sure are going to keep things interesting over the next six months of rehearsals.
So, here’s to late nights; singing in the shower, car, office and supermarket, hundreds of script readings and plenty of coffee.
Cause we’re going to need it.

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