BRIGHTON’S own Kate Amos is playing a central character in Windmill Theatre Company’s Phantom of the Opera at the Drum Theatre in Dandenong.
The theatre company is one of the first companies in the world to be given the rights to perform this musical theatre classic outside of a professional setting.
Kate, who lives in Brighton stars as Christine, the central character who is the focus of the affection of both Phantom and the dashing Raoul.
“It has always been a secret dream of mine to play Christine. My first memory of Phantom was when I discovered at home a double disc CD of the original cast recording, when I was about 12. I’m pretty sure mum bought it in London when she went to see it on the West End. I knew nothing about the show at all, but would listen to that CD over and over again for years, there was something that I just loved about it. For years I aimed to be able to sing those high notes and so when I heard that Windmill were staging this epic production I just knew I had to be a part of it.”
Aged 23, Kate is a honours student studying Music at Melbourne University, as well as a singing teacher. While she has performed professionally in a number of operas around Melbourne, she also enjoys the opportunities that being involved in Community Theatre present.
“The greatest part is the wonderful new people you meet. I knew absolutely no one when I came on- board this production. The social aspect of being involved in an amateur show is something that you often miss working professionally and is something that really draws people to it. I have had so much support amongst the group and the rapport between the cast translates out on the stage. But whilst we have a lot of fun, everyone still takes their roles very seriously. It’s great to have fun so much fun whilst still working in a professional manner.”
While Kate is excited about playing Christine there have been some challenges along the way.
“As a classically trained singer my focus has been mainly on opera and operetta. So, I think the biggest challenge for me has been making sure that I am giving an equal amount of attention to the acting, dancing as well as singing in this show – as music theatre is not just about singing.” The acting side of playing Christine has been where she has found the most challenges.
“Christine goes through what is nothing short of an emotional rollercoaster throughout this show. She endures just about every possible human emotion and the scene changes are fast. So it has been a challenge moving between these vast emotions in such a short space of time while still maintaining a level of reality for the audience.
“The show also massive in just about every aspect, musically, dramatically, the sets, costumes and all aspects of 19th century grandeur in its finest form it truly is a massive spectacle. Part of the challenge that lies ahead for me is the large number of fast costume changes, running from one side of stage to another, and still trying to maintain a character throughout. I feel so very privileged to have been given this amazing opportunity by the creative team to put my own spin on Christine and bring her to life in a new production.”
The show involves over 30 cast on stage as well as at least that many working behind the scenes, and Kate is excited to see exactly what audience’s will make of it.
The Phantom of the Opera is a musical with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Charles Hart with additions from Richard Stilgoe. Lloyd Webber and Stilgoe also wrote the musical’s book together. Based on the French novel Le Fantôme de l’Opéra by Gaston Leroux, its central plot revolves around a beautiful soprano, Christine Daaé, who becomes the obsession of a mysterious, disfigured musical genius.