Q&A: Talking with Marcus Lovett of Phantom of the Opera

Q&A: Talking with Marcus Lovett of Phantom of the Opera

Updated On: May 1, 2018
News and Information, London
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    Marcus Lovett has made his triumphant return to the West End in the title role of the Phantom at Her Majesty's Theatre on Haymarket. In a career spanning theatre, television, and music, Lovett first tread the boards as a member of the original Broadway cast of Les Misérables. In New York he also featured in Andrew Lloyd Webber's Aspects of Love, Nicholas Hytner’s revival of Carousel, in the title role of Alan Menken and Tim Rice's King David, as well as the off-Broadway musical Urinetown.
    Lovett first appeared on the West End originating the role of The Man in Lloyd Webber's Whistle Down the Wind. This is the second time he's filled the Phantom’s shoes, having also played the title role on Broadway.

    The Phantom of the Opera is now in its 27th year. Why do you think it is still such a big hit?

    Phantom is a hit because it is musically, visually, and emotionally true. It is precisely maintained, and since it is a period piece, it does not become antiquated. It is lush, vibrant, and wonderfully unpredictable eight times a week.
    Can you give us three reasons why everyone should see The Phantom of the Opera?

    1. The beloved late Maria Bjornson's scenic, costume and make-up design under Harold Prince’s direction is pure genius, and is a compulsory theatre experience.

    2. Andrew Lloyd Webber's score is complete, angelic, and moving. While the many audio and video recordings are beautiful - to hear it live is inspiring.

    3. Cameron Mackintosh makes certain that the heart of this brilliant original production pervades all members of the company. We cannot wait to play it for you.
    You've played the Phantom on Broadway and now in the West End. How do London and New York audiences compare?

    The audience is my favourite variable! At Her Majesty's Theatre in the West End, everyone is excitingly close. In New York there is more of a larger event feel because the audience sweeps away from the stage. Both audiences are splendid.
    Can you tell us about a typical performance day for you.

    A one show day begins at 3pm for me. Light vocal warm-up, one hour physical warm up, 90 minutes in make-up and hair, 40 minute vocal warm up. Then I hit the boards. I try to keep it lighthearted before and after the show to counter the demands of the role.
    Is it difficult performing behind a mask?

    It is much more difficult to play the parts of the show without the mask than with the mask. With the mask I am George Clooney. Without the mask....ouch!
    Can you sum up The Phantom of the Opera in five words?

    Five words to sum up our show? The heart is the key.