USM puts on Phantom of the Opera production

USM puts on Phantom of the Opera production

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The University of Southern Miss is putting on the musical production "Phantom of the Opera."

The play will also feature the Southern Miss Symphony Orchestra as well as an ensemble of 40 students. According to Director Mike Lopinto, over 120 students auditioned for the 40 roles, and he said he was surprised by the outcome.

"Forty-ish people in the cast," Lopinto said. "Over 120 people auditioned for those 40 roles. So, people were coming out of the woodwork to be in Phantom because it really is a once in a lifetime experience."

Planning for the play started over a year ago with a conversation between Symphony Orchestra Music Director Jay Dean and Dr. Lopinto to do a musical together.

"And I said well, what would you like to do and he said well there's only one I'm interested in and that's Phantom of the Opera," Lopinto said. "I said OK."

The production will include over 200 costumes and wigs with all set pieces and props handmade on Southern Miss campus.

Lopinto said that whether you love the play or not, there's something in it for everyone which is why he says that it's the longest running show on Broadway.

"It's sort of has something for everybody," Lopinto said. "It's a little swashbuckling for the guys, a romance story, there's lots of mystery and intrigue and murder. All those kinds of things make it a really spectacular thing."

"Phantom of the Opera" was written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and opened in 1986 in London. It was released on Broadway in 1988.

Follow the link below for ticket information.