Preview: Phantom of the Opera Returns to the Segerstrom

Derrick Davis as the Phantom and Eva Tavares as Christine Daaé (Photo by Matthew Murphy)

Andrew Lloyd Weber’s Phantom of the Opera is back for another season at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts with a whole new take on the much-beloved classic. World-renowned theater director Cameron Mackintosh, also known for the 2012 film-version of Les Miserables, has brought Costa Mesa audiences his unique spin and theatrical magic to the long-running Broadway performance. 

Known for his spectacular sets and one-of-a-kind takes on Broadway classics, Mackintosh has made Phantom of the Opera’s North American Tour the biggest and best yet. With the help of his creative team, Mackintosh has brought on extravagant sets and costumes.

“The sets are unbelievable,” said Trista Moldovan, who plays Carlotta Guidicelli, a Spanish opera singer quits Phantom of the Opera’s musical-within-the-musical. “It was such a brilliant way to reenvision them.”

Moldovan tells the Weekly the new cutting-edge scenery has much more movement in this particular version; the sets travel from one side of the stage to another, giving more light and energy to the production. In Moldovan’s eyes, the “incredible” and “innovative” sets are a complete spectacle to both the audience and cast members.

“It’s the same story, the same characters that everyone loves but with newer technology,” said Sarah Grace Mariana, playing Meg Giry, one of major character Christine Daaé’s confidantes in Phantom

The company performs “Masquerade.” (Photo by Alastair Muir)

This North American Tour version features newer, bigger sets, enhancing the theatrical atmosphere on stage and for the audience members themselves. All of the original songs remain in the production but are slightly revamped along with the rest of the musical. 

“It’s the same music and the same story that everybody knows and loves; it’s different blocking and staging. … We have a different director that has flushed out the story a bit more and the characters,” said Moldovan. 

Along with the set changes, Mackintosh has delved much more into the Phantom’s character, shedding a new light on the time-honored Broadway role. With Mackintosh’s exploration of the character, Derick Davis, who portrays the Phantom in the production, delivers a more sincere, realistic side of the masked man on stage. 

“He is very human in our production which I really appreciate,” said Mariana. 

While Mackintosh’s spectacular new production has brought about a much more breathtaking scene, it is Phantom’s genuine motif of compassionate love and acceptance that continues on, generations after its initial Broadway debut. Audiences of young and old will fall in love with Andrew Lloyd Webber’s sensational love story between two who were never truly meant to be but defied the odds against them and within them to prevail.

Phantom of the Opera is at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts through July 21. For ticket information, visit

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