The Student Voice of North Allegheny Senior High School

The Uproar

The Student Voice of North Allegheny Senior High School

The Uproar

The Student Voice of North Allegheny Senior High School

The Uproar

Her Voice, His Obsession

The NA Music Department announces a blockbuster musical for Fall 2024 — The Phantom of the Opera.
Ruby Morris
The Phantom of the Opera hits the NASH stage next November.

The NASH Music Department has officially announced its 2024 Fall Musical, The Phantom of the Opera by Andrew Lloyd Webber. 

“It is a blockbuster of a musical but the cast requirements are unusual,” Musical Director David Schmiech said. “The ensemble for the show includes an opera chorus and a group of ballet dancers, but the narrative is mostly told through a large number of individual characters rather than a large ensemble.”

The need to steer away from an ensemble guided the decision to produce Phantom.

“It would be hard to place into the spring musical slot, where the expectation is song and dance numbers for 70 people,” Schmiech said. “We are lucky to have a great cast that fits the characters for this show well.”

The famous show has been a hit on both stage and screen.

Beneath the Paris Opera House, a masked figure lurks in the catacombs, bringing terror upon anyone who inhabits the theater. His heart consumed with love for the innocent soprano, Christine. He devotes himself to her, using every cunning method he possesses to nurture her extraordinary talents. 

I believe that this may be a stand-out show for NASH students and for the community,” Technical Director Bob Tozier said. “We are very happy that the community and board of directors approved the show and are excited to share the talents of the NASH students with the North Allegheny community.”

The Phantom will be played by Ryder Boles, now a junior at NASH.

“He is a reclusive composer for the Paris Opera House, the backbone of the performances that go on there,” Boles said. “He keeps to his lonesome and is an ominous figure to the patrons and workers of the Opera House. The people tell stories of him as if he is some monster who lurks around the Opera House, kidnapping or killing anyone in sight.”

Boles views the role as a challenge that he is excited to take on.

“He is a complex character with many different emotions, but without spoiling too much, I feel he is misunderstood,” he said.

Gracie Durzo, a current junior at NASH, will play the Phantom’s love interest, Christine.

“She is initially a member of the ensemble of the Opera, but later (due to some unfortunate circumstances that I can’t spoil), she is made the lead singer,” Durzo said. “The Phantom falls in love with her and writes an opera specifically for her to be cast as the lead in an attempt to pursue his love for her onstage.”

Durzo, like Boles, knows that the role will be challenging.

“Christine also sings very, very…very high,” she said.

courtesy of NA Music Dept.

The Phantom of the Opera requires a large chandelier and heavy fog effects, and Tozier is already making preparations.

“This show will be on the more difficult side to tech and to light,” he said.  “We are excited to incorporate these elements, and others, into this production. From an educational standpoint, the students will learn many theater techniques to bring this show to life.”

The cast is especially looking forward to putting on such a renowned show.

“The score is uniquely 80’s rock and classic aria opera,” Boles said. “It sounds like a strange blend of musical genres, but it works so incredibly well with the vocal parts. I am also very excited to sing with my very talented castmates. Working alongside them is truly special.”

Durzo’s part will demand especially lengthy preparation.

“Over the summer, I will be taking vocal lessons to improve my breathing techniques and hopefully improve my range,” she said. “I have always been familiar with the show, and I would always listen and think, ‘Wow, this stuff is really hard.'”

Boles agrees.

“It’s a very hard show,” he said. “That’s why you don’t see many high schools doing it.”

The North Allegheny production of Phantom is set for November 6th, 7th, 9th, and 10th on the NASH stage.

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About the Contributor
Scout Gilliland
Scout Gilliland, Staff Writer
Scout Gilliland is a junior at NASH and this is her first year writing for The Uproar. She runs for the NA Cross Country Team, plays the flute in the Band, and dances at Michele's School of Dance. In her free time, she hangs out with her family and friends and likes to be involved in her church.  

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