MUSICALS ON LINE - The Phantom of the Opera

...for Musical Theatre lovers!


Juan Carlos Barona, The Phantom of the Opera (Spain)

   27th-June-2004.  Today the curtains closed for the last time in the Lope de Vega Theater in Madrid.  After two years playing the Phantom role...


1)  How do you feel now that it ended?

          I feel the satisfaction of doing the proper duty. But also a lot of sensations that I'll have to discover as time passes, when I realize that for the moment nobody will be waiting for me at the Lope de Vega Theater for the next performance. I'm also a bit scared of the future, because I got used to do such a big role...

2)   And now, what's the next step in your career?

     If you think about the next step in your career, maybe you wont dare to take it. Now I'm thinking in my immediate next projects, I have a enough work for the moment: Doña Francisquita, an important Spanish operetta next month in the Olympia Theater in Valencia (Spain). And after, on the 2nd of September I'll do a show that I hope Madrid's audience likes, it's called Cooking with Elvis, I play the King of rock, can you imagine?  I'm very enthusiastic about the project; I think the King is as high as the Phantom.

3)  Your background is from opera and Spanish operettas where we worked together several times.  Could you imagine you would do the leading role in a Broadway style musical in Madrid?

     When you start in acting, you imagine you'll be the greatest and that you'll do a bit of everything, but I must confess that as a student I always thought I would a operatic singer mostly. But to answer you directly, I'll say no, I never thought about it until the Phantom's auditions began, and until I saw myself wearing the mask I didn't finally believe it. Maybe it has only been a dream.


4)  What style (opera-musical) do your prefer?

        At the moment I prefer musical comedies, it's easier for me to transmit my feelings through this performing style and I get to more audience as well. But I don't think I need to leave any of the styles, as well as I can, I'll do both.


5)  What has changed in your life after being "The Phantom"?

       Inwards I think it gave me more things than I can realize right now, but I'll tell you some: growing, acting and singing, it made me experience other sounds and ways of singing, it made me grow as an actor, it made me feel more sure about myself... Outwards, it gave good friends and a bigger credit as an artist.  Most probably in my career there'll be a before and an after of "The Phantom".

6)   What do you suggest for the young students who want to become professional stage performers?

       Not to stop dreaming and studying. There always are opportunities, and the opportunities should catch them working, not watching or crying about their bad luck. Go with positive minded people and run away from the suffered and the frustrated like from the pest.

7) Do you think Spanish audience is prepared for so many musicals at a time?

   I wish I knew what Spanish or anywhere's audience wants, I guess I would get very well paid for that information, better than for singing, jajajajaja. I have no idea, but I hope they keep on going to the theaters; without them we would die of hunger and sadness. What I would really like would be for them to "grow" as we do to get to be a loyal and wise audience.

8)      Which is your favorite musical?

             For the moment "The Phantom of the Opera", jajajaja. I don't really no too many musicals, I can tell you I love the music in Les Miserables, it's a musical I would love to perform some day.


9)      What musical comedy character would you like to play in the future?

     To answer this question I would need the audience's help. You know the musicals and you also know this humble Phantom, please tell me which role you would like to see me in and I'll start preparing it right now, jajajaja. I pray to see each other in a good musical again soon, it will be my pleasure, we have a meeting, ok?. Thanks a lot for everything; to all of you, musicals lovers, and Luigi Manzano for his important work and his friendship.


I hope I can share the stage again with Juan Carlos Barona soon.  As we say in theatre: “Break a leg!”



Kuya Manzano, for MUSICALS ON LINE.