For years, Josh Piterman envisaged one day playing the Phantom in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s mega-hit musical The Phantom of the Opera. So, when he was cast in the role in the West End production in 2019, through circumstances he describes as “sort of movie scripty”, he found himself living the dream.

Imagine the crushing disappointment when six months later, the production was knocked on the head by COVID-19. But unbeknownst to Piterman, his real-life ‘movie script’ was still unfolding. At the end of last year, he returned home to spend a few months in Melbourne with his Scottish partner Charlotte, while the pandemic (hopefully) ran its course. Then out of the blue in January, Opera Australia Artistic Director Lyndon Terracini contacted him to ask if he was interested in playing the role at the Sydney Opera House.

Josh Piterman Josh Piterman. Photograph supplied

“I was like, ‘are you kidding me? Of course I’m interested!’” says Piterman, “He said – and I was quite shocked by this – Opera Australia are the first opera company in the world to stage Phantom of the Opera.”

“When I...