When the annual Classical Masters Gala Concert takes place on Sept. 15 at the Harris Center in Folsom, California, the highly visible quartet The Four Phantoms will not only provide the music of the night but also that of the day. Featuring Franc D’Ambrosio, Brent Barrett, Ciarán Sheehan and Marcus Lovett, all of whom have received accolades worldwide for their starring performances as the Phantom in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Broadway phenomenon The Phantom of the Opera, the concert will honor the musical legacy of the Great White Way with shows at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Classical Masters is a nonprofit organization providing music scholarships in the Sacramento region. It was established in 2009 by then-high school freshman Austin Lee. He created Classical Masters and the Classical Masters Music Festival to share and provide musical experiences with the greater Sacramento region and with those who do not have the same accessibility to the musical arts as he had. To date, the organization has provided 19 individual scholarships totaling more than $17,000 and seven school grants totaling over $11,000. All the proceeds from the gala concert will help fuel the scholarship program and provide deserving and musically talented children with access to future education in the musical arts.
“This show is definitely not what is called ‘a park and bark,’” says Franc D’Ambrosio, who performed as the Phantom on Broadway, in the national tour and with the San Francisco company. and at one time held the title of the world’s longest performer of the Phantom (2,300 performances). “The four of us have known each other for years and came up the ranks at the same time. Besides us singing together as well as separately, there will be a tremendous amount of interaction between us onstage as well as banter and conversations about how we met, became friends, and how our careers and lives have evolved.”
D’Ambrosio adds: “We’ll be singing a tremendous amount of music from Phantom, including ‘Music of the Night,’ as a quartet. We will also perform, as a quartet, music from Man of La Mancha and Jekyll & Hyde, including the song ‘This Is the Moment,’ and Les Misérables. In addition, we will perform the other music that has made up each of our careers. For instance, one of the songs I’ll sing is ‘Speak Softly Love’ from the movie The Godfather Part III, in which I played Al Pacino’s son and sang the song.”
The Four Phantoms, who have performed about 15 concerts together since the group was formed, recently attracted the attention of Columbia Artists in New York City. They have just signed with the company to represent their tour and record it. They will also perform at Carnegie Hall on Dec. 7.
As for Broadway culture today, D’Ambrosio sees it skewing younger, a lot of it toward teens. He feels that is a good thing because it gives people an appetite for live theater at a younger age. In the gala concert, The Four Phantoms will be performing two songs with the kids from William Jessup University Choir and Orchestra, one of the numbers being “Bring Him Home” from Les Misérables.
“The Four Phantoms’ intention is always to provide top-shelf talent to young people to inspire them to see shows and possibly to participate in them themselves,” D’Ambrosio sums up.
The masks are off.
The Four Phantoms perform on Sept. 15 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Tickets can be purchased here.