LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AY Magazine) — Forget what you think you know about the Phantom of the Opera. This month, the masked man is making his return to Little Rock in a new musical that reveals what happens to all of your favorite characters after the events of the hit 1986 musical.
In Love Never Dies, we discover that the Phantom has escaped Europe after the events at the Paris Opera House. Ten years later, Phantom has created a new life for himself in turn-of-the-century New York, in Coney Island. When he hears that Christine Daaé, his lost love and now a world-famous opera singer, is coming to New York, he sets out to win her for good.
Along with her husband Raoul and her son, Christine makes the journey to Coney Island, unaware that they are falling into the Phantom’s trap.
Taking on the role of Christine Daaé, a role made famous by Sarah Brightman, is Meghan Picerno. Instead of the impressionable young woman she was in Phantom of the Opera, Christine is now a renowned opera singer. This transformation from the Christine everyone knows to a mature Christine has been a “great responsibility” and an “honor,” according to Picerno. “It’s an honor to play a beloved character so many people know, but 10 years later and a more mature character,” she says
Picerno came to Love Never Dies from a different artistic medium from musical theater, but one that is uniquely fitting given Christine’s profession in the musical. Before taking on the role of Christine, Picerno came from the opera world. In her young career, she has already made a major impact, interpreting legendary operatic roles, including Cunegonde in Candide, Lucia di Lammermoor and Violetta in La Traviata.