Celebrate America, Red, White & Broadway: Wheeling Symphony, Broadway’s ‘Phantom’ on tour
Fireworks, patriotic music and tunes from one of Broadway’s stars … What more could a concert-goer want for the Fourth of July? The Wheeing Symphony Orchestra, of course!
The Wheeling Symphony under the baton of Maestro Andre Raphel will present four free concerts beginning Saturday, July 1 in Weirton, and concluding Tuesday, July 4, at Wheeling’s waterfront Heritage Port, with stops July 2 in Canaan Valley and on July 3 in Clarksburg, W.Va.
Guest artist Hugh Panaro, is best known for having played the coveted role of the Phantom in Broadway’s “The Phantom of the Opera” more than 2,000 times, including the 25th anniversary production. In fact, Panaro is one of the few actors to be cast by Harold Prince as both The Phantom and Raoul in the show’s Broadway production.
Panaro will be performing a Cohan medley; “Bring Him Home” from “Les Miserables”; “You’ve Got Trouble” from “The Music Man”; “Anthem” from “Chess”; “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You” from “Jersey Boys”; and of course, “Music of the Night” from “Phantom of the Opera.”
The orchestra will perform a number of patriotic tunes including “Star Spangled Banner,” “Liberty Fanfare,” “Washington Post March,” “American Salute,” “God Bless America,” “Hoedown” from Rodeo; a “Star Wars Medly,” “Star Spangled Spectacular,” “The Imperial March” from “Star Wars Suite,” “Country Roads” from “Celebration,” “America the Beautiful,” “1812 Overture” and “The Stars and Stripes Forever.”
Panaro made his Broadway debut in the original production of “Les Miserables” as Marius, the role he originated in the First National Company. He also created the roles of Buddy in the original “Side Show” (Sony cast recording); Julian Craster in Jule Styne’s last musical, “The Red Shoes”; and the title role in the American premiere of Cameron Mackintosh’s “Martin Guerre.” He was nominated for an Outer Critics Circle Award for his performance in the title role of Elton John’s “Lestat,” based on Anne Rice’s “Vampire Chronicles.”
He made his West End debut in the original London company of Harold Prince’s “Show Boat as Gaylord Ravenal, the role he previously played in the Broadway and Toronto productions.
His performance as Jean Valjean in the Walnut Street Theater’s production of “Les Miserables” earned him the prestigious Barrymore Award, for which he was again nominated after a turn as Fagin in “Oliver!”
An active concert artist, Panaro has performed with numerous symphony orchestras including Dallas, Detroit, San Francisco, Seattle Utah Symphonies, and the London Sinfonietta, among many others. He had the privilege of performing in the world premiere of Penderecki’s “Te Deum” at Carnegie Hall and was a guest soloist with the Buffalo Philharmonic, conducted by Marvin Hamlisch.
In addition, he toured throughout Europe with the legendary Barbra Streisand. A native of Philadelphia, Panaro graduated from Temple University and was awarded the Boyer College of Music Certificate of Honor.
The Wheeling rain site is the Capitol Theatre. In the event of inclement weather, the move will be posted on the symphony’s website and Facebook page at noon.
In Wheeling, family fun rides will open at 3 p.m. and vendors will open at 4 p.m. Fireworks will be launched from a barge on the river immediately following concert at the south end of the Heritage Port
Sponsors of the Wheeling event are: City of Wheeling, Musicians’ Performance Fund, Ohio County Commission and the Wheeling Convention and Visitors’ Bureau, The fireworks barge is being supplied by Murray Energy.
For information, call 304-232-6191 or visit wheelingsymphony.com
Celebrate America Tour
• 8 p.m., July 1, Weirton Event Center
• 3 p.m., July 2, Canaan Valley
• 7:30 p.m., July 3 in Clarksburg
• 7:30 p.m., July 4 at Wheeling’s waterfront Heritage Port