December 20, 2015


Ho-Ho-Ho! Merry Christmas. We bring to you an early Christmas gift. We had the great honor to interview Rachel Anne Moore, our lovely Christine in Hamburg's production, Liebe Stirbt Nie. This production has been playing on the Stage Operettenhaus theatre since it premiered on October 15th.

We thought that, just as ourselves, many of you won't have the chance to visit Hamburg and watch the musical and so we thought it would be a nice gesture if we brought here a tiny bit of this production. Rachel wanted to do so, and she brought us these amazing first person impressions about the show, with no further delay... Rachel's answers!

Did you already know the musical? Did you see any previous production in London, Australia, Denmark or Vienna? 
When I first heard of Love Never Dies, I was already playing Carlotta and heard about the auditions for the upcoming German production. At that point, I looked up every version I could find via youtube. I have seen the full Australian version, and just a few small clips from the London and Viennese productions. I haven't been lucky enough to come across any Japanese or Denmark clips but I would love to see them as well. I haven't been fortunate enough to see any of the other productions live since I only heard about it after they were finished.

As we could see on rehearsals, there was a lot of Australia production studying going on, how did you keep your character fresh and different from Anna O’Byrne’s?
In order to keep a fresh perspective I only watched the lovely Australian version prior to the auditions. Once I was actually in rehearsals, I found it more helpful to just focus on what we were staging (especially since there are quite a few differences in staging, some large and some small). We all bring a bit of ourselves to the role and so I imagine my version is quite different than Anna O´Byrne's just because of that. Her version of Christine is very lovely and I really enjoyed watching it.

What do you think, in your opinion, that makes this production unique/different from the others?
This production has a new song just prior to the final scene which I think sets it up very nicely, and there are also compositional differences in Beauty Underneath which I think really add intensity. Also, each theater is a bit different which has a lot to do with staging changes. We are lucky enough to play in the beautiful and historic Hamburg Stage Operettenhaus which is an intimate venue with just over 1300 seats. This means the stage fits one revolve rather than the three seen in the Australian Production. What really makes this production special, in my opinion, is how well the show was translated into German. It is very poetic and as a speaker of German as well as English, I really appreciate the beautiful and powerful word choices.

How would you explain Christine’s feelings when she finds out about The Phantom and everything that’s been going on?
I think initially Christine feels shocked and betrayed. He wasn't dead. She was left behind. That is a hugely different reality to wrap your head around in just seconds. She suddenly feels very hurt, vulnerable, betrayed, and rightfully angry. Still, the power of their connection to each other is so engrossing that it feels like she forgives him long before he apologizes.

How did the opera/classical training help you with this role?
Studying opera singing was very helpful for me for the role of Christine in Love Never Dies. Although I have dabbled in other genres of music, I really have only trained in opera performance so I am learning musical theater as an art form as I go, and sometimes in real time, on stage. The classical training helps me to remember where the boundaries for healthy singing are so I don't do anything that would hurt myself, especially given the 6-shows-per-week schedule. As Carlotta, I used primarily only operatic sounds but as Christine, I really try to only let the full beast (meaning my big-girl-voice) out at the end of the title song and at two other places during the show. It isn't a role that is about being operatic all the time, but she needs to have that ability, that color, accessible for key moments and for dramatic purposes. The other great thing the operatic training gave me was excellent warm-ups to get the voice going. I warm up the same way every day so I can use it both as a warm up as well as a way to check in and see that the voice is where it needs to be, healthy, and ready to go. (Now I sometimes hear my warm ups coming from the other dressing rooms so they must be great!)

Was the Carlotta/Christine change a difficult one to get through? How long it took you to learn your texts?
Switching from Carlotta to Christine, in theory, shouldn't be so tricky since Christine is a lot closer to my own personality. Still, I found it quite challenging because my last Carlotta was sung on a Tuesday night and rehearsals as Christine started on Wednesday morning. In order to keep the roles and words separate in my head, I learned but did not begin to memorize Christine until the first day of rehearsals. Normally for a role, I try to be very thoroughly memorized a couple of weeks before rehearsals begin. I was lucky, however, that I had already been given very large chunks of the role to learn and memorize for the auditions which greatly lessened the load those first few rehearsal days as I caught up.

Which one was your favorite song to play? And your non-Christine favorite scene to watch?
My favorite song to sing is the lovely duet between Christine and Gustave, Look with your Heart. I think that love between a child and parent is one of the most special kinds of love. It is truly unconditional. When I am backstage, I love watching the duet between Raoul and the Phantom in the bar, Devil take the Hindmost. The intensity of that scene is wonderful, and they are just both so ridiculously talented, that it always sounds amazing.

How it was the experience to meet Andrew Lloyd Webber?
Meeting and working with Lord Lloyd-Webber has been a dream come true. When I saw Phantom of the Opera on Broadway as an 18-year-old, I never could have imagined that I would actually be picked by him to sing Christine in the sequel. He worked with me on the title song and helped me make it what he envisioned. Easily one of the most thrilling experiences of my life.

Positive experiences with the cast?
I love this cast!!! I have bonded with so many people already. We really are like a big family. And, I love how sweet everyone is to my darling little girl when she comes to the theater to visit.

If you could be any other character, male or female, which one would you choose to play?
I would love to play Gangle! I get a kick out of all of the crazy movements and character choices Jak [Allen-Anderson] brings to it. I would be so fun to be able to step into those shoes!

Any fun experiences on stage you want to share? 
I recently had a very amusing moment on stage. (Spoiler alert!!!!!) In the final scene, I was on the bridge/dock about to rush forward and get shot, when I realized the heel of my blue suede shoes was logged very firmly in the large grates. I tried to free it, but that was clearly not happening so I stepped out of it (thank goodness for elastic shoe laces!) and died with only one shoe on. The whole time I was laying there, I was imagining everyone seeing that bright blue shoe as they passed (Giry, Meg, Raoul, etc) and I had to really work hard not to break character laughing while I was supposed to be dead! As the lights went out and we all stood up to exit the stage, I attempted to free the stranded heel but it was of no use. It went up into the rafters on the bridge, and I got the unique opportunity to bow barefoot (since it would be silly to leave just one shoe on!)

A huge thank you to Rachel, her kindness, her voice and the great performances she offers with every show. You can follow her on facebook and instagram to see some behind the scenes from Love Never Dies!

Love Never Dies Es