The Phantom of Ocala?

November 4, 2015

The University of Florida Opera Theatre presents “The Phantom of the Opera” in Ocala November 19-21.

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical masterpiece is coming to the stage of the newly renovated Reilly Arts Center. Vocal performers from the University of Florida College of the Arts and the School of Music as well as those from the School of Theatre + Dance graduate and undergraduate programs will comprise the cast and orchestra. Performance times are 7:30 p.m. Nov. 19 and 20, and 3 p.m. Nov. 21.

This production will feature the same singers and orchestra members from the college’s sold-out, semi-staged performance that took place in University Auditorium in Gainesville in January of this year. UF Opera Theatre, under the direction of Anthony Offerle, has a long, successful history of bringing musical dramas to the stage in North Florida. Among recent productions was the world premiere of “The Red Silk Thread” in 2014. Offerle brings many years of experience in the direction of both professional and university opera and musical theatre productions to UF.

“This ‘Phantom’ will be a beautiful gala concert production with a fantastic cast of singers and actors, and a full onstage orchestra under the baton of Maestro Wardell,” said Offerle. “The exquisite architecture of the Reilly Arts Center with its rich acoustics and regal ambiance makes for a perfect backdrop for this tale of mystery and love within the Paris Opera House.”

UF alumnus Matt Wardell, conductor of the Ocala Symphony Orchestra, will lead the full orchestra of UF students. Wardell is an award-winning conductor and graduate of the UF School of Music Master of Music program and the prestigious Pierre Monteux School for Conductors.

Graduate student of voice and choral conducting, Joshua Mazur, who will be singing the challenging role of the phantom, leads the cast onstage. Mazur was the winner of the 2014 State of Florida Artist Award Competition for advanced classical singers sponsored by the National Association of Teachers of Singing. A veteran cast of performers with numerous national credits and a strong ensemble of accomplished vocal musicians joins Mazur.

The UF Opera Theatre’s mission is to continue the School of Music’s rich tradition of opera performance by offering students numerous stage opportunities in a variety of operatic styles and performing venues. In addition to the educational and performing opportunities available to its students, one of the UF Opera Theatre’s foremost goals is to introduce the exciting world of opera to the regional community by producing musical dramas that appeal to a wide range of audiences.

The Reilly Arts Center is located at 820 E. Fort King Street in Ocala. Tickets, which are on sale now, range from $15-$35 and can be purchased at, by phone at (352) 351-1606 or at the Reilly Arts Center.

For more information, please contact Leah Spellman at or 352-273-1489. To learn more about the Ocala Symphony Orchestra, please contact Pamela Calero at or 352-239-5888.

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