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The Phantom of the Opera stage production has been pushed back to next year

The Phantom of the Opera stage production has been postponed to next year due to Covid outbreaks in Sydney and Melbourne

The upcoming production of The Phantom of the Opera has become the latest casualty of the current COVID-19 Delta outbreak.

It was announced on Thursday that the iconic stage show had been postponed until next year, with both Sydney and Melbourne in the midst of lockdowns.

Opera Australia said in a media release they are ‘disappointed to announce the forced postponement of their production of The Phantom of the Opera’.

Closing curtain: The upcoming production of The Phantom of the Opera has become the latest casualty of the current COVID-19 Delta outbreak

The show was scheduled to open at the Sydney Opera House in September, before moving to Melbourne in November. 

‘The company has taken the incredibly difficult step to postpone both seasons due to the uncertainty created by the ongoing restrictions imposed by both the New South Wales and Victorian Governments because of the indefinite COVID-19 lockdowns,’ read the media release.

Opera Australia acknowledged that while it was ‘disappointing’ to have to postpone, the ‘health and safety of the community’ was of the ‘utmost importance’.

Over before it began: It was announced on Thursday that the iconic stage show had been postponed until next year, with both Sydney and Melbourne in the midst of lockdowns

Over before it began: It was announced on Thursday that the iconic stage show had been postponed until next year, with both Sydney and Melbourne in the midst of lockdowns

‘This has been a really difficult decision for OA and our partners to make, and has certainly not been made lightly when so many people will be affected,’ said Artistic Director Lyndon Terracini in a statement.

‘After making box office history at the Opera House, it was clear that Australians were very excited about this new production of the world’s most successful musical, and we’d brought together a fantastic cast of Australian performers, it’s heartbreaking to have to postpone.

‘Rest assured we are working hard to secure dates for 2022 in both venues, that we’ll announce as soon as we can. We encourage all those who are able, to hold onto their tickets for next year.’

Delayed: Opera Australia said in a media release they are 'disappointed to announce the forced postponement of their production of The Phantom of the Opera'

Delayed: Opera Australia said in a media release they are ‘disappointed to announce the forced postponement of their production of The Phantom of the Opera’

No dates have been confirmed as yet for the rescheduled shows, with renowned theatre producer Cameron Mackintosh expressing his ‘huge disappointment’ at the cancellations and ‘hope’ for the future of the production.

‘We very much hope that we will be able to confirm in the not-too-distant future that the production will open next year, by which time the vaccination rollout should be long completed and disruptions to theatre going will be an unpleasant distant memory,’ he added. 

In addition to being forced to cancel this year’s shows, the current lockdown in Sydney ‘has made it impossible for OA to continue its work in the wardrobe and scenery manufacturing workshops’.

Postponed: The show was scheduled to open at the Sydney Opera House in September, before moving to Melbourne in November

Postponed: The show was scheduled to open at the Sydney Opera House in September, before moving to Melbourne in November

It’s also meant that rehearsals – which were scheduled to begin on July 26 – are unable to proceed as planned.

Governments for both Victoria and NSW have indicated that when indoor performances resume post-lockdown, they will be at a reduced audience capacity, which was deemed ‘financially unviable’ for The Phantom of the Opera.

Ticketholders have been urged to retain their tickets for next year once restrictions ease, with new dates to be announced in due time.  

Necessary: Opera Australia acknowledged that while it was 'disappointing' to have to postpone, the 'health and safety of the community' was of the 'utmost importance'

Necessary: Opera Australia acknowledged that while it was ‘disappointing’ to have to postpone, the ‘health and safety of the community’ was of the ‘utmost importance’

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk