Following the 25th anniversary celebrations at the Royal Albert Hall in 2011, an all-new touring production of The Phantom of the Opera began travelling around the UK, making its dazzling premiere at the Theatre Royal Plymouth in March 2012. Just over a year later and that phantastic adventure is about to come to an end as it plays its last show at the Birmingham Hippodrome on 4th May 2013 – exactly two weeks today. The Phantom of the Opera is my all-time favourite musical – as regular readers will know by now – so I’m gutted to see the curtains finally closing on this critically acclaimed production, especially since I never managed to see it. I have of course seen the West End production of Phantom at Her Majesty’s Theatre and was at the RAH in October 2011 to witness the spectacle of the 25th anniversary production, so to have missed out on the touring version is tough blow. What makes the pill even more bitter to swallow is that it had some top-line talent in its casting ranks. John Owen Jones and Earl Carpenter are both renowned for their performances in the title role and Simon Bailey is a favoured performer of mine as well, while Katie Hall has a beautiful soprano voice which is perfectly suited to playing Christine. There are some hidden gems sparkling within the ensemble too, with cast member Leigh Rhiannon Coggins having formerly been chosen to be featured in In Profile. The finishing line is in sight for the company of the Phantom tour now, but before she goes, Siani Owen is making a slight detour to appear as the featured ensemble member in this week’s In Profile.
Northern girl Siani Owen certainly got her dream of performing on the stage off to a good start. She began her training at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, graduating with a BMus Hons before she headed to London to continue at the Royal Academy of Music. The recipient of the Countess of Munster Scholarship, she won the Ian Fleming Award whilst there and left with a PgDip Distinction. Her time at the school served her well and Owen’s on-stage performances have led to a very nice looking resume.
Between 2002-03, she appeared in several musical productions, the first being A Dickensian Christmas in which she played the role of Sally. Following that, she took on the roles of Petra in A Little Night Music, Sharon in A Christmas Toy Story, Masha in The Seagull and Myra in Hay Fever, before performing as Miranda/Stephano in The Magical Island in 2004. Later that same year she appeared at the Greenwich Theatre in Far From the Maddening Crowd, a musical based on the 1874 novel of the same name by Thomas Hardy. Owen played the show’s female love interest, Bathsheba.
It was in 2005 that she made her West End debut. Owen joined the company of The Phantom of the Opera at Her Majesty’s Theatre, performing as a swing in the long-running West End musical. She became understudy for the leading role of Carlotta the following year, performing on-stage as the big-voiced Prima Doña on numerous occasions. She remained in the musical until 2007 before finally leaving the company, although her Phantom journey was by no means at an end yet.
Owen took on a variety of projects following her departure from Phantom, firstly by appearing as Calaboose in Sleeping Beauty at the Mercury Theatre in Colchester. She then performed in The Sound of Rodgers and Hammerstein and was a principal soprano for Last Night at the Proms. The Phantom is not so easily escaped however, and ‘the music of the night’ once again called to her when Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2011. Owen performed with the rest of the Phantom alumni at the Royal Albert Hall, alongside Ramin Karimloo, Sierra Boggs and Hadley Fraser, who led the impressive company as The Phantom, Christine and Raoul. Owen made a repeat appearance at the Last Night of the Proms that year too and then returned to The Phantom of the Opera, this time as a swing in the touring production of the musical, in which she has only two weeks left in before the tour ends.
She has also performed as a solo vocalist for a number of different events and was a backing singer on Elton John’s 2004 UK tour and in his televised performance, Sir Elton John in Concert for BBC TV.
A hugely talented performer, Siani Owen has proven herself a wonderful addition to any production and still has a lot left to give.
You can follow Siani on twitter: (@Siani_Owen)
By Julie Robinson (@missjulie25)
Saturday 20th April 2013