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Broadway welcomes its first black Phantom of the Opera lead

PHANTOM: Norm Lewis is the first black actor to take on the title role in Broadway's The Phantom of the Opera

THE FIRST black actor to take on the title role in Broadway's The Phantom of the Opera made his debut on stage in America this week (May 12).

According to US reports, a thunderous standing ovation congratulated Norm Lewis on his first performance.

The Tony Award nominee, who brought his deep and rich voice as Porgy, previously had roles in Broadway’s Miss Saigon and Les Miserables.

Lewis is the first black Phantom on Broadway, but Robert Guillaume played the role in the Los Angeles production in 1990.

Phantom of the Opera, which is based on the French novel by Gaston Leroux, is a romance which follows the Phantom, a bitter man deformed since birth. Far beneath the majesty and splendour of the Paris Opera House, the Phantom hides in a shadowy existence, shamed by his physical appearance. He is feared by all, but the love he holds for his protégée Christine Daaé is so strong that even her heart cannot resist.

Lewis is now Broadway's 13th Phantom.

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