Kelly Glyptis currently plays Carlotta, the leading soprano at the Paris Opera House before being criticized by the Phantom and replaced by Christine Daae, in Phantom of the Opera in London’s West End. Kelly has been hugely successful in her worldwide career with multiple opera and musical theatre credits, including the American National Tours of Fiddler on the Roof and The Sound of Music.
Kelly was kind enough to spend her time answering some of our questions, giving us an insight into her life and experiences at The Phantom of the Opera.
Q: If you could play any other role in The Phantom of the Opera, what would it be and why?
A: I would love to play the phantom! I know it seems obvious because the role is so iconic, but my reasons are much lamer than that. I’ve always wated to climb up on the pegasus and to go down the trap door!
Q: What has been your highlight of performing in the show so far?
A: One of my highlights is working with all the women who play the wardrobe mistress. Seriously, the wardrobe mistress (Helga is her name this year; last year she was Abigail) is my scene partner in Hannibal and the women who do that role are just out of this world hilarious. Shout out to Hollie Aires who can literally just look at me and make me corpse. Every. Single. Time.
Q: What are you excited about for 2024?
A: I’m excited to keep telling the story and connecting with new people! We always have someone who’s never seen the show before and it’s so exciting to be a part of their phantom story.
Q: If you could send a message to your 2014 self what would you say?
A: Oh wow, what a great question. In my personal life: “don’t worry, losing that 190 pounds was the best decision you ever made for your health. He was weighing you down!”
Professionally: I was getting ready to perform at The Atlanta Opera and was convinced I was going to be fired because my triplets in the act 1 finale of Il barbiere di Siviglia were not as clean as I wanted them- obviously a catastrophe of epic magnitude – so I think I would say, “Kelly, chill. The triplets are fine. Tell the story and do what you do. You got this.”
Q: If you weren’t in The Phantom of the Opera, what other show would you want to be in, in the West End right now?
A: I would love to be in Hamilton and sing Eliza. It’s such an incredible piece of theatre. I know they are not on the west end at the moment, but I’d also love to do Lucille in Parade or Aldonza in Man of La Mancha.
Q: What do you want to see made into a West End Musical and why? Who would you want to see cast in it?
A: I think there may be a musical about her out there somewhere, but Julie d’Aubign. She was an opera singer who was also a duelist (if you don’t know about her, you should!). I am actually trained in stage combat and was certified with the Society of American Fight Directors, so I would give anything to help create that role. I know it’s cheesy to cast yourself and your friends, but there would be some epic roles Jon Robyns, Zachary James, Lily Keroas, and I could do. The cogs in my brain are already turning.
Q: If a character in Phantom had a spin off, what would it be about and what would it be called?
A: I know the correct answer obviously is Madam Giry and the ballet corps with their version of dance moms meets so you think you can dance, but I would die to see a Bouquet spin off; or, The Fops version of 20 feet from stardom! Lots of American references, sorry!
Q: What was your first experience of The Phantom of the Opera?
A: My first experience was with the movie! I was 15 or 16 and my friend had just gotten it on DVD so we watched at her house one afternoon before we had to go to our evening rehearsal. I was never actually able to see the show live until I was cast in 2022. Our lovely company manager got me a seat and I cried like a baby through the whole show. When the overture starts it literally washes over your body, it’s incredible.
Q: What was the rehearsal process like for you?
A: My first rehearsal process was really intense but absolutely incredible. I was actually late for the very first full company call because I went to the wrong location and got stuck in a cab, so when I arrived they were starting Hannibal and I just rolled up completely out of breath and sang the cadenza. I sang up to the top D, said “sorry that was sharp”, then sang the rest of the cadenza and continued the scene. It was ridiculous, but I think it gave everyone a laugh to start the day. We’ve had lots of other rehearsals in my year and a half here and generally we move quickly, but everyone is very supportive and we always find time to have a laugh
Q: Do you and the cast have any preshow rituals/traditions?
A: Preshow, I kind of just run about getting ready to be honest, but I always try to go down and have a chat with Jon (our phantom) since I never see him during the show. I think my favorite ritual right now is highfiving Jon before the first managers scene and touching our lovely mirror bride’s head for good luck
Q: What is an underrated moment in the show that not enough people talk about?
A: There are tiny tiny details that make this show stunningly brilliant; especially from our tech team. I could literally talk for hours about it, but one of my favorite examples is during prima donna: my spotlight is actually at 50%-75% brightness and then when I look up and wave at the spotlight booth on “follow where the lime light leads you” our spotlight operators slowly fade it up to 100%! Its such a tiny detail that just makes me smile every time. You could come to the show every day and watch only one person the entire time and you would discover little nuances, looks, etc that we all do. Someone even recently realized that I actually do some of my adlibs in Italian and they were shocked.
Q: What would your song request be if you ever came to The Theatre Café Diner? And if you had to sing a number at the Diner what would it be?
A: To hear: Lily’s Eyes from Secret Garden
To sing… let’s see, pre cocktail I’d sing All that Jazz from Chicago post cocktail I’d sing Defying Gravity from Wicked!