Lubbock National Bank is the title sponsor of “Phantom of the Opera,” playing now through Nov. 27 at Lubbock’s Civic Center.
Click here for tickets.
“Phantom” is being produced by Texas Tech University’s Opera Theatre, in cooperation with Moonlight Broadway, a part of Lubbock’s Moonlight Musicals.
“Lubbock National has been and continually proud to support the Lubbock Area Performing Arts with Lubbock Moonlight Musical productions. It gives us great pleasure knowing that we are supporting, helping and enhancing our cultural arts here in Lubbock. What a great way to help all performers to have a venue to participate in with their talents, that gives us great pleasure at Lubbock National Bank,” said Eddie Schulz, president and CEO.
We had a chat with Lubbock native David Gaschen, who is singing the title role for the first time in his hometown. We’re proud of our Hometown Hero account that honors first responders, teachers, medical personnel and others. We’re also proud to be associated with this production and David – a different kind of Hometown Hero we’re all proud to see bring “Phantom” home.
“‘Phantom’ itself has never been done in Lubbock. The stages were not big enough to hold touring companies. ‘Phantom’ has 22 semis and need three bays to load and unload. But this is not a traveling company and Lubbock Moonlight Musicals and Tech are making their own sets.”
“The Really Useful Company won’t release the rights to the show and the book to protect their touring companies – unless it’s a college and then everyone has to be a student. I’m taking three units online – an independent graduate study working with director Gerald Dolter and teaching a class on ‘Phantom.’”
“The first place I did ‘Phantom’ was in Basel, Switzerland in 1995.” Since then, David has sung the lead about 1,500 times and thousands more in the cast and or as a “swing,” where you cover male chorus parts. After two years in Basel, he sang the role in Hamburg, Germany. The rest were on Broadway or subbing with touring groups. Whether singing lead or another role, David has been in “Phantom” at least more than 3,000 times.
David was cast as an understudy and cast member and subbed in the lead role. The first time he sang the lead role on Broadway was 17 years to the day of this year’s presidential election. “It was the most exhilarating feeling. I was kinda numb the whole show and it was hard to think you’re living a dream. I saw it with my parents ten years earlier and was in business school at Tech and switched to music the next year. That’s what made me become a singer and actor.”
“The most famous piece is ‘Music of the Night’ and it’s my favorite. My favorite scene is ‘All I Ask of You’ where I’m watching Christine and Raoul. Their singing is really heartbreaking and I get mad. I’ll show you – I have a hole in my head!”
“When people see word opera, they think it’s an opera. It’s a Broadway musical about a phantom who lives under an opera – truly a bonifide Broadway musical. There are a couple of little snippets of opera – but that’s the number one misconception about the show.”
“I am gratified. I want people to know how much Lubbock means to me still and I’m appreciative of doing this great role. There’s no real way to explain the excitement I feel, no way to explain the honor. It’s exciting ‘Phantom’ is coming to Lubbock and I’m the guy. It’s literally full circle for me. I went out to do ‘Phantom,’ it worked and now I get to come back and do the role I’m known for that fulfilled my dreams.” Plus, David said he knows a lot of people in Lubbock and the South Plains never got to Broadway to see him sing.
“When they said they wanted to do ten performances I said OK. We did four of Les Miserables’ (in 2013), but I’ve been impressed to see the tickets really, really selling. The way it’s been marketed and the help from Lubbock National Bank has been great. The buzz is really crazy. It makes me feel good. I’m the last of eight kids to grow up in Lubbock and my family will fill up some of it along with friends.”
“We’re trying to get as close as we can to a Broadway feel without the millions and millions you have for a Broadway show. The cast in unbelievable. It some of the most beautiful singing of all the shows I’ve been in.” Rehearsals began at the start of Tech’s fall semester and David joined the rehearsals Nov. 7. “It helps to know the words already.”
Jeff Norris, our chief financial officer, was a “FarmHouse” frat brother of David’s when both were at Texas Tech.
After singing “Phantom” and Jean Valjean in “Les Miserables” in Lubbock three years ago, David said he’d still enjoy doing George in “She Loves Me,” Archie in “The Secret Garden” or one of the leads in “Something Rotten” – which he called a “new hilarious show.”
David and his family moved to Frisco near the end of 2005 after living in Connecticut a few years after leaving New York following the 9/11 attacks. Besides still appearing in shows “I have a voice studio with 60 students.”