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The Phantom, the Godfather and Hamilton on stage with Franc d'Ambrosio


Franc d'Ambrosio has performed the title role in Andrew Lloyd Webber's "The Phantom of the Opera" more than two thousand times.

Franc d'Ambrosio as the title character in Andrew Lloyd Webber's "The Phantom of the Opera"

"I don't think anyone imagines that they're going to be doing a role - let alone a show - that's going to last for six and a half years," d'Ambrosio said.

He'll be bringing music from "Phantom" and dozens of other Broadway shows to City Opera House in Traverse City on Friday.

There will be music from classic musicals like "Oklahoma!" and "Les Miserables" along with more recent shows like "Wicked" and even "Hamilton."

And yes, d'Ambrosio will be rapping in the "Hamilton" selections.

"It took me a couple of months to get all the lyrics down," he said.

The day before the show, d'Ambrosio will give a master class with local high school musical theater students.

Because he credits so much of his success to the teachers he's had throughout his career, it's important for him to continue to work with students.

"I made a commitment early on that I would give that individual an opportunity to shine and to give them direction," he explained. "It's one of the biggest joys of my life."

Two young musicians from the master class will be chosen to perform onstage with him during Friday night's show.

d'Ambrosio got his big break when Francis Ford Coppola cast him in "The Godfather - Part III." In the film, d'Ambrosio plays Anthony, the opera singer son of Michael Corleone.

Anthony's debut performance in Pietro Mascagni's opera "Cavalleria Rusticana" accompanies the climactic final scenes of the film.

Franc d'Ambrosio as Anthony Corleone in "The Godfather - Part III"

Late in 2020, Francis Ford Coppola released the director's cut of "The Godfather - Part III," now called "The Godfather, Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone."

d'Ambrosio didn't give away the ending of the newly recut film, but he said it has changed enough that "The Godfather - Part IV" could now be possible.

And if Coppola calls him to appear in that film?

"That would be wonderful," d'Ambrosio said. "When Francis [Ford Coppola] calls, they make you an offer you can't refuse."