The Phantom of the Opera

Cast member talks new role, national tour and recent engagement

By Richard Schultz - May 21, 2015

Images courtesy of

Frank Viveros (pictured), The Phantom of the Opera cast member, is relishing his role in the current national production, which comes to ASU Gammage May 27 through June 7.

Viveros plays Ubaldo Piangi, the male counterpart of the opera diva, Carlotta. When Piangi plays the part of Don Juan in the Phantom’s opera, the Phantom strangles him behind stage and takes his place for the song “The Point of No Return,” directly after which he kidnaps Christine.

This big-production show is an ideal fit for Viveros’ performance style and life-long interest in Broadway musicals.

“Performing has been in my blood my whole life,” he said. “It has always been with me.

Viveros was born in Columbia, but has lived in America since he was 4 years old. He attended the High School for the Performing Arts, known as the “Fame High School,” and went on to earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts in musical theatre from State University of New York at Fredonia. Later, he worked at Disney World where he became a union member and appeared in Disney’s Finding Nemo: The Musical. He has appeared off Broadway in Yellow Brick Road. His big break is in the current tour of Phantom.

Echo chatted with Viveros while he was on tour in Seattle.

Echo: How’s the tour going?

Viveros: It’s been terrific. Some fans are hesitant to the changes in this production, but it’s the same story and music. This director has a different lens, has access to newer technology and is aware of 2015 tastes in audience. It’s a little darker and grittier to show the realistic world backstage in that period.

Echo: So, tell us about your character.

Viveros: It is delicious playing him. I’m now playing one of my dream roles. He is like a reality television star. He lucked into fame and is fighting tooth and nail to stay there. In his mind, he deserves the spotlight. He is lovable and trying so hard to be polished, but falls short of that goal in a way. He doesn’t see his arrogance as putting others down; he is working to find his diva. I pull in that type of struggle to want to make it. I am familiar with that part of the performance world where jealousy and the love of music mix.

Echo: What’s your favorite scene in the show?

Viveros: My entrance is a favorite. I’m wearing fantastic drag make-up and a 75-pound costume. I enter on a chariot and sing. It’s so very opulent. It’s a bit frightening singing that high and entering on a chariot at the same time. The number, “Prima Donna” is also stunning.

Echo: Any surprises being on the road?

Viveros: I have to work to truly take care of my voice. It was also a surprise to meet and share the experience with my partner, Matt. We are celebrating our one-year anniversary.

Echo: Congratulations! So how did you two meet?

Viveros: We met in Cincinnati. He was an IT guy for a bank. We did the long-distance relationship thing for a while. I then asked him to join me on the road. Actually, he is currently driving from Cincinnati to Seattle to join me with the car. It’s a great way to get to know each other. We are both very relationship centric. And we’re engaged now.

Echo: Double congratulations on your engagement! Have you set a date?

Viveros: We’re hoping for a destination wedding. I want to give family and friends a year notice. I’m thinking maybe in the Dominica Republic or such. We’ve gotten wonderful support from the families. We are both liked and respected by our families.

Echo: So, you are playing one of your favorite roles and you met your partner while on tour. Would you agree that dreams do come true?

Viveros: Yes, most certainly!

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