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Sarah Brightman Leaves Cast of ‘Phantom’ in June

May 27, 1988 GMT

NEW YORK (AP) _ ″The Phantom of the Opera″ is losing its leading lady, Sarah Brightman, on June 4, one month earlier than expected and one day before the Tonys are awarded.

Miss Brightman, who was to have stayed with the lavish British musical until the beginning of July, has a concert engagement at the end of June with the Berlin Philharmonic, Philip Rinaldi, a spokesman for the show, said Friday. She will appear with the orchestra in an evening of music by her husband Andrew Lloyd Webber, the man who also wrote ″Phantom.″

The $8 million musical, Broadway’s biggest hit in years, was almost scuttled when Actors Equity denied permission for Miss Brightman to appear in the New York production. The actors union later changed its mind, allowing her to perform for six months.

Miss Brightman will be replaced on June 6 by Patti Cohenour, who already plays the role of Christine, the young opera singer, for two performances each week. Michael Crawford, Miss Brightman’s co-star, will remain with the musical through Oct. 8, Rinaldi said.