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December 8, 2006

Opera singer Franc D’Ambrosio to perform Jan. 30

Franc D'Ambrosio, the world’s longest running Phantom, will give a concert in Brown Auditorium Tuesday, Jan. 30 at 7:30 p.m. as a Louisiana Lyric Opera fundraiser.

He is best known as the Phantom in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Tony award-winning musical, The Phantom of the Opera. He has performed the role of the masked man close to 3000 times. He was awarded the distinction as the world’s longest running phantom, an event immortalized in a cemented hand ceremony in California.

D'Ambrosio was discovered in the chorus of his first Broadway show, and thrust into the spotlight after Paramount Pictures sent five talent scouts on a two-year international search to find the actor who would play the coveted role of Anthony Corleone, the opera singing son of Al Pacino and Diane Keaton, in Francis Ford Coppola's seven-time Academy Award nominated film Godfather III.

Cast on Friday in New York City and filming in Rome on Monday, Bronx born D'Ambrosio began a varied and impressive career. His resume includes an Academy Award nominated film, Emmy award nominated television shows, Grammy considerations, and a National Theatre Award nomination for his stage work.

His performance of the Academy Award winning theme song from the Godfather film impressed the legendary tenor Luciano Pavarotti so much that it led to an invitation for D’Ambrosio to study with him at his home in Italy.

It was in the Off Broadway production of Valentino that D’Ambrosio caught the eye of Barry Manilow, who personally selected him to create and star as the male lead "Tony" in the pre-Broadway tour of Copacabana. The show enjoyed a successful yearlong tour and a performance that earned D’Ambrosio a National Theatre Award nomination for Best Male Performer in a Musical.

Television appearances include "Regis and Kathy Lee," "Entertainment Tonight," "MTV's Spotlight,” and various television specials and live events. He is also known for his role as red carpet correspondent for "Access Hollywood"’s coverage of the film version of The Phantom of the Opera.

Quickly recognized for his voice and legato singing, D’Ambrosio was invited by Olympic champion Brian Boitano to perform as a Special Musical Guest in the skater’s NBC special “Brian Boitano’s Skating Spectacular,” starring D’Ambrosio and American Idol runner-up Diana De Garmo; followed by Boitano’s next TV special, “The 2005 Tribute to Movies on Ice,” where D’Ambrosio starred as Special Musical Guest with Michael Bolton and American Idol Kimberly Locke. His performance of “Music of the Night” from the movie The Phantom of the Opera, skated to by Boitano, received the evening’s standing ovation.

D’Ambrosio is featured on many CDs and his performance of “Panis Angelicus” earned him a Grammy consideration for Best Male Vocalist 1999. In November 2005 he received his second Grammy consideration, this time for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album for “Franc D’Ambrosio’s Broadway,” the companion CD to his one-man show.

He also appeared with Michael Feinstein, Amanda McBroom, Maureen McGovern and others on a new CD titled In Good Company (LML Music) released spring 2005, which received the 2006 Mac Award.

D’Ambrosio has joined the ranks of acclaimed Phantom alumni, such as Michael Crawford and Sarah Brightman, as one of only a few performers who have crossed over as solo performers and toured successfully with their own shows. Franc D'Ambrosio's Broadway has enjoyed a three year national tour with more then 150 shows to date; including a three week sold out run at the New Conservatory Theatre Center in San Francisco. He has been the number one touring artist with the Live on Stage touring organization for the past two years.

Franc D'Ambrosio's Hollywood, presented by Big League Productions and Kim Stoermer will debut in spring 2007.

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