Anthony Warlow (born 18 November 1961 in Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia) is an Australian opera and musical theatre performer, noted for his character acting and considerable vocal range. He is a classically trained lyric baritone.
Notable musical roles include lead roles in The Phantom of the Opera (as “The Phantom”), The Secret Garden (as “Archibald Craven”), Annie (as Daddy Warbucks), Guys and Dolls (as “Sky Masterson”), My Fair Lady (as “Henry Higgins”), Jekyll and Hyde (original gothic thriller cast recording and, for the 25th anniversary, as “Dr. Henry Jekyll / Edward Hyde”), Man of La Mancha (as Don Quixote), and A Little Night Music (as Frederik Egerman), as well as a significant supporting role in Les Misérables (as Enjolras). Circa 1988, he was internationally regarded as the best Enjolras and was honoured by being selected for the Complete Symphonic Recording, along with leading Les Misérables performers from around the world along with fellow Australian actor Philip Quast as Javert. This was arguably his break-through role, as he was cast as the Phantom as the Australian tour of Les Misérables was ending. He performed the role of Doctor Yuri Zhivago in the new musical adaptation of Boris Pasternak’s novel, Doctor Zhivago. In 2012, Anthony reprised his role as Daddy Warbucks in Annie at the Lyric Theatre, Star City for a strictly limited season of 12 weeks. Anthony made his debut on Broadway, New York, in the James Lapine directed role of Daddy Warbucks in Annie at the Palace Theatre. In July 2015, he was playing Charles Frohman/James Hook in Finding Neverland on Broadway. In December 2015 he returned to Australia playing the part of Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof.
His opera roles include major roles in Die Fledermaus (as “Gabriel Eisenstein”), The Magic Flute (as “Papageno”), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (as “Puck”) and The Tales of Hoffman.
Gilbert and Sullivan
His Gilbert and Sullivan roles for Opera Australia include the featured comedic role of “Ko-Ko” in The Mikado (2004/2009), “Archibald Grosvenor” in Patience (1996), “Pirate King” in The Pirates of Penzance (2006-2007/2010) and in the 2005 double-bill of Trial by Jury (as the “Learned Judge”) and H.M.S. Pinafore (as “Captain Corcoran”). Apart from The Mikado, these Gilbert and Sullivan productions are available on DVD. In 1987, Warlow also performed a one-man show originally written for John Reed, called A Song to Sing, O, about George Grossmith, the comedian who originated the principal comic roles for Gilbert and Sullivan from 1877 through the 1880s.
Warlow performed Advance Australia Fair at the 2008 NRL Grand Final on 5 October 2008.
Phantom of the Opera: 2007-2009
It was announced in October 2006 that Phantom would reopen in Melbourne the following year and that Warlow had agreed to reprise his role as “The Phantom”.
Phantom reopened in Melbourne at the Princess Theatre, its original home, on 19 July 2007. Alongside Warlow, Australia’s Marina Prior and John Bowles were cast as Christine Daae and Raoul, the Vicomte de Chagny. Although he performed for the industry opening night, Warlow was struck down by a bout of influenza that had also claimed many of the other cast and crew and he missed the first two and a half weeks of the show’s Melbourne season. Understudy Simon Pryce performed in his place until Warlow made a return on 9 August 2007.
Unlike the original Australian Phantom, Warlow played the Phantom for the two-year tour of Australia and New Zealand. The Phantom of the Opera opened at Melbourne’s Princess Theatre on 28 July 2007, then at Brisbane’s Lyric Theatre in February 2008 followed by Sydney’s Lyric Theatre in May 2008. After closing in Sydney on 14 September, the production moved to Auckland, New Zealand and following a holiday break, subsequently opened in Perth in February 2009. The last stop on the tour was Adelaide where Warlow donned the mask for the final time on 23 May 2009. Warlow appeared as a guest at the 25th anniversary production of The Phantom of the Opera at the Royal Albert Hall in London.
The Pirates of Penzance tour: 2006–2007
Between 2 August 2006 and 2 June 2007, Warlow appeared in the Opera Australia production of The Pirates of Penzance(a popular Gilbert and Sullivan comic opera), in which he played the role of the “Pirate King” — with performances during 2006 in Sydney, New South Wales (at the Sydney Opera House), in Canberra, ACT and in Brisbane, Queensland (at the Lyric Theatre, Queensland Performing Arts Centre), as well as enjoying full houses in Melbourne, Victoria in 2007.
Warlow’s Pirate King appeared in dress, voice and mannerism very similar to Captain Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean. In a press interview in Brisbane, Warlow said that he had deliberately based his Pirate King on Johnny Depp’s character from Pirates of the Caribbean so that people who may not know the opera but are aware of the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy of movies could enjoy the opera more. David Hobson (as “Frederic”) and Suzanne Johnston (as “Ruth”) also appeared in this production. The lead female role of Mabel, initially played by Emma Matthews was taken over by soprano Taryn Fiebig for most of the tour. John Bolton-Wood, originally cast as “Major-General Stanley” was replaced by Reg Livermore for the Melbourne season, and the role of the “Sergeant of Police” in Melbourne given to Shane Lorencev after the departure of bass Richard Alexander, the original “Sergeant”.
This production of The Pirates of Penzance was shown on television by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation on 9 December 2006. A DVD of the production was subsequently released.
Awards and Nominations
Green Room Awards, Melbourne
Helpmann Awards, Australia
- Nominee (2001): Best Male Actor in a Musical (“Oliver “Daddy” Warbucks” in Annie)
- Nominee (2003): Best Male Actor in a Musical (“Don Quixote” in Man of La Mancha)
- Nominee (2008): Best Male Actor in a Musical (“Phantom” in The Phantom of the Opera)
- Nominee (2011): Best Male Actor in a Musical (“Yuri Zhivago” in Doctor Zhivago)
- Nominee (2012): Best Male Actor in a Musical (“Oliver “Daddy” Warbucks” in Annie)
Drama Desk Award, New York
- Nominee (2013): Outstanding Actor in a Musical “Oliver “Daddy” Warbucks” in Annie
He is married to Celia and they have a daughter, Phoebe Rose.
Warlow was found to be suffering from Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 1992, during the early publicity for the arena production of Jesus Christ Superstar where he was to appear as Pilate. He had to put his career on hold for about a year while he dealt with the disease, and his role in the production was given to John Waters. He returned to the performance circuit in the second half of 1993 with a national concert tour for the launch of his Back In The Swing album. He has since done promotional work for the Leukaemia Foundation of Australia.
His fourth solo album, Midnight Dreaming, reached the top ten of the Australian Aria Charts. Warlow also briefly appeared on the ARIA Singles Chart in 1998 with the double A-side single “Beauty School Dropout/My Prayer”. Warlow was back on television, in a concert performance, on the night of 24 December 2006 (the concert was shown by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation).
On Doctor Zhivago’s opening night in Sydney (February 2011), Warlow tore a calf muscle four hours before the show was due to start, and was thus cut short. Understudy Anton Berezin covered the role and after about a week’s worth of rest, Warlow was back on the boards performing to critical acclaim.
- “The Phantom of the Opera at the Royal Albert Hall” (2012)
- “The Pirates of Penzance” — Opera Australia production (2006)
- “H.M.S. Pinafore” / “Trial by Jury” — Opera Australia production (2005)
- “Die Fledermaus” — Opera Australia production (1997)
- “Patience” — Opera Australia production (1996)
- “The Main Event” — with John Farnham and Olivia Newton-John (1998)
- “Annie” — New Broadway Cast Recording (2013)
- “Annie” — Australian Cast Recording (2012)
- “Tenor and Baritone” (2005)
- “The Snow Goose” (2005)
- “Face the Music” (2003)
- “Highlights from The Main Event” — with John Farnham and Olivia Newton-John (1998)
- “Best of Act One” (1996)
- “The Secret Garden” — Australian Cast Recording (1995)
- “Jekyll and Hyde” — Concept Recording (1994)
- “Midnight Dreaming” (1994)
- “Back in the Swing” (1993)
- “On the Boards” (1992)
- “Centre Stage” (1990)
- “Les Misérables” — Complete Symphonic Recording (1988)
- “Anthony Warlow returns to Australian stage for Fiddler on the Roof”. Herald-Sun. 13 September 2015.
- New day dawning for Music of the Night
- Simon covers Phantom illness
- Warlow back from Phantom Illness
- Warlow interview published in Brisbane News during November 2006