Margaret Preece is to take over from Lesley Garrett as Mother Abbess in The Sound Of Music from Monday, as the musical announces an extension to its booking period to 29 May 2008.
Preece has been playing the role of Mother Abbess in certain performances since the show opened and now takes on the role full time after the departure of Garrett. Preece has played leading roles with the English National Opera, Scottish Opera and Opera North and has also worked frequently with opera houses in Europe. In London, her previous work includes The Bacchae at the National and playing Carlotta in The Phantom Of The Opera.
Andrew Lloyd Webber and David Ian’s new production of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical The Sound Of Music opened at the London Palladium in November last year after a nationwide televised search to find its star, Connie Fisher. As the musical extends, the role of nun-turned-nanny Maria continues to be played by Fisher in six performances a week, with fellow How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria? contestant Aoife Mulholland playing the role on Monday evenings and Wednesday matinees. Alexander Hanson continues to play Maria’s love interest, Captain Von Trapp. CB