Hugh Panaro is perhaps best known for having played the coveted role of the Phantom in Broadway's The Phantom of the Opera over 2,000 times, including the 25th Anniversary production. In fact, Hugh is one of the few actors to be cast by Harold Prince as both The Phantom and Raoul in the show's Broadway production.
Hugh made his Broadway debut in the original production of Les Misérables as Marius, the role he originated in the First National Company. He also created the roles of Buddy in the original Side Show (Sony Cast Recording), Julian Craster in Jule Styne’s musical The Red Shoes, and the title role in the American premiere of Cameron Mackintosh’s Martin Guerre. Hugh was nominated for an Outer Critic Circle Award for his performance in the title role of Elton John's Lestat, based on Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles.
He made his West End debut in the original London company of Harold Prince’s Showboat as Gaylord Ravenal, the role he previously played in the Broadway and Toronto Productions.
Off-Broadway Hugh recently performed the title role in the Barrow Street Theatre’s production of Sweeney Todd. Additionally, he has performed in What’s A Nice Country Like You...Doing In A State Like This, White Lies, Michael Frank's Noa Noa, and Michael John LaChiusa's Little Fish.
Regionally, Hugh played George Seurat in Sunday In the Park With George at the 5th Avenue Theater in Seattle, and Robert in Stephen Sondheim’s Company. Hugh’s performance as Jean Valjean in the Walnut Street Theater’s production of Les Misérables earned him the prestigious Barrymore Award which he was again nominated for his turn as Fagin in Oliver! as well as the St. Louis Theater Circle Award. In 2012, Hugh was honored with the Edwin Forrest Award for his long- term contribution to the theater.
An active concert artist, Hugh has performed with numerous symphony orchestras including the New York Pops at Carnegie Hall, Philly Pops, Dallas, Detroit, San Francisco, Seattle, Utah Symphonies, and the London Sinfonietta, among many others. Hugh also recently returned as a guest soloist with the Festival Cesky Krumlov in the Czech Republic. He also had the privilege of performing in the world premiere of Penderecki’s Te Deum at Carnegie Hall, was a guest soloist with the Buffalo Philharmonic, conducted by Marvin Hamlisch and toured Europe with the legendary Barbra Streisand.
His recordings include Jerome Kern Treasury, the original cast recording of Side Show, Tap Your Troubles Away (Herman), The Centennial (Weil), Life On The Wicked Stage (Kern) and Dreamworks’ animated feature film “The Prince of Egypt.” He is currently working on his first solo CD.
A native of Philadelphia, Panaro graduated from Temple University and was awarded the Boyer College of Music Certificate of Honor.
JOHN McDANIEL is a Grammy and Emmy Award winning Music Director, Composer, Director, Arranger, Orchestrator & Producer and is an Artistic Director at the Tony Award winning Eugene O’Neill Theater Center. Recently, John participated in a live Playbill concert event in Times Square welcoming back Broadway, featuring Brian Stokes Mitchell, Jessica Vosk and Chuck Schumer. McDaniel produced and directed a virtual concert of Sticks & Stones, for which he is also the composer, starring Audra McDonald & Javier Muñoz. He is also a camp director of Kristin Chenoweth’s Broadway Boot Camp. John directed Into The Woods & Hair in Concert at the historic Patchogue Theater, Sondheim Originals at 54 Below and Piano Men at Birdland, Broadway music credits include Bonnie and Clyde (Drama Desk Nomination, Best Orchestrations), Catch Me If You Can, Brooklyn (Producer and Orchestrator), Annie Get Your Gun (Grammy Award), Taboo, Chicago, Grease, Patti LuPone on Broadway and Company – the Original Cast in Concert at Lincoln Center. On Television: “The Rosie O’Donnell Show” (2 Emmy Awards & 8 nominations).
John has collaborated with Cab Calloway, Shirley MacLaine, George Burns, Joel Grey, Carol Burnett, Betty Buckley, Bette Midler and has guest conducted at 15 Symphony Orchestras across America, including 5 concerts with his hometown St. Louis Symphony. John received a BFA in Drama from Carnegie Mellon University.