After days and weeks of speculation, Amanda Harrison, Elphaba-star of Australian production Wicked has decided to quit the show to preserve her voice.
Audience has seen her face in green for the last time past November 2009.
”Playing Elphaba was all-absorbing and it took a lot out of me physically, emotionally and spiritually,” says Harrison, who resolved last week not to return to the long-running show.
”The decision to leave wasn’t taken lightly but I have to preserve my instrument,” Harrison says. ”When I started doing Wicked I was jealous of the opera schedule [where principals are rostered to sing two or three times a week] but I coped for a long time with the enormity of the role.
”After a year I needed to take a rest because it was challenging and difficult. But it has definitely been the role of my career to date so it does feel daunting and scary to be leaving.”
Wicked’s co-producer, John Frost, says: ”Amanda brought an edge to Elphaba that is rarely seen; bringing passion, intelligence and inner strength to the role as well as soaring vocals … We were blessed to find Amanda and Lucy for these big roles and Amanda has set the bar high for the Elphabas who come after her.”
The role is currently being shared between Jemma Rix, who has been the standby Elphaba since the show began in Australia, and Pippa Grandison.