Franc D’Ambrosio, a singer/actor who has sung for the likes of Kendall-Jackson Wineries, shared his insights on delivering that magic performance. The singer, who studied with Pavarotti, speaks from experience: He performed the lead in Phantom of the Opera more than 3,000 times. The show’s creator, Andrew Lloyd Weber, dubbed him “The World’s Longest-Running Phantom.” D’Ambrosio, who also counts The Godfather III among his film appearances, is now touring with his one-man show, From the Bronx to Broadway, performing in private and public venues.
Tell us the about your current tour
It’s about an Italian kid who grew up across the street from the Bronx Zoo and ends up on Broadway and beyond. There are elements of my life in the show, but it’s not autobiographical. Take Moonstruck and The Nanny and toss in a little Connie Francis, and you’ve got my show. It was written, directed and choreographed by an A-list New York team.
Do you adjust the show to fit your crowd?
I always aim to learn the client’s “mission statement” before I go on so that I can incorporate that message into my show. I don’t just go out and belt to the rafters; I’m a communicator. Barry Manilow taught me how to look out in the audience and embrace it.
Do you have a “perfect” size venue?
I have to admit, I like the big houses. After Phantom, I’m used to enormous audiences. But in any venue I like to make it intimate, like I’m connecting with each person.
How can a planner make life easier?
I make sure we both write everything down: what time to show up, what I’ll need on stage. Then we need to stick to it. It’s not fun to show up for a sound check and the guys aren’t there, or you ask for a mike and there isn’t one. But when everything is there, when everything goes as planned, then you soar.