About 40 Beatrice High School students traveled to Lincoln Thursday to see a touring Broadway production of ‘Phantom of the Opera’ at the Lied Center.

Based on the 1910 Gaston Leroux novel, the show follows a deformed composer who haunts the grand Paris Opera House and composes operas for promising talent, Christine.

The tickets, which regularly cost over $100, were made available for $10 through the Lied’s student matinee program.

For nearly 15 years, the Lied has reached out to local school administrators about seeing its shows at a discounted price.

Nancy Engen-Wedin, education and grant program manager at the Lied, said the program features several performances related to school curriculum for all grade levels to participate.

The Center provides informational material for the schools to use, as well, including that"Phantom of the Opera" is the longest running Broadway show with over 12,000 performances spanning 30 years.

Other student matinees for this season include George Orwell's "1984" and a science-focused circus for younger students called "AirPlay."

Engen-Wedin said this is the first time the Lied has had a Broadway show offered through the student matinee program.

Due to the number of schools interested in the show, Engen-Wedin said the Lied’s executive director, Bill Stephan, worked with the production to allow for an additional matinee.

“Which is really quite a great problem to have,” Engen-Wedin said.

BHS, along with four other schools, went to the additional matinee, and over 2,000 students will go to the original performance on Friday afternoon.

BHS principal Jason Sutter said he hopes students leave the show with a greater appreciation for the arts.

“I think any time we can expose students at Beatrice High School to the arts and entertainment, and a quality performance such as ‘Phantom of the Opera’, that we should take advantage of those opportunities,” Sutter said.

“I can guarantee that they’ll remember it the rest of their lives,” Engen-Wedin said. “It’s that kind of show.”

More information about the Lied Center and its shows can be found at liedcenter.org/


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