Lloyd Webber unveils "Phantom of the Opera" sequel

Thu Oct 8, 2009 1:00pm EDT
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By Cindy Martin

LONDON (Reuters) - British composer Andrew Lloyd Webber Thursday unveiled his latest musical "Love Never Dies," a sequel to hit show "The Phantom of the Opera" which has played to more than 100 million people around the world.

"Love Never Dies" continues the story of The Phantom, who has left his lair at the Paris Opera House and, 10 years later, is haunting the fairgrounds of New York's Coney Island.

Production notes handed out at a press launch described the new show, which has its world premiere at London's Adelphi Theater on March 9, 2010, as a "rollercoaster ride of obsession and intrigue in which music and memory can play cruel tricks."

The show then opens in New York on November 11 and in Australia in 2011.

"I thought about doing a Phantom sequel for a long time," Lloyd Webber told Reuters in an interview.

"I thought if I do a sequel it's just going to be nothing at all so I forgot about it. Then (British comedian) Ben Elton came up with an idea which unlocked how we can take all of the characters from the original and build a completely new tale.

"You don't have to see Phantom of the Opera to see Love Never Dies. I can stand back now and say I'm very proud of it as a piece of work."

The Oscar-winning 61-year-old, who wrote hit songs including "Don't Cry For Me Argentina" from "Evita" and "Memory" from "Cats," said that his latest work did not return to the original Phantom score barring "a couple of tiny, musical moments.   Continued...

<p>Theatre-goers socialize outside the Majestic Theatre before the start of "The Phantom of the Opera" in New York January 9, 2006. REUTERS/Seth Wenig</p>