Phantom of the Opera is a beautiful and haunting musical that focuses on the themes of love and obsession. The most popular version of the musical is Andrew Lloyd Webber’s 1986 creation and for good reason. The music, the story arc, and the passion makes it the longest running Broadway musical of all time, making Phantom of the Opera Tickets one of the hottest shows on Broadway.
Two years before the première of the musical on Broadway, Andrew Lloyd Webber was looking for another musical to produce. Since the beginning of his career, Lloyd Webber had always wanted to write a major romantic story and didn’t have an idea for it until he came across an old novel by Gaston Leroux called Phantom of the Opera.
Lloyd Webber began writing the score for the film and was inspired by Ken Hill’s musical version of the book. He wanted to keep the form and structure of a musical, but still tried to keep the music operatic at times to keep with the name of the novel. Lloyd Webber assigned complete operatic numbers for the minor characters. This is because they are directly involved in the subplot where fully produced operas are being performed at the Paris Opera House.
The only time the main characters, Christine and the Phantom, sing full-fledged opera is when they are performing the fictional opera at the end of the musical – Don Juan Triumphant. Still, the opera number dissolves to a haunting and obsessive musical number “Past the Point of No Return.” Every opera piece is a fragment of a whole song and is often interrupted to define the show within a show format of the musical.
Lloyd Webber tried to make all the Phantom’s music more modern than the time period to show how the character is artistically ahead of his time. Lloyd Webber also wanted the lyrics of the numbers to show off the Phantom’s dark and obsessive side. There were many lyricists on the project, but the two that are officially credited are Richard Stilgoe and Charles Hart.
The role of Christine was specifically crafted for his talented wife, Sarah Brightman. When Phantom of the Opera premiered in 1986, Brightman played Christine in both the London and Broadway productions. Lloyd Webber hired Harold Prince, who had previously directed Evita, to direct Phantom. The show was a huge success and surpassed Cats as the longest running Broadway musical in 2006. In 2012, the musical performed its 10,000th show on Broadway.
Andrew Lloyd Webber composed dozens of Broadway musicals along with multiple film scores. He even translated many of his own musicals into other formats, such as Bollywood, television, and film. Lloyd Webber even worked with director Joel Schumacher to produce The Phantom of the Opera for film, making it a beautiful adaptation of the musical.
Lloyd Webber has won seven Tonys, three Grammys, seven Oliviers, a Golden Globe, an Oscar, two Emmys, the Paremium Imperiale, the Kennedy Center Honor, and the Richard Rogers Award for Excellence in Musical Theater. You can find tickets to the Phantom of the Opera on ScoreBig.
Featured image credit: Tracey Nolan