Page last updated at 15:52 GMT, Thursday, 8 October 2009 16:52 UK

Lloyd Webber launches Phantom 2

Lord Lloyd Webber talks about his new musical

World-famous composer Lord Lloyd-Webber has launched his latest musical, Love Never Dies - a sequel to the award-winning Phantom of the Opera.

Set on New York's Coney Island in 1907, 10 years after the Phantom fled Paris, it is co-written by Ben Elton and has taken more than two years to complete.

Ramin Karimloo, currently playing the Phantom in London, returns to the role opposite Broadway's Sierra Boggess.

The show is set to open at London's Adelphi Theatre on 9 March, 2010.

It is expected to open in New York in November next year.

Former Hollyoaks star Summer Strallen, playing Meg Giry, is among the key cast members who have already recorded the accompanying album - although it will not be available to buy until opening night because of piracy fears.

Sierra Boggess and Ramin Karimloo
Boggess will make her West End debut in Love Never Dies, opposite Canadian star Karimloo

The musical sees the mysterious Phantom - known as Mr Y - thriving amid the freaks of Coney Island.

"I don't regard this as a sequel - it's a stand-alone piece," said Lord Lloyd Webber.

"For me, a great story is the catalyst - that's why I have taken so long to come up with this."

The composer first began considering the idea of a follow-up some 17 years ago, reflecting that the Phantom score left "unfinished business".

In 1999, he collaborated with author Frederick Forsyth who went on to publish the novella The Phantom of Manhattan, but Lord Lloyd-Webber was unable to take it any further musically.

Passion

It was his former collaborator Ben Elton who helped him find a new direction for the project, taking "two really interesting characters in a completely different context".

Previous musical sequels have largely met with a lacklustre reception, but Lord Lloyd-Webber insisted: "I'm very happy with it as a piece - and that's enough for me."

"Every fibre of passion that that man has in his body, I believe, is in this score," said leading lady Boggess, 27, who first played Christine in Las Vegas.

Rehearsals are due to start in January.

"It's not unlike being handed a Mozart, Puccini or Verdi," said the show's director Jack O'Brien, best known for hit London production of Hairspray.

"It's not necessarily the story you think you might hear, but I am confident the story we are telling is the right one."

Phantom of the Opera, which first opened in London in October 1986, has become the world's most lucrative musical winning more than 50 awards and playing in 149 cities.



Print Sponsor


SEE ALSO
Lord Lloyd-Webber to find Dorothy
11 Sep 09 |  Entertainment
Lloyd Webber: Eurovision saviour?
03 Feb 09 |  Entertainment
Webber tops theatre power survey
23 Dec 08 |  Entertainment

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific