Andrew Lloyd Webber on How The Phantom Of The Opera Built Relationships With Audiences
Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber said his hit musical The Phantom Of The Opera made a “connection” with audiences that he “might not have foreseen”.
culminating in a BBC Radio 2 special celebrating 35 years of her popular musical West End, the theater boss has also reflected on the show over the years and the struggles she and the rest of the industry have had faced during the pandemic.
It comes as a series of theater performances across the country have had to shut down in recent weeks due to “Covid-related absences”, which Lord Lloyd-Webber previously described as a “heartbreaking” situation.
Lord Lloyd-Webber said: “He found a connection with the audience that I could not have predicted.
“I remember very early in the race I went to a charity dinner hosted by Elton John and found myself sitting among a bunch of huge mannequins and they had all gone to see Phantom, all of them, and they were all wanting me ask questions about it.
“And I said, ‘Well, what are you referring to in there? “
“And I’m not going to say who it was, but she said to me, ‘The thing is, all of us around the table, you might think you’re with the most beautiful girls in the world, but the thing is, we all have something in us that we would like to change ”.
The theater manager also described the difficulties the show, which is played at London’s Her Majesty’s Theater, and the industry as a whole have faced due to coronavirus restrictions closing theaters for more than 18 months .
He added: “I found myself really pushing government at all levels, exceptionally unsuccessfully as it happened.
“But, in the end, it led the pilots to prove that we could open theaters properly and safely.”
The 73-year-old has been very vocal throughout the pandemic about the theater industry requiring more government support.
Earlier in the year, he joined with other players in the entertainment industry in launching a lawsuit to force the government to hand over the results of its coronavirus pilot events program which hosted test events in sporting, musical and artistic venues to assess the safety of large gatherings during the pandemic.
Phantom of the Opera producer Sir Cameron Mackintosh added: “Covid is something that never occurred to me that could never happen.
“I have now worked in theater for over 50 years and historically the theater only closed for a few weeks during WWII, let alone closed for over 18 months.
“I run my office and my shows much more like a family than an industry and as a result people don’t have jobs and a lot of them don’t get any government support because they were workers. independent and fell out of that safety net, it was a huge strainer.
During the radio special, Lord Lloyd-Webber and Sir Cameron reflected on how they first created the show, based on the original book by French author Gaston Leroux, published in 1910, and from the three film adaptations of the novel.
Lord Lloyd-Webber said: “I basically took things from the book, and quite a few things from the book, but I basically wrote my own story about someone who was writing and composing music who was outside. of his time.
“And even though the set was a 19th century opera house, what he wrote was music that couldn’t have been written in the 19th century.
“So I had this idea that what the Phantom would always write would be in the whole tone scale. “