Andrew Lloyd Webber has written a sequel to The Phantom! The plot is not based on the story-line in the original book by Gaston Leroux, but is set ten years later, and not in the great opera house in Paris, but in America, in Coney Island, no less.
Love Never Dies opened in London to mixed reviews: the setting was said to be tawdry and the phantom not sinister enough… don’t mess with a cultural icon, even if you did create it yourself! It closed in London after only eighteen months, but was staged brilliantly last year in Melbourne, Australia, and filmed there for broadcast. We saw it locally… the same kind of film presentation of a stage performance that we have been enjoying in Metropolitan Opera live broadcasts. And for wonderful music, spectacle, and tragic impact, Love Never Dies certainly compared favourably with the MET productions of both La Traviata and Manon
To be able to see the performers in full close up, acting as well as singing at the brilliant height of their powers… it is just astonishing. I love a live performance… nothing has quite the same thrill… but if you can’t be there in person this is no grudging second best. It is a different kind of theater experience… one I would highly recommend. No plans have been announced for American or Canadian production and Webber is said to be recovering from prostate surgery. You may only ever be able to see it on film.
We saw the only showing available (I would see it again in a heart beat) but I discovered that the whole show is on YouTube! Each part is about half an hour long. I can’t believe this is all posted! Give yourself a treat. And of course if you only have time for one, watch the last!