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TV: LOVE NEVER DIES Australian Leads Announced - Lewis & O'Byrne

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Following a process which saw over 900 performers audition, including some of the biggest names in opera and music theatre, the dream roles of The Phantom and Christine in the brand new Australian production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's have been won by two little known performers, Ben Lewis and Anna O'Byrne.

Andrew Lloyd Webber, speaking from London at the cast announcement in Melbourne on 31st January, said how excited he was about the Australian production, and that it gave him "enormous pleasure to introduce the fabulous pairing of Ben as The Phantom and Anna as Christine". The newly anointed stars - then sang two of the highlights from Love Never Dies, the title track, and ‘Til I Hear You Sing.

Love Never Dies - the long awaited sequel to the single most successful piece of entertainment in history, The Phantom of the Opera - will premiere at the Regent Theatre, Melbourne in May 2011.

Ben Lewis will create the role of The Phantom. Ben's previous stage credits include the original Australian cast of Priscilla Queen of the Desert- The Musical, Sir Galahad in the original Australian cast of Monty Python's Spamalot, two-seasons as Count Carl-Magnus in Stephen Sondheim's A Little Night Music, Urinetown with Sydney Theatre Company and Polites in The Odyssey for BLACK SWAN and the Malthouse.

Anna O'Byrne will create the role of Christine, having already played Christine to great acclaim in a previous Australian tour of The Phantom of the Opera. Anna is an award-winning classically trained singer, and has performed as Polly Peachum in The Threepenny Opera, and in works by Mozart, Puccini and Ibert for The Victorian Opera, Victorian College of the Arts and Victorian Youth Opera.

Ever since Jim Sharman's pioneering work on the record-breaking Jesus Christ Superstar in London, Andrew Lloyd Webber has had a great respect for Australian talent. As such, the creative team on this new production are some of the country's finest. Simon Philips, long time Artistic Director of Melbourne Theatre Company and Priscilla Queen of the Desert - The Musical fame will direct, Graeme Murphy will choreograph, and Sydney based Gabriela Tylesova will provide a breathtaking new design.

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