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Webber Wants Brightman for Upcoming Phantom Follow-Up


According to a BBC article, Andrew Lloyd Webber is interested in Sarah Brightman's possibly reprising her role as Christine in his previously announced follow-up to The Phantom of the Opera.

The new Phantom musical (which Webber says he is 99.9% sure will be his next project) will follow ideas developed with Frederick Forsyth, who released a follow-up to the show in novel form with The Phantom of Manhattan in 1999. However, Webber says that the new musical will be "stand-alone" and not a sequel.  "It's got to be the story 10 years on and it has got to be completely its own piece so that if you went to see it, and if you have never seen The Phantom of the Opera, you would follow it and get it."

Webber recently admitted that he would like for Brightman - his ex-wife, a best-selling recording artist and the originator of the role of Christine Daae - to once again play the Paris Opera House soprano.  Webber told the BBC, "I happened to have dinner, quite unexpectedly, with Sarah the other night, and I was talking to her about it...I don't know whether it was fate that suddenly found me talking to my original Christine, I thought it was rather strange and out-of-the-blue....It wasn't really the time or place to go through it, but I'm very intrigued to think what she thinks of the story."

Webber, whose many other hits as a composer include Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita, Cats and Sunset Boulevard, will soon produce a West End revival of his and Tim Rice's Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.  The revival is being cast through the UK reality talent search "Any Dream Will Do." With David Ian, he previously produced "How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria."  The latter program resulted in the casting of Connie Fisher as Maria in The Sound of Music, his West End revival of the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic.

The Phantom of the Opera features music by Webber and lyrics by Charles Hart, with additional lyrics by Charles Stilgoe.  One of the most successful musicals of all time, Phantom - which is based on the novel by Gaston Leroux - plays in numerous productions around the world and last year, became Broadway's longest-running musical.  It concerns the masked composer of the title, who haunts the Paris Opera House and longs for lovely young soprano Christine.

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Photo of Andrew Lloyd Webber by Walter McBride/Retna Ltd.


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