The Phantom of the Opera: About the Creators
The longest running show on Broadway is Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera. Based on the French novel by Gaston Leroux, the story revolves around a beautiful young soprano, Christine Daae, who falls under the spell of a mysterious musical genius who, in turn, becomes obsessed with her. This phantom goes to great lengths to secure Christine’s career in the leads of the operas he composes, in the hopes that her success under his tutelage will spur the kind of love for him that he has for her.
Lloyd Webber wrote the musical, and Charles Hart and Richard Stilgoe wrote the lyrics, while Lloyd Webber and Stilgoe worked together on the book. The show originally opened in London in 1986, and made a hugely successful transfer to Broadway in 1988. That year, it took home the Tony Award and the Olivier Award for Best Musical. It is the longest-running Broadway musical in history, and the second-longest running West End musical, after Les Miserables. Estimates show that by 2011, it had been seen and enjoyed by over 130 million people in 27 different countries.
British-born composer Andrew Lloyd Webber has written a number of hugely successful musicals, including Jesus Christ Superstar, Starlight Express, Cats, and Evita, among a number of others. He has garnered numerous awards and accolades, including Tony Awards, Olivier Awards, Academy Awards, Grammy Awards and Golden Globes Awards. But in 1992, he was knighted by the Queen of England. He is the 87th-richest man in the UK, and he sits in the House of Lords. Most recently, Andrew Lloyd Webber has written a sequel to Phantom entitled Love Never Dies, which opened in the West End to rather poor reviews. Lloyd Webber continues to rework it, hoping for a Broadway transfer.