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London Theatre Tickets » List of London Shows » The Phantom of the Opera » History

The Phantom of the Opera - History

The Phantom of the Opera is now in its 21st year and seems to continue to pack the house, and who knows could continue to run on for another 20 years. The Phantom of the Opera is a tale to inspire and to enthral and worthy of at least one trip to the opera house to enjoy the Phantom of the Opera.

Phantom of the Opera - Production History

The part for Christine was given to Andrew Lloyd Webber's wife Sarah Brightman who wrote the music especially for her. The first London stage performance of the Phantom of the Opera was a production by Ken Hill which was at the Theatre Royal Stratford East theatre in 1984. Andrew Lloyd Webber was present at one of those performances and became inspired to create his own version of the story.

The musical the Phantom of the Opera was produced by Cameron Mackintosh in association with Andrew Lloyd Webber and finally opened at Her Majesty's Theatre on October 9th 1986 where it still runs today. The original production starred a very unlikely lead as the Phantom namely top TV comedian Michael Crawford who was better known for slapstick comedy routines in TV shows such as 'Some Mothers Do Have Em'. The unlikely casting was a staggering success with Michael winning critical acclaim worldwide for his musical and acting ability. The Broadway version opened a couple of years later on January 26th 1988 at the Majestic Theatre in New York which is still running today.

The Phantom of the Opera has been produced all over the world in more than 20 countries including USA, Austria, Australia, Brazil, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Holland, Germany, Japan, Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland.

The Phantom of the Opera was just one of the major influencing musicals that took Broadway by storm including 'Cats' , 'Les Miserables' and 'Miss Saigon'. The Phantom of the Opera is now the longest running Broadway production bypassing 'Cats' on January 2006 as now the longest running musical of all time. Grossing $3.3 billion with a worldwide attendance of over 80 million it is the highest grossing entertainment event of all time, quite an achievement for a musical.

The Premieres of the Phantom of the Opera received rather mixed reviews and even a few damming ones, in particular from Frank Rish of the New York Times. Maybe he didn't like British influences coming to America. Despite this less than glowing media response, both the UK and USA productions have flourished and now form part of the tourist theatre institutions of must-see shows in both cities.

The original cast of the first opening production of the Phantom of the Opera was the very first musical album to enter the music charts and achieve a number 1 chart hit. Album sales eventually exceeded 40 million worldwide and it has been the biggest selling musical cast album of all time.

Phantom of the Opera - the Awards

In London, the UK production of the Phantom of the Opera won numerous awards when it won the Best Musical and Best Actor in a Musical award in 1986 at the Laurence Olivier Awards, and in America the show won the Tony award in 1988 and won the coveted Best Musical award.

Phantom of the Opera Tickets

The Phantom of the Opera
The Phantom of the Opera - Information
The Phantom of the Opera - Background & History
The Phantom of the Opera - Story
The Phantom of the Opera - Reviews

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