Who Composed Phantom of the Opera?

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    Identification

    • Andrew Lloyd Webber composed the music for the 1986 musical "The Phantom of the Opera." Known as one of today's best composers, he has been writing musicals for more than 40 years. Some of his best known musicals are "Cats," "Jesus Christ Superstar," "Evita," "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat," and "The Phantom of the Opera." He has collaborated with many well known songwriters and musicians to produce award-winning musicals that audiences return to year after year.

    History

    • Andrew Lloyd Webber was born in London, England in 1948. His mother played the piano and violin and his father played the organ and composed music. Andrew Lloyd Webber started playing instruments and composing music at a young age. He attended Westminster School to study music and was a Queen's Scholar of history at Oxford University until he met Tim Rice and dropped out to compose pop songs and musicals.

    Effects

    • Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice shared an irreverant sense of humor and an appreciation for the same authors and music. Their earlier musicals were humorous and included many different styles of music. They wrote pop songs that were recorded by such singers as Wes Sands, Gary Bond and Elvis Presley. Lloyd Webber's compositions include a strong pop rock element, and this effect is evident in "The Phantom of the Opera."

    Features

    • Andrew Lloyd Webber was inspired by a musical version by Ken Hill of "The Phantom of the Opera." He asked Jim Steinman to write lyrics, but he was busy working on a Bonnie Tyler album. Andrew Jay Lerner was hired to write lyrics, but he died. Richard Stilgoe, who wrote lyrics for Lloyd Webber's musical "Starlight Express," was hired, but his lyrics weren't romantic enough. Charles Hart rewrote the lyrics for the final version, but some of Richard Stilgoe's more light-hearted lyrics were still included when the show opened.

    Theories/Speculation

    • Pink Floyd fans might recognize musical themes from the "Phantom of the Opera" when they listen to the 1971 song "Echoes." It is done in the same time signature with the same notes and structure. In a November 1992 "Q" magazine interview, Roger Waters of Pink Floyd said he thought the band could have son a lawsuit for plagiarism against Andrew Lloyd Webber but that "life's too long to bother with suing. . ." Plans are in the works for a sequel that picks up where the original left off as the Phantom escaped from the theater.

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