Andrew Lloyd Webber today confirmed dates and principal casting for his long-awaited sequel to The Phantom Of The Opera, Love Never Dies, which will premiere at the Adelphi theatre on 9 March 2010 (previews from 20 February).
Ramin Karimloo, who currently plays the Phantom in the original London production, will again portray the character in the second phase of the story, with American actress Sierra Boggess as his love interest Christine.
A New York production will follow the London premiere on 11 November 2010, though casting has not yet been confirmed.
The news was announced today by Lloyd Webber at a press launch for the show at Her Majesty’s theatre, where Karimloo performed an excerpt from Love Never Dies.
The multi-award-winning show The Phantom Of The Opera, which celebrates its 23rd birthday in the West End tomorrow, is Lloyd Webber’s most successful musical to date, having been produced in more than 25 countries around the world. Based on Gaston Leroux’s 1911 gothic novel, it tells the story of a mysterious masked man who lives beneath the Paris Opera House and falls in love with singer Christine Daaé.
The sequel, which Lloyd Webber said he first considered writing over 15 years ago, continues the story of the Phantom 10 years after he disappeared from Paris. Though he has established a successful presence at the fairgrounds of New York’s Coney Island, he still yearns for the love of his life, Christine.
Karimloo became the West End’s youngest ever Phantom when he took on the role at Her Majesty’s theatre in 2007, aged 29. The Iranian-Canadian actor had previously played Raoul in the same production, as well as Christine’s father in the 2004 big screen version. His other stage credits include Les Misérables and UK tours of Miss Saigon and Lloyd Webber’s Sunset Boulevard.
Boggess, who originated the lead role of Ariel in The Little Mermaid on Broadway, was chosen to play Christine in the Las Vegas production of The Phantom Of The Opera in 2005. When she reprises the role in Love Never Dies, Boggess will be making her West End debut.
No further casting has yet been publicly announced for the show, though the original cast album has already been recorded and will be released a day after the world premiere, on 10 March.
Love Never Dies has lyrics by Glenn Slater (The Little Mermaid, Sister Act), choreography by Jerry Mitchell (Hairspray, Legally Blonde) and is directed by Jack O’Brien (Hairspray).
Following the West End and Broadway premieres, further productions are already being planned for Australia, Canada and the Far East.