Ramin Karimloo

Andrew Lloyd-Webber’s new sequel to The Phantom of the Opera – “Love Never Dies” – will have its world premiere in London, as reported today by Baz Bamigboye in the Daily Mail.

It was initially believed that the new blockbusting musical would open simultaneously in New York, London and Shanghai, but it now appears that managing the logistics of this has proved too complex. However, the show will still break new ground in opening productions around the world in quick succession – starting with London and then following with Toronto, Shanghai and then Broadway.

In London, the show will play at the Adelphi Theatre, owned by Lloyd-Webber’s Really Useful Group, in late October or early November.

Lloyd-Webber also revealed to Baz that, as predicted by previous rumours, Ramin Karimloo and Sierra Boggess will launch the show in the two main leads.

Variety recently reported that the show would open in Toronto at the Canon Theater, where the original Phantom launched in Canada in 1989, although Lloyd-Webber has now confirmed that it will open after London at the Royal Alexandra Theatre in Toronto and then go to Broadway.

The show’s music is written by Lloyd Webber with a book by Ben Elton, who has more than proved his musical credentials with We Will Rock You, which continues to pack them in and celebrates the start of its 8th year in London from the end of April.

The book is based on an original idea by best selling author Frederick Forsyth, and is set in Coney Island in 1907.

Ramin KarimlooRamin Karimloo (pictured) is currently appearing as the Phantom in the West End and will continue in the role in the new production. The actor was born in Iran and brought up in Canada.

A notice placed on the Actors’ Equity Association website says of the plot that, “the mysterious “Maestro” who runs the theatre at Coney Island announces a one-off concert by legendary Parisian soprano Christine Daaé. Her arrival in New York with husband Raoul, Victome de Chagny and son Gustave, and their subsequent meeting with the “Maestro,” bring the cataclysmic events of 10 years earlier at the Paris Opera crashing back into all their lives.”

Director Jack O’Brien and choreographer Jerry Mitchell – the dream team from the Hairspray musical – will stage the show.

O’Brien said to Baz that Lloyd-Webber was enormously passionate about the project: “‘It is like the last flowering of a great era of lyric romanticism – the theatre doesn’t seem to have that any more.”

It is unclear whether Jospeh, currently playing at the Adelphi Theatre starring Gareth Gates, will extend its run until Love Never Dies Opens.

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Original article published 20 March 2009