Today, Saturday 9 October 2010, marks the 24th anniversary of The Phantom of the Opera at Her Majesty’s Theatre in London.
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s show, produced by Cameron Mackintosh, has been seen by over 100 million people worldwide and is Broadway’s longest running show.
The musical opened at Her Majesty’s Theatre on 9 October 1986 directed by Hal Prince, choreographed by Gillian Lynne and designed by Maria Björnson. Stars of the show included Michael Crawford as the Phantom, Sarah Brightman as Christine and Steve Barton as Raoul.
Michael Crawford is soon to return to the London stage in another Lloyd Webber project, this time playing the Wizard in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s multi million pound new production of The Wizard of Oz at the London Palladium.
It’s a busy weekend for Cameron Mackintosh as the Phantom anniversary comes the day after the world’s longest-running show, Les Miserables, celebrated its 25th anniversary.
Earlier this year Andrew Lloyd Webber opened his sequel to the Phantom, Love Never Dies, at the Adelphi Theatre.
- Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical version of The Phantom of the Opera is the most successful piece of entertainment of all time, produced in any media, and its success is continuing all over the world.
- The Phantom started previews at Her Majesty’s Theatre, London on 27th September 1986, and opened on 9th October 1986. It opened at the Majestic Theatre in New York on 9th January 1988.
- The Phantom of the Opera became Broadway’s longest running show ever when it overtook the record set by Cats with its 7,486th performance on January 6th 2006. It is the only Broadway show ever to reach 18th, 19th, 20th and 21st birthdays with the 22nd fast approaching in January 2010.
- The Broadway production played its 9000th performance on 17 September 2009.
- It is estimated that Phantom has been seen by more than 100 million people worldwide having been played in no fewer than 14 languages.
- The show has won over 50 major theatre awards including three Olivier Awards, the most recent being the 2002 Oliver Audience Award for Most Popular Show, an Evening Standard Award, seven Tony Awards including Best Musical, seven Drama Desk Awards and three Outer Critic Circle Awards.
- The Phantom of the Opera has been produced in 149 cities, in more than 25 countries around the world, including UK, US, New Zealand, Japan, Austria, Canada, Sweden, Germany, Brazil, Mexico, Australia, Holland, Switzerland, Belgium, Korea, Denmark, Spain and Russia.
- The original cast album of The Phantom of the Opera was the first in British musical history to enter the music charts at number one. Album sales now exceed forty million worldwide and it is the biggest selling cast album of all time.
- The cast album has gone six times platinum in the US, twice platinum in the UK, nine times platinum in German, four times platinum in the Netherlands, 21 times platinum in Korea and 17 times platinum in Taiwan.
- Joel Schumacher directed a big screen version of the show which was released worldwide at the end of 2004. It starred Gerard Butler as The Phantom, Emmy Rossum as Christine, Patrick Wilson as Raoul and Minnie Driver as Carlotta.
- ‘Learn to Be Lonely’, a new song written for the movie, was nominated for Best Original Song at the 2005 Oscars. Beyonce performed the song at the ceremony.
- Phantom – The Las Vegas Spectacular opened in a purpose built theatre at the Venetian Resort Hotel in 2006.