Opera – The Phantom of the Opera
The Phantom of the Opera is a musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber, based on the French novel Le Fantôme de l’Opéra by Gaston Leroux.
The music was composed by Lloyd Webber, and most lyrics were written by Charles Hart, with additional lyrics by Richard Stilgoe. Alan Jay Lerner was an early collaborator, but withdrew due to illness after some initial work on a single song, “Masquerade”. The central plot revolves around a beautiful soprano, Christine Daaé, who becomes the obsession of a mysterious, disfigured musical genius.
The Phantom of the Opera opened in the West End in 1986, and on Broadway in 1988. It became the longest-running musical in Broadway history after overtaking Cats in 2006. It is also the second-longest-running West End musical.
Phantom won the 1986 Olivier Award and the 1988 Tony Award for Best Musical, and Michael Crawford (as the Phantom) won the 1986 Olivier and 1988 Tony for Best Performance by an Actor in a Musical. The show has been performed in 149 cities in 25 countries, and has played to over 100 million people. With total worldwide box office receipts of over $5.1bn (£3.5bn), Phantom is the highest-grossing entertainment event of all time. The New York production alone has grossed US $800 million, making it the most financially successful Broadway show in history.