In 1984, fresh off the heels of the success of a string of triumphant musicals (including Cats), Andrew Lloyd Webber was seeking a romantic plot for his next project and stumbled across a translation of Gaston Leroux’s novel, Le Fantôme de l'Opéra. Realizing it had serious stage potential, he recruited an all-star team of collaborators, including lyricist Charles Hart and Richard Stilgoe, to bring the tragic love story to life.

With the lead role of Christine written specifically for Webber’s then-wife, Sarah Brightman, the show opened at Her Majesty’s Theatre on London’s West End in 1986,

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