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Phantom of the Opera - The Musical - Written by Andrew Lloyd Webber

Updated on May 30, 2016

Phantom of the Opera

Phantom of the Opera BillBoard
Phantom of the Opera BillBoard

The Phantom of the Opera Opening Night in London

On the 27th of September 1986 a musical opened at Her Majesty’s Theatre in London’s theatre land, which is still playing to packed houses today in London and on Broadway. Andrew Lloyds Webber’s Phantom of the Opera is arguable the greatest musical ever written. It is in its 26th year in London and its 24th year in New York.

I was privileged to be at the opening night the London production on the 27th September 1986 courtesy of my company Swiss Bank Corporation which had somehow managed to obtain tickets for me and some banker guests from New York. We were mesmerized by Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical score, the breathtaking scenery and the soaring voices of Michael Crawford as the Phantom and Sarah Brightman as Christine. That night was the first of over 10,000 performances in London alone.

Paris Opera House


The Phantom of the Opera is a love story set in the splendour and majesty of the Paris Opera House in the 19th century. Here in the shadowy tunnels below the Opera House lives the Phantom who is ashamed by his physical appearance and also feared by all who witness him. However his musical protégé Christine cannot resist his voice and his absolute love for her and the story unfolds into a tragic love triangle between Christine, Raul and the Phantom. Andrew Lloyds Webber’s musical score blends perfectly into this tragic story of violence, fear and love and spellbound audiences captivated by the sounds and sights before them leave the theatre wiping tears from their eyes.

Phantom of the Opera

The Movie
The Movie
London Production
London Production

Music of the Night - Michael Crawford

Phantom of the Opera - 25th Anniversary Concert

On Broadway

Landmarks and Statistics

The Phantom of the Opera has become the most triumphant media entertainment event of all time and continues to enthral audiences all over the planet. Here are some of the landmarks and records that this musical achieved.

1. Phantom has been viewed by over 130 million people.

2. Phantom has grossed $5.7 billion.

3. Phantom has won more than 50 awards since its opening in 1986.

4. The show is in its 26th record breaking year at Her Majesty’s Theatre in London.

5. It is in its 24th record breaking year on Broadway.

6. Three performances of the show were performed at the Royal Albert Hall to celebrate 25 years.

7. Phantom became Broadway’s longest running show ever when it surpassed Cats with its 7,486th performance.

8. The only Broadway show to celebrate 20th year anniversary.

9. On October 23rd 2010 the 10,000th performance played in the West End.

10.On February 11th 2012 the 10,000th performance played on Broadway.

11.Box Office revenues are the highest for any entertainment in history.

12.Phantom has played in 145 cities and in 27 countries on the planet.

13.The stage show has been translated into 15 languages.

14.The album of the original cast of The Phantom of the Opera made history by entering the charts at number 1.

15.Album sales now exceed 40 million pieces.

16.The album has gone 63 times platinum around the world including 6 times in America.

17.In 2004 a Phantom of the Opera movie starring Gerard Butler as the Phantom was released and a new song called ‘Learn to be Lonely’ was written especially for the film and nominated for best original song at the Oscars of 2005.

18.The original chandelier used in the original production weighed 1 ton and was made from 6,000 beads. It falls at 7 foot a second.

19.It takes 2 hours for the Phantom to make up and 30 minutes for the make up to be taken off.

20.The drapes used in the production are made up of 2, 230 metres of material.

21.The cast and crew together with the orchestra members number 130.

22.There are 230 costumes and 14 dressers used in each performance.

23.There are 120 automated cues and 22 scene changes in each production.

24.Each production uses 281 candles, 10 fog machines and 250 kg of dried ice.

All I Ask of You - Sarah Brightman/Cliff Richard


Where have you seen Phantom of the Opera?

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The Music

The music and the songs from Phantom of the Opera have become classics of both the theatre and also in the realms of pop. The most successful and magical songs that have been recorded by many artists and have featured or have topped many music charts around the world are:

Think of Me

Angel of Music

The Phantom of the Opera

The Music of the Night

All I Ask of You


Wishing you Were Somehow Here Again

The Point of No Return

The Awards

Phantom of the Opera has won over 50 awards around the world with the most significant being:

1986 Olivier Awards in London

  • Michael Crawford for the Outstanding Performance in a Musical

  • Phantom of the Opera – Best Musical

1986 Evening Standard Theatre Awards - London

  • Best Musical

1988 Tony Awards from New York

  • Best Musical

  • Leading Actor in a Musical for Michael Crawford

  • Featured Actress in a Musical for Judy Kaye (Carlotta)

  • Director (Musical) for Hal Prince

  • Set Designer for Maria Bjornson

  • Costume Designer for Maria Bjornson

  • Lighting Designer for Andrew Bridge


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    • one2get2no profile image

      Philip Cooper 5 years ago from Olney

      You should try to see it you'll have a fantastic experience. Thanks for dropping by.

    • Rufus89 profile image

      Rufus89 5 years ago from USA, New Mexico

      Wow. I knew it was a famous musical, but I didn't know it was THAT successful. That's so cool that you got to see it on the opening night. I've only ever read it, and seen the movie rendition, but I've always wanted to see it in theatre. Nice Hub.

    • one2get2no profile image

      Philip Cooper 5 years ago from Olney

      Thank you. It's a must see.

    • ethel smith profile image

      Eileen Kersey 5 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      Nice job. A musical I have not seen yet

    • one2get2no profile image

      Philip Cooper 5 years ago from Olney

      I don't know that piece by Nightwish but I'll give it a hear. Thanks for dropping by.

    • chrisnstar profile image

      chrisnstar 5 years ago

      Love love love this opera. And my favorite cover of the aria is by Nightwish.