In a taped message, the Tony-winning composer says, “I’ve made a decision today that I will do The Phantom of the Opera sequel. And I have met with a couple people today who have persuaded me to do it, who I will not reveal, but it’s a very exciting day for me. . . It’s going to be very exciting, and I can reveal that it will be set in New York.”
Lloyd Webber had previously written "The Heart Is Slow to Learn," a song for a Phantom sequel. That song was unveiled to the public at the televised London concert celebrating Lloyd Webber's 50th birthday. Kiri Te Kanawa performed the ballad. The composer later dropped the idea of the sequel and chose to collaborate on the musical The Beautiful Game.
At one point Lloyd Webber had been working on the Phantom sequel with writer Frederick Forsyth. When the sequel did not come to fruition, Forsyth later released the novel “The Phantom of Manhattan.” Lloyd Webber did not mention during his video statement whether the sequel would be based on the Forsyth work.
The winner of seven 1988 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, The Phantom of the Opera became the longest-running show in Broadway history on Jan. 9, 2006. It surpassed Cats' record-holding run of 7,485 performances. The musical at the Majestic Theatre recently celebrated its 19th birthday on Broadway Jan. 26.
The musical, based on the Gaston Leroux novel, has music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and is directed by Harold Prince. Lyrics are by Charles Hart (with additional lyrics by Richard Stilgoe) and the book is by Richard Stilgoe and Andrew Lloyd Webber.