A statement from the Really Useful Company relates that the eagerly awaited film version of Andrew Lloyd Webber's hit musical will take place Dec. 6 in London. Other European premieres will follow: Dec. 8 in Munich, Germany; Dec. 9 in Madrid, Spain; and Dec. 10 in Rome, Italy. The New York City premiere will be held Dec. 12. All venues have yet to be announced.
Directed by Joel Schumacher, "The Phantom of the Opera" is set to hit cinemas throughout the U.S. during the Christmas holiday. The motion picture stars Gerard Butler in the title role, Emmy Rossum as Christine and Patrick Wilson as Raoul, and includes one new song by Lloyd Webber and lyricist Charles Hart. The soundtrack of the film is also scheduled for a 2004 holiday release.
Based on the classic Gaston Leroux novel, The Phantom of the Opera features music by Lloyd Webber, lyrics by Charles Hart and additional lyrics by Richard Stilgoe. Harold Prince directed both the London and New York premieres. The New York production — originally starring Michael Crawford and Sarah Brightman — won seven 1988 Tony Awards including one for Best Musical. The score includes such tunes as "Think of Me," "The Music of the Night," "All I Ask of You," "Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again," "The Point of No Return" and the title tune.
The New York Times reported Sept. 8 that the "Phantom" film is expected to premiere at the Paris Opera House in December 2004. The famed opera house cost over 47 million francs and took 15 years to build, with initial work beginning in 1861. The 17-story building — including seven underground stories — seats 2,000.