Phantom Sequel, Love Never Dies, Delays DVD Release to May

News   Phantom Sequel, Love Never Dies, Delays DVD Release to May
 
The Blu-ray and DVD release of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom of the Opera sequel, Love Never Dies, has been delayed to May 29, according to Universal Studios Home Entertainment.

Ben Lewis and Anna O'Byrne
Ben Lewis and Anna O'Byrne

Love Never Dies, which was filmed live in Australia last September, was initially set to be released along with the 25th anniversary concert staging of The Phantom of the Opera at the Royal Albert Hall on Feb. 7.

Phantom retains its Feb. 7 Blu-ray, DVD, streaming and digital download release; however, Love Never Dies will not be unmasked for home viewing until May.

Bonus features for Phantom include a behind-the-scenes feature about the creation of the musical "Getting Past the Point of No Return"; while Love Never Dies will also include a behind-the-scenes featurette about the making of the dark sequel.

The Phantom of the Opera at the Royal Albert Hal was presented Oct. 1-2 in London. It was subsequently broadcast in cinemas globally. Laurence Connor directed the presentations, based on Harold Prince's original production, that included much of Maria Björnson's original stage designs and choreography and musical staging by Gillian Lynne.

The cast included Ramin Karimloo and Sierra Boggess, who also originated the roles of Phantom and Christine in the original London premiere of Love Never Dies. Karimloo is a veteran of the London Phantom, while Boggess opened the 2006 Las Vegas production. Phantom has music by Lloyd Webber, lyrics by Charles Hart (with additional lyrics by Richard Stilgoe) and a book by Richard Stilgoe and Lloyd Webber.

Love Never Dies received a fresh Australian production in spring 2011 under the direction of Priscilla Queen of the Desert director Simon Phillips. It recenlty concluded its Melbourne run and will arrive in Sydney Jan. 8.

The Australian production of Love Never Dies differs from the now-closed London world-premiere staging. A completely new Australian creative team, including scenic-costume designer Gabriela Tylesova, gave the production a darker, more brooding approach. It also incorporates revisions to the script and score first implemented in London last fall.

Ben Lewis, who appeared in the original Australian casts of Priscilla Queen of the Desert and Spamalot, stars as the Phantom, opposite Anna O'Byrne as soprano Christine Daaé. O'Byrne previously played the role in an Australian tour of The Phantom of the Opera.

Love Never Dies has a score by Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Tony nominee Glenn Slater (Sister Act, The Little Mermaid). The book is by Lloyd Webber, Ben Elton and Slater. Phantom lyricist Charles Hart is also credited with additional lyrics for the latest incarnation of the sequel.

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