|Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN|
"I am devastated not to be able to attend the Tony Awards in New York tonight where The Phantom of the Opera is being honoured for its twenty five years on Broadway," Lloyd Webber said in a statement via his website, AndrewLloydWebber.com. "My colleagues felt that it is time to explain why I have been unable to participate fully in my professional and social life over the last eight months.
"I have been in constant pain since October 2012 following treatment for a problem with my right thigh. As a consequence I have undergone countless medical procedures and two major back operations.
"This has affected my ability to undertake my normal work schedule. I was unable to attend the 25th anniversary of The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway or the opening of The Wizard of Oz in Toronto, Canada earlier this year. I also had to miss the funeral of my good friend Michael Winner and have had to cancel many other personal engagements.
"I have refrained from saying anything until now, but I have had to reluctantly agree with my colleagues that I needed to explain why I have had to withdraw from the Tonys tonight. I do not intend to comment further."
Lloyd Webber won Original Score Tony Awards for his work on Evita, Cats and Sunset Boulevard. His other Broadway credits include The Woman in White, Bombay Dreams, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, The Phantom of the Opera, Aspects of Love and Starlight Express, among others.