Australian Love Never Dies Will Arrive on DVD in Early 2012
By Adam Hetrick
The DVD of the Melbourne production of Love Never Dies, Andrew Lloyd Webber's sequel to The Phantom of the Opera, will be released in February 2012, a production spokesperson confirmed to Playbill.com.
Lloyd Webber has been on hand for the filming, which took place Sept. 12-15. The Sept. 15 performance was captured before a live audience. The Australian production is directed by Priscilla Queen of the Desert director Simon Phillips.
As previously reported, Lloyd Webber is also filming the Oct. 1-2 Royal Albert Hall 25th anniversary performances of The Phantom of the Opera, which will be broadcast live globally and released on DVD and Blu-ray in November.
The Australian production of Love Never Dies differs from the now-closed London world-premiere staging. Lloyd Webber enlisted a completely new Australian creative team, including scenic-costume designer Gabriela Tylesova, who gave the production a darker, more brooding approach. It also incorporates revisions to the script and score first implemented in London last fall.
Love Never Dies will end its Melbourne run at the Regent Theatre Dec. 18 prior to moving to Sydney's Capitol Theatre in January 2012.
The Melbourne production earned Australia's Helpmann Awards for Best Costume and Best Scenic Design for a Musical (Tylesova) and Best Lighting Design for a Musical (Nick Schlieper).
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 choreography by Graeme Murphy, with original London sound designer Mick Potter and orchestrator David Cullen also on board. Guy Simpson (The Phantom of the Opera) serves as musical supervisor.
Set ten years after the conclusion of The Phantom of the Opera, Love Never Dies follows soprano Christine Daae to New York's Coney Island, where she is invited to perform for the mysterious Mr. Y. Characters from her past begin to emerge, including one with whom she shares a dark secret.
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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