Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Sequel to Phantom of the Opera, Love Never Dies

Ben Lewis and Anna O'Byrne
Television audiences across the U.S. will venture to the mysterious world of turn-of-the-century Coney Island when WSBE Rhode Island PBS airs Love Never Dies, Andrew Lloyd Webber's sequel to The Phantom of the Opera* on Saturday, June 9 at 2 p.m.

Love Never Dies picks up 10 years after the Phantom's disappearance in a raging inferno. Lured to New York by a chance to perform at a mysterious new Coney Island venue, Christine encounters characters from her past, one of whom carries a dark secret. She reunites with the Phantom for more music of the night (watch the tantalizing videos below).

The dark, romantic sequel is directed by Simon Phillips (Priscilla Queen of the Desert), and was filmed live in Melbourne last September. 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.

*Great Performances Phantom of the Opera will air on WSBE Rhode Island PBS on Friday, June 8 at 7:30 p.m. (please note early start time).