Andrew Lloyd Webber's (75) musical version of "The Phantom of the Opera" was performed on Broadway for an incredible 35 years. Last Sunday (April 16) the curtain fell on the piece for the last time - and the world-famous composer used this memorable moment for a highly emotional dedication, as reported by the British and US media.
At the end of March this year, Lloyd Webber's son Nicholas died at the age of just 43 from complications from cancer. On the occasion of the final Broadway performance, he now remembered how he composed the music for "The Phantom of the Opera" many years ago - when his Nick was "still a little boy".
Andrew Lloyd Webber's ex-wife Sarah Brightman (62), who had played in the musical for many years, also took the stage and addressed a few words to the audience: "When Andrew wrote that, he [Nicholas, editor's note .] right here. His son is with us. Nick, we all love you very much." Brightman was Lloyd Webber's second wife, with his first wife Sarah Hugill he had daughter Imogen Lloyd Webber (45) in addition to Nicholas. He has three more children with his third and current wife Madeleine Gurdon (60).
On March 25, the composer announced the death of his son, who had previously been placed in a hospice, via Twitter. "I am devastated to report that my beloved eldest son Nick passed away a few hours ago in Basingstoke Hospital. His entire family has gathered and we are all absolutely stunned," he wrote less than a month ago.
It is estimated that "The Phantom of the Opera" grossed over one billion US dollars in around 14,000 performances on Broadway in New York City. Nevertheless, the costly production was recently in the red, mainly due to the corona pandemic, and has therefore now been discontinued. Producer Cameron Mackintosh said: "I've been a producer for 55 years and in that time I've seen a lot of great musicals come back and 'Phantom' is one of the greatest."