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'But by then I had put it on the back burner because I had moved on to other projects.
And although I sensed the seeds of a story for a show, I couldn't make the plot work for me as a composer.' Two years ago he decided to revive his idea and discussed it with several writers and directors.
'I thought that the Phantom could turn up in New York ten years later, at the turn of last century, and this time perhaps he lived ground, in Manhattan's first penthouse. Then I saw a TV documentary about New York's Coney Island fairground and I realised the Phantom could make his new home there among the freaks and oddities who were such a part of the community.
I also thought that perhaps Christine came to America with her son and I believed I knew how to end the piece.' He discussed his ideas with Maria Bjornson, the brilliant designer of the original Phantom, and with the novelist Frederick Forsyth, who developed them and later published his own version as a novella The Phantom Of Manhattan.
It has been two years in preparation, but can Love Never Dies emulate the success of Phantom, still running in London after 24 years and which has been seen by more than 100 million people worldwide?She added: “As an artist, I must ask myself how I can best serve the world, and in this case my choice is clearer than ever: to step aside and allow an opportunity to correct a wrong that has been done for years with this show in particular.The performance in front of a 5,500 strong audiences was broadcast live into selected cinemas world-wide, including those in the United States, the United Kingdom, Europe, Canada, Japan and Australia.Throughout its course the phantom musical has broken records with more than 9,000 performances in London alone, and it is also the longest running in Broadway history with performances before more than 100 million people since it opened in 1986.The Phantom of the Opera is based on the French novel by Gaston Leroux.