Lloyd Webber announces plans for ‘triumphant and hopeful’ post-lockdown project

Andrew Lloyd Webber has announced plans to mark the “triumphant and hopeful return of live music, theatre and entertainment” with a UK tour and album.

Three newly-orchestrated symphonic suites from his musicals Evita, The Phantom Of The Opera and Sunset Boulevard will be performed by an 81-piece orchestra, conducted by long-time collaborator Simon Lee.

The show will open at London’s Royal Festival Hall on September 8 2021 and tour the UK during 2022, using local orchestras in Manchester, Glasgow, Cardiff and more, and will be accompanied by an album recorded by the Andrew Lloyd Webber Orchestra.

Lord Lloyd-Webber said: “For over a year now we have lived without the joy of live music.

“As we fight to bring performers back to work and theatres back to life, I hope that this album might now take on a new meaning: the music which represents the triumphant and hopeful return of live music, theatre and entertainment across the world.

“It is wonderful and very moving for me to see brilliant musicians back where they belong.”

This year Phantom Of The Opera celebrates 35 years in the West End, while the filmed production of Sunset Boulevard, which first opened in London in 1993, was re-released for audiences to view in May.

Evita has been running in the West End for 43 years.

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It comes after the impresario said in a statement on Friday that theatre has been treated as “an afterthought and undervalued” by the Government during the unlocking process, after the end of social distancing measures was pushed back by a month.

Lord Lloyd-Webber also rejected Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s offer for his musical Cinderella to be included in the live events pilot scheme.

The concert at the Royal Festival Hall will follow the release of the accompanying album, Andrew Lloyd Webber – Symphonic Suites, on Decca Records on September 3.

The 2022 tour runs from September 17 at the Manchester Bridgewater Hall with the Halle Orchestra to October 1 at the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.