Rus Articles Journal

How Andrew Lloyd Webber found the “Angela Musyki“? To birthday of the composer of

B 1980 - x years the name of Andrew Lloyd Webber did not need advertizing any more. Behind his shoulders already was shining fate - the opera “Jesus Christ Superstar“ (1970), the musical “Evita“ about the wife of the Argentina dictator Eva Peron (1976) and the musical “Cats“ (1980) based on T. S. Eliot`s verses (the maskaradnost of the last will respond in the Soviet musical “Mother“).

It would seem, bigger to reach and it is impossible. But the composer was waited by one more of the most powerful breaks in the history of musical theater. Name to it “The Phantom of the Opera“ (The Phantom of the Opera).

At once I will make a reservation that I am not either a great admirer of musicals, or the deep expert on the classical opera. But I always trusted Webber`s talent. And “The Phantom of the Opera“ became for me the attracting door which allowed to glance with interest behind the scenes of these two great genres.

Angel of music

A of N d r e and F and r m e N:
Wants the singer
again to join our troupe,
A the chorister -!
C to it her boss sleeps.
Raul and this Ms.
were weaved Into a duet of love.
(A. Butuzov Lane)

the Reason which forced Webber to embody history of the spoiled musical genius in love with the young unknown singer on a scene was more than personal. Everything began when the glorified composer met young Sara Brightman on a course of life.
Sara since the childhood was a talented girl, but initially parents prophesied it ballet career, and only in 12 years noticed its wonderful voice. However it did not pass selection in troupe of Royal theater and danced some time in girly group PAN`S PEOPLE, managing to be removed also for the Vogue magazine and the cosmetic company Biba. In 1980 Mr. of Sara for the first time gets to Webber`s world, playing a supporting role of one of cats directed by “Cats“. When in 1982 she with great success acts in someone else`s musical “Nightingale“, Webber unexpectedly notices, how it had a charming and talented singer under the nose. The high soprano and pleasant appearance were that rattling mix which forced the composer elderly already to fall in love with Sara recklessly.

Both Sara, and Andrew for that time both were not free. Therefore when the composer wanted that Sara executed at the festival held by him in Sidmontona his song “Married Man“ - “The married man“, friends reasonably dissuaded him from this risky act. Subsequently the melody of “The married man“ will turn into one of the best-known songs “the Ghost...“ - the aria “Music in Night“:

“Night aggravates all feelings …
is Woken up by a gloom imagination …
Feelings imperceptibly
will be lifted all ban.
will appear Night quietly, inevitably.
Think of it much and gently!
of Thought conceal
From a daylight and
From a cold and insensible candle
I listen to this music in night!.“
(A. Butuzov Lane)

But scandalous gossips did not stop and after lovers dissolved the marriage and got married in March, 1984. The majority of “arrows“, certainly, were directed to Sara - a pier, enchanted the venerable composer to become well-known, it pushes her everywhere, and a voice at her not all that well etc., etc.
to Webber was all the same, and he really very much tried to create something special for Sara`s voice. For it the “Requiem“ devoted to the victims English - the Irish conflicts was written. But the composer wanted something more large-scale that his young wife began to shine on a big scene. And the idea turned up as if.

the Book

Should be noted at once that though the phrase “The Phantom of the Opera“ (further - ON) nowadays inevitably sends to Webber`s musical, then it was known in other embodiments. As the original always served the book the French writer Gaston Lera published even in 1910 and repeatedly picturized. In 1984 on the same story Ken Hill decided to put a performance in which music of classical composers would be used, and the major role was played by Sara Brightman. Webber with the offer to become the co-producer and to add a performance with the music right there drove to Hill. Gradually it became clear to Hill that the co-producer pulls a blanket in the party, and to Webber - that Hill, in general, also is not necessary to it.

Shared the ideas to put Andrew`s “Ghost“ with the producer Cameron Macintosh (who was a producer of “Cats“ before). That remembered that he just took a bath when Webber called and that even offer him the composer “patent means from cockroaches“, he all the same would answer “yes“.
At first Webber and Macintosh wanted to keep initial idea - to construct the musical on different classical opera arias with a small impregnation of own material. And even declared in a preview of 1984 that “the musical “ON“ will include as already existing, and original music“.

However in the end of the year they met the director Jim Sharman who put “Jesus Christ Superzvezda“ in London in due time. Webber suggested Sharman to become a director “ON“, and that in turn advised the composer not “to take others“, and it is better to re-read the book and to outline own plot and own score.

Webber very long could not find the book Lera and when incidentally found a second-hand copy in a nu - a York second-hand bench, considered it as gift from above. Gaston Lera on the novel was inspired by visit of the lower levels of the building Parisian the Grandee - operas where the twilight of a labyrinth of cellars and corridors reigned, and through lattices in a floor the black underground lake was seen.

Hal Prins, the director “ON“:
“The most unforgettable and dramatic for me and had an opportunity to rise by a roof of theater (five floors higher than the level) where there is a final scene of the first act of the musical. Upward the road does not conduct, there are no hand-rail which it would be possible to hold, you just follow quickly moving engineer of the Opera; wind blows, you do not look down and when you reach the top point, the area some feet, you can see people at top of the Eiffel Tower“.

the Grandee - operas Gaston Leru lodged the hero in a vault - the ingenious musician and the architect Eric. Given rise with ugliness, Eric since the childhood acted in waxworks exhibitions, was a clown at court of the Persian shah and the Grandee - operas participated in construction. The real case of 1896 when to the hall one of chandelier counterbalances fell was reflected in the book also.

Based on the book, Webber tried to turn this semi-detective story into high romantic history where the love and art would be unseparable. In 1985 the plot and the first version of the musical were written by Webber in Australia. In general, the plot looked so.

When from - for scandal with the fallen back the opera theater is left by the prima donna Carlotta, she is unexpectedly successfully replaced by the young dancer of corps de ballet Christina Dae. Christina considers as the wonderful teacher and the patron invisible “Angela Musyki“ whom the father before death promised to send her. It becomes clear that this “Angel“ is the mysterious Ghost with the disfigured face and in a mask about whom in theater ominous rumors go long ago. The ghost is in love with Christina and is jealous the girl of her childhood friend and the beloved - to Raul, the viscount de Chanii. It dispatches managements of the opera of the letter with the requirement that leading parties in theater were performed by Christina. The management did not listen to its threats, returned the prima donna Carlotta, but during representation she begins to croak disgustingly, the worker of a scene is strangled, and in completion the heavy chandelier collapses down.

In half a year the Ghost appears on the Masquerade and demands that Christina executed its own opera “Don Juan`s Triumph“ on a scene this time. Raul offers will agree to this requirement to ensnare the Ghost. But during representation the Ghost replaces on a scene of the actor Don Juan and kidnaps Christina, having carried away it in the den underground. He suggests it to become his bride. Raul finds them, but the Ghost catches him by means of the Panjabi stranglehold and offers Christina the choice - either Raul`s death, or a role of the bride. Christina as a result passionately kisses the Ghost and that releases both of them. When the crowd rushes into its den, finds only his mask there.

But though common features of a plot were clear, the one who could merge it with music, the one who will write the libretto was required. To find such person it appeared not so simply... But about it next time.