For the first time in almost 22 years, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical masterpiece, The Phantom of the Opera is closing for four performances to install a new digital sound system. Due to the continuing success of the show, it has not been possible to make any changes to the production without causing major disruption to advance bookings. It was decided before the new booking period went on sale, to invest around £400,000 in the show by keeping four performances off sale and installing this state of the art new system.
Andrew Lloyd Webber said “The most recent productions of The Phantom of the Opera around the world from Vegas to China have the most fantastic sound systems and it is wonderful that the flagship London production will now have the newest and best of them all to get the best out of our huge cast and the largest orchestra in the West End.”
Cameron Mackintosh said, “Phantom had ground-breaking sound when it opened in 1986 and Andrew and I have wanted for some time to give our sound system a complete up-date so that our audiences could enjoy the most exciting theatrical sound in London.”
Designed by Mick Potter, the digital system will double the amount of microphones used in the show and the Phantom himself will now use 3 microphones. The new surround sound system will consist of over 10km of cable, 120 speakers placed throughout the auditorium and a digital sound desk that will make the largest orchestra in the West End and 40 strong cast sound more powerful than ever before. Technicians will begin to work around the clock as soon as the curtain falls on Saturday 3rd May so the installation is complete in time.
Mick Potter, who won the 2005 Olivier Award for Best Sound Design for the London production of The Woman in White, has been the Sound Designer on numerous musicals around the world. His West End and Broadway credits include Saturday Night Fever, Starlight Express, Tell me On A Sunday, Jesus Christ Superstar, Bombay Dreams, The Woman In White, Hair, Whistle Down The Wind, Evita, Cabaret, The Sound of Music and Phantom – The Las Vegas Spectacular.
Phantom, which celebrates its 9,000th performance on 31st May 2008, is still playing to packed houses. This unforgettable musical traces the tragic love story of a beautiful opera singer and a young composer shamed by his physical appearance into a shadowy existence beneath the majestic Paris Opera House. The combination of opulent sets and costumes, fabulous special effects and a spine tingling score makes The Phantom of the Opera a theatre experience not to be missed.
The Phantom of the Opera is directed by Harold Prince and is produced by Cameron Mackintosh and The Really Useful Group Limited. It has been seen in 124 cities in 25 countries and played to over 100 million people.
The Phantom of the Opera is currently showing in London, New York, Budapest, Las Vegas, Singapore and Osaka. A touring production is playing at venues throughout the US and in Australia. It has won over 50 major theatre awards, including seven Tony’s on Broadway and three Olivier Awards in the West End. It won the ‘Most Popular Musical Audience Award’, voted by the public, in the 2002 Laurence Olivier Awards.
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