A Reflection on Andrew Lloyd Webber
By: Evan Emerson
June, 20 2012
I am hooked on Broadway, for life! Touched by The Phantom of the Opera (1986), the first time I saw it was age 14. Andrew Lloyd Webber has won seven Tony Awards, four Grammy Awards, a Golden Globe Award, and an Academy Award; just to name a few 1. Andrew Lloyd Webber does not need our recognition – his legacy has already impacted millions worldwide! Webber is an accomplished composer. His success is exemplified by his passion for musical theater, smash hit The Phantom of the Opera (1986), and his continued support for the arts through the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation. I am inspired by Webber’s moving musical ...view middle of the document...
For a musical to be truly successful, I believe that every emotion must be experienced by the audience at some point in the play. This work of art takes us from love to loss, from jealousy to hate, from victory to wonder, and then all the way back to love. Solely based on how much I fell in love with ‘Phantom”, I have developed a love of all musical theater. I travelled to New York City for a Broadway tour consisting of five shows in just three days. And since my initial introduction, I have seen nine other Broadway musicals! Next on my list is the “Phantom” sequel Love Never Dies (2012) written by Webber, Elton, Slater, and Forsyth4.
While Phantom is notably Webber’s most famous musical, it was not his first foray into the theater world. After dropping out of Oxford University where he was a Queens Scholar in history, young Webber tried his hand at penning pop songs and musicals. Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (1968) marked his first success. He proved that his first success was not a fluke or beginners luck when he followed it up, a mere three years later in 1971, with his rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar. This musical was Webbers ticket to fame and his calling card into the musical theater elite.
Andrew Lloyd Webber found inspiration from many different venues. An idea for a musical might spring from poems he read, such as Cats which was based on poems by TS Elliot and an Old Possums Book on Practical Cats, while the next is based on real people and happenings in the world like Evita, or by a classic piece of literature like Phantom of the Opera based on the book by Gaston Leroux.. This diversity is probably one of the reasons that Webber is such a success and has as large of a fan base as he does. Die hard fans that have seen all of his works, never have to worry that one musical will resemble or parallel another. He is so committed to putting everything he has into every endeavor he undertakes and his audience can see that. This dedication is why he is responsible for two of the longest running musicals.
One of the highest honors in British Society is to be knighted by your Queen. Webber rose to become part of these esteemed ranks when he was knighted Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber in 1992 soon followed in 1997 by being named an honorary life peer as Baron Lloyd-Webber, of Syndmonton in the...