Marking the anticipated return of live music to London’s West End, Andrew Lloyd Webber has brought together an 81-piece orchestra to record his new album, Andrew Lloyd Webber: Symphonic Suites.
The project, out September 3, consists of compositions from three of his best-loved musicals. This recording is the first live performance to take place at the newly refurbished Theatre Royal Drury Lane, following Lloyd Webber’s LW Theatres’ 2-year, $72.2 million total restoration.
The Symphonic Suites album is a recording of three newly-orchestrated suites from Evita, Phantom of the Opera, and Sunset Boulevard, specially selected from Lloyd Webber’s repertoire of award-winning musicals.
Says Andrew Lloyd Webber: “For over a year now, we have lived without the joy of live music. To bring an 81-piece orchestra into the new Theatre Royal Drury Lane for this first performance on the biggest stage in London, feels like a momentous step forward. As we fight to bring performers back to work and theaters 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, theater and entertainment across the world. It is wonderful and very moving for me to see brilliant musicians back where they belong.”
The orchestra performing these suites, conducted by Simon Lee, brings together some of the world’s most skilled musicians, united after a year of separation. For some, this is the first chance to return to live recording after the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The recording was conducted in line with all the Government’s current Covid-19 protocols.
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 at Leicester Curve, will be re-released for audiences to view between 10th to 15th May. Evita has been running in the West End for 43 years.
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Symphonic Suites is out September 3 and is available for pre-order.