Andrew Lloyd Webber Offers Something to 'Lift the Spirits'

Win contest and you could sing for 13 seconds after 'Phantom' performance on Broadway or in London
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 25, 2020 5:30 AM CDT
You Have 13 Seconds to Win This Andrew Lloyd Webber Contest
This Dec. 16, 2019, file photo shows composer Andrew Lloyd Webber attending the world premiere of "Cats" in New York.   (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, FIle)

Andrew Lloyd Webber has launched a virtual competition that could lead to one fan singing on Broadway or the West End when musicals resume playing. The composer has invited singers to make up their own tiny vocal showcase at the end of the song "Think of Me" from The Phantom of the Opera. There's a 13-second pocket, called a cadenza, where freestyle vocal gymnastics are encouraged. The winning contestant will be introduced onstage by Lloyd Webber at either the home of The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway or London—whichever opens first—and sing after the performance. "I just thought, 'Wouldn't it be fun to find a cadenza that we could do when finally we reopen in 2047?'" he joked with the AP. "Everybody is needing something to lift the spirits at the moment."

Lloyd Webber has tapped talk show host Graham Norton and singer Sierra Boggess, who played Christine in a number of Phantom productions, to help him judge the entries, which have come in over Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. The "Cadenza Challenge" competition, with no end date yet on submissions, is just one way Lloyd Webber has been interacting with fans and encouraging donations to those battling COVID-19. He's been holding virtual listening parties, revealing details of his thoughts on some of his shows, and streaming free recordings of his shows every Friday on YouTube. "I think it's the least one could do," he says. "Musical theater has been incredibly good to me. And I always feel that one has to give something back."

(More Andrew Lloyd Webber stories.)

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