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The Warsaw Voice » Culture » November 26, 2008
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Lloyd Webber Praises Polish Phantom
November 26, 2008   
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Andrew Lloyd Webber, the renowned British composer, arrived in Warsaw Nov. 15 to watch the Polish version of his famous musical Phantom of the Opera at the Roma musical theater.

During the intermission, Lloyd Webber appeared in theater director Wojciech Kępczyński's office to congratulate him on the quality of the show. He remarked that it was the best foreign production of the Phantom of the Opera that he had seen. He was impressed by the performances of the two lead actors, Paulina Janczak and Damian Aleksander. He was interested in the details of the production and admired the director's steady hand. The Phantom of the Opera is not the only Lloyd Webber musical to have graced the Roma stage. Cats played to a packed house for four years 2004-2007.

…And Now On CD

Nov. 15 saw the release of a CD album with songs from the Polish non-replica production of The Phantom of the Opera musical, staged at the Roma Music Theater in Warsaw. Since its premiere in March, the Polish version of the musical has been seen by over 160,000 people. The new album is an unusual combination of the original cast recording with spoken dialogue and highlights from The Phantom of the Opera. It contains 13 tracks, including the most popular ones: "The Phantom of the Opera," "The Music of the Night," "Prima Donna," "All I Ask of You," "Masquerade," Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again" and "The Point of Return." There is also a bonus track, "Il Muto," which has never been released in any other country. This a pastiche of the opera buffa genre performed on stage in the first act of the musical.

"This is the best foreign recording of The Phantom of today," said Tris Penna, managing director of The Really Useful Records, a company that produces cast albums of Andrew Lloyd Webber's musicals. "I really liked the freshness and youthfulness of Christine."

The recording features the leading actors in the Polish production, including Damian Aleksander, Paulina Janczak, Marcin Mroziński and Barbara Melzer. The singers are accompanied by the Roma Music Theater orchestra conducted by Maciej Pawłowski. The recording sessions, held at six different recording studios, took around 1,000 hours and involved a total of 45 musicians, 12 soloists, 30 choir singers and 10 sound engineers.

The Phantom of the Opera album is the latest cast recording of a musical staged at the Roma, following Cats, Dance of the Vampires, Crazy for You, and Mr. Kleks's Academy.

Marzena Robinson
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