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Live from Abu Dhabi Connect the World takes you on a journey across continents, investigating the stories that are changing our world.

Tuesday's Connector – Andrew Lloyd Webber

March 8th, 2010
11:45 AM ET

No name is more associated with modern musical than that of Andrew Lloyd Webber. The legendary English composer started out young, writing music at the age of six and publishing his first piece at the age of nine.

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/03/08/art.uk.andrew.lloyd.webber.getty.jpg
caption="What do you want to ask Andrew Lloyd Webber?"] Since then he  has composed 13 musicals, including such runaway international successes such as "Evita," "Phantom of the Opera," "Jesus Christ Superstar," and "Cats."

His most successful ballads including "Don’t Cry for Me Argentina" and "Memories" have become enormous successes in their own right, selling millions of copies around the world. His international prize haul includes Tony awards, a Golden Globe and an Oscar.

Now the much-anticipated continuation of  "Phantom of the Opera" is set to open in London’s West End. The production, entitled "Love Never Dies," has already gotten much buzz around the world with some of Asia's leading vocalists including Sumi Jo from Korea, China’s Zhang Liping and Ayaka Hirahara from Japan covering versions of the title musical's title track.

The story is set a decade after the end of "Phantom" and sees female protagonist Christine  anonymously invited to perform at Phantasma, a new attraction in Coney Island, unaware just who has arranged her appearance…

Want to find out what happens next? Now is your chance to quiz Andrew Lloyd Webber. From where does he get his ideas? What is his favorite musical? What inspired this latest work?

Post your questions and we'll put them to Andrew. And please let us know from where you are writing.

soundoff (31 Responses)
  1. Jurgen R. Brul

    Hello Andrew Lloyd Webber and CNN friends,

    I would like an answer from Andrew Lloyd Webber to the following questions:
    – How does the World Economic Crisis effect your latest musicale?
    – How is your latest musicale inspiring people all over the world to make our world a Better Healthier and Beautiful Place?

    I am awaiting Andrew Lloyd Webber’s replies.

    Jurgen R. Brul
    Hometown: Paramaribo
    Country: Suriname

    March 8, 2010 at 12:05 pm | Reply
  2. Monira

    Hello Andrew Lloyd Webber!!

    I'm writing from Kuwait, and I would like to know if there are any plans to bring any of your musicals to the Middle East, as there are many fans of yours here, and Dubai now has become the new Las Vegas of the Middle East!

    March 8, 2010 at 2:04 pm | Reply
  3. Julie

    how cool to see you! i have been such a fan for so long. Can you tell me about how you decide on the story lines of your musicals? You've done everything from historical (evita) Bibilcal (Joseph) to fanastical (Cats and Phantom.)
    Is there any genre that speaks to you the most?

    March 8, 2010 at 4:41 pm | Reply
  4. Patrick Agom Ngaji

    Am a Nigerian,Entertainment is my major Bizness,my dream is to come up with works dat d world would reckon with. I fell in love with d Movie Evita...Its a Master piece i must say. What does it take to produce great works like Evita?

    March 8, 2010 at 4:44 pm | Reply
  5. Laura

    Hello Andrew Lloyd Webber. Could you please tell us about your piano and if you used it during the creation of "Love Never Dies?"

    March 8, 2010 at 5:10 pm | Reply
  6. Christopher akwawa

    Am from Nigeria. Lyod webber, what inspires you to do what you are doing as a profession and secondly have you had a devastating moment? And how did you cope.

    March 8, 2010 at 5:41 pm | Reply
  7. Olivia


    Phantom of the Opera was pure "genious". The musical scores evokes emotions beyond this realm. Are you sure you want to mess with a masterpiece?


    March 8, 2010 at 5:55 pm | Reply
  8. Nwosa Hamilton

    Hi Lloyd, am writing from Benin City, Nigeria. I just want to know: who, what, where your inspirations are born.

    March 8, 2010 at 6:57 pm | Reply
  9. Najira Agasa Nuhu

    Hi, Andrew Lloyd Webber. You works has really inspired so many in Africa especially in Nigeria, what plan do you have through your music to bring peace to a country like ours who are diverse culturally and religiously because music has shaped many countries who have suffered anomalities like ours. Hoping to hear positive response from. From Kaduna, Nigeria

    March 8, 2010 at 7:41 pm | Reply
  10. Richard jacob

    Did u sing eny inspirational songs.

    March 8, 2010 at 7:49 pm | Reply
  11. Mbaka emma

    Good day mr webber.from what i have read about you to night its obviouse that u and ur works are popular.but its disheartning that such great master pieces are not known here in my country.can u pls explain the cause of this problem and if possible how to solve it.thanks. chuks from nigeria

    March 8, 2010 at 8:15 pm | Reply
  12. Alex

    I will love 2 c some of it in Nigeria since it seems intrestin

    March 8, 2010 at 8:17 pm | Reply
  13. LizKauai

    Mahalo for the wonderful works you have already created
    Are you working on something new right now? Hope and upliftment needed!

    March 8, 2010 at 9:07 pm | Reply
  14. Sir-sina

    To wat limit can a man success b compaire wit.& hw sure 2 b in dis successful.

    March 8, 2010 at 9:49 pm | Reply
  15. Megan

    I don't have a question for Andrew, but a general comment for the show team, Becky and the world:
    What is Becky trying to do!? Watching Connect the World now and every other thing she says is all 'grrrrreen cars' and 'Sharon's book Rrrrevenge' – stop the rolling r's already, you're not Richard Quest!!!
    Sorry, just had to get that off my chest. It's too annoying for words.

    March 8, 2010 at 10:00 pm | Reply
  16. Keira

    I'm noticing a trend on musical theater where movies are being adapted into musicals (such as Legally Blonde, Addams Family, Shrek, etc). My question is, do you see this as a good trend for musical theater or is it lack of originality? Is this what people want to see or is it because there's a lack of young producers like Jonathan Larson was to "Rent"?

    Looking forward to the Phantom sequel coming to Broadway!!!!!

    March 8, 2010 at 10:03 pm | Reply
  17. Ben

    Hi Andrew!

    I have been a fan of yours for sometime now, and have seen many of your shows many times. I have a few questions I would like to ask:

    I am sure you are quite aware that musical sequels do not do very well, as history has proven by the likes of Annie 2 or Bring Back Birdie, they do not do very well, Why do you feel a sequel to Phantom was needed, afterall, the story ends perfectly? There is no need for us to know what happened after, you have left it up to the audience to decided what happen to Christine, Raoul, and the Phantom. Do you feel this new story will tarnish the story of the original Phantom? Further more, in recent pictures that were released of the show, i ask the one question that has been brought up so many times, Why does the Phantom look rather young? This story takes place ten years later and the Phantom looks younger than before

    Also will you be attending Phantom Fans Week in Las Vegas to meet the "mad" Phans?

    Thank you for your time.
    Ben from Mesa, Az

    March 8, 2010 at 10:45 pm | Reply
  18. j.p.coen

    I am writing from the Netherlands. My question is, if you would have been a writer, what kind of book we could have expected from you?

    March 9, 2010 at 12:19 am | Reply
  19. Howard

    Mr Lloyd Webber, can you tell me to what extent you were influenced by Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto in your song, "I don't know how to love him," by Ravel's Bolero in your song, "Memory," by Loesser's Rosemary in your song, "Jesus Christ Superstar," and by other similarly parallel works.

    March 9, 2010 at 12:36 am | Reply
  20. Michael

    Hey Andrew – have you at any point felt an "anxiety of influence" from the works of Leonard Bernstein or Stephen Sondheim?

    From Toronto, Canada.

    March 9, 2010 at 1:38 am | Reply
  21. John Dinwiddie

    Have you ever written any original music?

    March 9, 2010 at 2:39 am | Reply
  22. Charles R in Virginia, USA

    How did Deep Purple get involved in Jesus Christ Superstar? I loved Ian Gillan's vocals. How much was their contribution?

    Your collaboration with them allowed rock and roll to become theatrical, and influenced such diverse groups as Queen and the Who

    March 9, 2010 at 2:52 am | Reply
  23. Rich John

    1) What advice would you give to the team creating a new musical in these economic times?
    2) What is the single most important focus for a creative team when making a new show?
    3) When do you know you are woking on a winner?
    4) What would you say to people preferring film over live theatre?
    5) What factors positively impacted your career success the most?

    March 9, 2010 at 5:08 am | Reply
  24. Winton

    Mr. Webber – how might one actually get a foot in the door as a composer of a musical? If one does NOT have any connections – how are connects made? Thank you for your answer and especially, thank you for the music that has filled the hearts of many!

    March 9, 2010 at 5:51 am | Reply
  25. Johnontheweb


    When you wrote Requiem, was there anyone in your life at the time that you wrote it for? Can you share the story?

    Keep writing!

    March 9, 2010 at 5:53 am | Reply
  26. Karina spohia

    Am thrilled at your work Webber. Your inspiration is within you. KARINA

    March 9, 2010 at 8:36 am | Reply
  27. Josephobong

    I am ever happy to see this think on my phone i love you all

    March 9, 2010 at 9:47 am | Reply
  28. fehintola adeokun

    im a novice who never heard of u once but willing to be wit u, to gain d knwldge n inspiratn of yours.

    March 9, 2010 at 1:20 pm | Reply
  29. Love Should Die

    The Phantom of the Opera needed no sequel.

    March 9, 2010 at 9:20 pm | Reply
  30. Barbara Schmidbauer

    Mr or Sir Webber,
    I am so delighted you are working on the next life stage of Christine' Raoul and the Phantom. I disagree with the person who says "the story ends perfectly: It is a beautiful ending but there is so much more she " Christine, needs to learn from her teacher".

    I have seen Phantom many times and never tireof it. I play the DVD in my car and crank it up when a vehicle playing heavy rap has my windows shaking from his bass.I get some very strange looks and guestures. I chalk it up too ignorance, there is room for everyone's taste in music. I have listened to the music with my eyes closed to ease pain and lull me off too sleep. I am not ill just have a genetic disease problem and the music you produce, not just phantom, is pain relief to my ears, food for my soul, medicine for my heart. I encourage everyone to see any production of yours.
    The musical world needs you and your music. Thank you for keeping me calm during the difficult days and hopeful, inspired a soul at rest during the bad days...Music can calm the soul while at the same time stir the beast in all of us. When it is well written..Music can heal...
    A true admirer

    March 11, 2010 at 10:54 am | Reply
  31. Pavel Kryuchkov

    Helllo Andrew Lloyd Webber, I want to thank you for writting such a great music like the phantom of opera or cats. You have paid a visit to Russia during the eurovision song contest last year and my question is has the visit of the land of great composers inspired you and brought you new ideas for creating new musical masterpieces.
    Pavel, Moscow, Russia

    March 12, 2010 at 3:12 pm | Reply

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