Andrew Lloyd Webber is to release a new album this summer recorded live at the newly refurbished Theatre Royal Drury Lane.
Andrew Lloyd Webber: Symphonic Suites will feature music from three of the composer’s biggest musicals, Evita, Phantom of the Opera and Sunset Boulevard.
The newly-orchestrated suites were recorded by an 81-piece orchestra in the first live performance to take place at the newly refurbished Theatre Royal Drury Lane, following a two-year, £60 million restoration by Lloyd Webber’s LW Theatres.
The album will be released on Decca Records in June 2021.
Andrew Lloyd Webber said: “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 theatres 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, theatre 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 a 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.
Peter Cobbin and Kirsty Whalley, recording engineers and co-founders of Such Sweet Thunder, said: “The sound captured at Theatre Royal Drury Lane is akin to a world-class recording venue. In our collective 70-year experience of recording in venues the world over, we have never heard such a majestic sound stage.
“The vast stage of Theatre Royal Drury Lane allowed us to socially distance an entire symphonic orchestra, something that is not possible in any recording studio anywhere in the world. Like the unique heritage and legacy that comes with the exceptional renovation of Theatre Royal Drury Lane, the recordings marry characterful vintage and time-honoured analog with the latest state-of-art pristine technologies.
“Theatre Royal Drury Lane has provided a unique opportunity to create one of our greatest recordings ever. The sonic clarity, depth, detail and warmth of the theatre sits beautifully in the breathtaking aesthetic, surely an inspiration for any musician and performer.”
Picture: © Alice Whitby