The Phantom of the Opera is an icon - one glimpse of the famous mask logo and you immediately think of the show. Based on the classic vel Le Fantome de L'Opera by Gaston Leroux, The Phantom of the Opera is widely considered to be one of Andrew Lloyd Webber's most accomplished scores. Everything about the show is on a huge scale: the production costs, the set, the costumes, the make-up. In total the show has won more than 60 major theatre awards and the original cast recording is the biggest selling cast album of all time, with more than 40 million copies sold. It's been seen in 145 cities in 27 countries by more than 130 million people worldwide in over 65,000 performances. It is the longest-running show on Broadway. The box office revenues are higher than any film of stage play in history. Phantom is currently showing in London (where it celebrated its 10,000th performance in October 2010), New York, Las Vegas, Budapest, Kyoto/Tokyo, and Cape Town/ Johannesburg. 'Phantom' has just been made available by Andrew Lloyd-Webber for educational and amateur markets worldwide; and young performers can w tackle the work for the first time. A touring version of Phantom will start a major UK tour at Plymouth in February 2012. The 25th Anniversary Albert Hall Concerts in October 2011 were broadcast live to cinemas in UK and America and given a later cinema release in Canada and Australia. They were released on Blu-Ray and DVD in October 2011.
Michael Heatley has written over 100 books, ranging from rock and pop biographies to popular science, humour and sports titles. He has contributed to many rock music encyclopedias, including the Virgin Encyclopedia of Rock (1996), and music biographies, including Eminem (2001) and Deep Purple (2007). He has written for magazines including Music Week, Billboard and Record Collector. His most recent titles for Anova include: Music That Shook The World (2008), Stars and Guitars (2010) and The Girl in The Song (2010).