Lloyd Webber cuts one orchestra, records with another

Lloyd Webber cuts one orchestra, records with another


norman lebrecht

April 22, 2021

It became known last week that there would be just 14 players in The Phantom of the Opera pit when it reopens in the West End in June after the composer agreed to reduced orchestration.

Today, Andrew Lloyd Webber has has brought together 81 musicians to record symphonic suites from three of his musicals for Decca.

The recording is being made in the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, refurbished by Lloyd Webber’s LW Theatres at a cost of £60m.

One hand giveth what the other taketh away.




  • V.Lind says:

    Do we know that he is not offering employment, albeit in a one-off, to people he cannot budget for in an ongoing concern?

    Theatres will not be at capacity. It is difficult and sad that jobs are lost, but that is hardly unique to arts industries. Many businesses are having to scale back operations until life returns to normal. I am no fan of ALW — his political attitudes alone annoy me — but I do not think he is a villain in reducing the orchestration for one of his shows.

  • NYMike says:

    The contract for Phantom in NYC doesn’t allow for cutting the pit orchestra. When Phantom returns post-pandemic, the full orchestral complement will be in the pit. This is also true of the other B’way musical shows.

    • Couperin says:

      And what a shame.. Not even a global pandemic can kill Phantom for good.. there are layers of dust in that pit thicker than James Levine’s ‘fro!