Maury Yeston is an American composer and lyricist whose works include the Broadway musicals “Nine” ( 1982 ) and “Titanic” ( 1997 ) both of which were acclaimed by the critics and won Tony Awards for best musical and best musical score. But today I would like to introduce you to a lesser known musical written and composed by him “Phantom”.
I love to perform the songs form the “Phantom” and recently during my recitals in Preston and Warrington I was able to perform “Home”. This is a beautiful song which was sung by the character of Christine Daae. I hope that you enjoy it …
After the success of “Nine” Yeston was asked by Geoffrey Holder to write a musical based on the novel by Gaston Leroux “The Phantom Of The Opera” as he had purchased the rights to the novel in the USA. Though Yeston was initially sceptical of how a horror story would transfer to stage as a musical he completed the task. He decided to make the character of the Phantom more like that of the Elephant Man or Quasimodo to enable the audience to connect and feel for the Phantom as the story developed.
Unfortunately for Yeston and the musical he had written Andrew Lloyd Webber also decided to produce a musical based on the book as the rights for using the book became public domain in England. The Lloyd Webber production was a hit in the UK and as he announced that he intended to take his show to Broadway the funding for the production of Yeston’s “Phantom” subsided.
The musical never made the Broadway stages but did eventually get produced in Houston Texas by the Theatre Under The Stars in 1991 with the title “Phantom”. The musical which is more like an operetta was seen in over 1000 productions worldwide and Maury Yeston always refers to his work as “the greatest hit never to be produced on Broadway”.
Yeston’s interpretation of the of the original book is captivating in its use of the music and lyrics to build your acceptance and eventual sympathy for the character of the Phantom.