, Research Paper
Musical theatre is a very difficult profession in which to make a living. Most composers of musicals only create one good musical and are unable to create any more. Not Andrew Lloyd Webber! He is not like any of those composers. Andrew Lloyd Webber is a successful composer due to his variety of appeal to diverse audiences. Andrew Lloyd Webber is an English composer who used rock-based compositions to revitalize British and American musical theatre in the late 20th century. Lloyd Webber has had many great hits during his career. He has won numerous awards for his works. Due to his talent, Andrew Lloyd Webber has been asked by many professional soloists and groups to compose music for them. These qualities of Andrew Lloyd Webber prove that he is a truly successful composer.
Andrew Lloyd Webber has composed a lot of fantastic musicals. Critics have even appreciated Andrew Lloyd Webber, which isn’t a very common thing to happen. David Lister remarks that Lloyd Webber received this compliment due to his composition, The Beautiful Game. It is not the only show Lloyd Webber has that has been popular. Andrew Lloyd Webber composed Cats, A Chorus Line, Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and The Phantom of the Opera. Cats has by far been his most loved musical because of its long running of high audience attendance. According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, Cats is the longest running musical in American Theatre history on Broadway. Andrew Lloyd Webber surpassed his own A Chorus Line with Cats, which put on more than 6,000 shows on Broadway. Cats is also the only show to break 7,000 shows on London’s West End with 7,301.
Andrew Lloyd Webber has also shown that he is a successful composer by the abundance of trophies in his trophy room. His latest work, The Beautiful Game, received the title “Best Musical” by the Critics’ Circle claims Lister. “It was great to get that,” says Lloyd Webber, “there were about 30 shows that opened around the same time that The Beautiful Game opened”. In 1997, Lloyd Webber won a Golden Globe and an Academy Award for “Best Original Song”, “You Must Love Me”, from Evita. He has also won a total of six Grammy’s, five Laurence Oliver awards, four Tony’s, four Drama Desk Awards, and since he is only the second composer ever to have three different shows running in two countries, he received the American Society of Composers, Authors, & Publishers’ Triple Play Award for Creative Achievement by Bnoi B’rith in New York. These numerous awards are one reason why Andrew Lloyd Webber is a great composer.
Lloyd Webber has been asked by countless famous professional artists and groups as well as organizations to compose songs for them. Menet’s Jellicle Haven states that over 150 artists have performed Lloyd Webber’s song, “Memory”, from Cats. Menet goes on to say that a few of those entertainers that performed “Memory” include Barbara Streisand, Johnny Mathis, and Judy Collins, to The Boston Pops and Liberace. Barry Manilow actually placed the song in the top 40 in the United States. A techno/dance version topped the European charts when Natalie Grant, a European singer, sang it last year. Evita was another big success of Lloyd Webber in which had many big names stared in. Madonna portrayed Evita Peron, and Antonio Banderas was cast as Che, the narrator. Antonio Banderas also performed as the Phantom during the Phantom of the Opera portion at Lloyd Webber’s 50th birthday gala at the Royal Albert Hall in London. Not only has Andrew Lloyd Webber composed music personally for artists and groups, but he also composed music for the 1998 Winter Olympics held in Japan. Lloyd Webber’s song, “When Children Rule the World”, was sung by Japanese Singer Ryoko Moriyama and 150 Nagano children during the opening ceremonies in front of 50,000 people including Emperor Akihito. With all of these professional artists asking Andrew Lloyd Webber to compose music for them or them performing his music shows that Lloyd Webber must be a good composer who’s music loved by many people.
Each one of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musicals is about different topics so they will appeal to all kinds of people. No two are alike. Most composers only make musicals that only appeal to one particular audience. Not like Lloyd Webber. He covers all of the bases from Christianity with Jesus Christ Superstar to Phantom of the Opera, which is about spirits and ghosts. On the other side you have Cats with back street, poor cats to Evita, which is about royalty who had whatever she wanted. So whatever Lloyd Webber composes, he’s going to affect someone and he will appeal to. Take a look at Evita. It’s about a political figure who had scandal, money problems, and she’s liked by most but hated by the important people. It’s just like today’s times with President Clinton. Scandals with Monica Lewinsky, money problems like Watergate, and many liked him but a lot of important people didn’t. This just shows why many loved Evita when it came out on movie because they deal with the same things that people are interested in and they can relate with. Mr. Showbiz.com states that the weekend it came out on the big-screen, it grossed $8.6 Million with a hefty $12,216 per-screen average. Jesus Christ Superstar is another of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s popular musicals that appeals to a greatly numbered crowd. In 1993 there were about 1 billion Christians in the world alone. Let’s say only ten percent of those people see the musical, that’s still 100 million people that enjoyed his musical. Money and numbers are just another reason to show that Andrew Lloyd Webber appeals to the many diverse audiences in the world today.
If Andrew Lloyd Webber wasn’t an excellent composer, people wouldn’t pay a lot of money to see his shows. Cats has had an estimated 50+ million people watch it. Millions have also seen it due to different touring groups. Retiree Bob Martin has seen Cats more than 625 times. Martin, after spending more than $23,000 on orchestra seats, claims he’s not obsessed. “Something about the show just clicked,” says Martin, who finds inspiration in the shows upbeat storyline. Lloyd Webber has also been performed for famous people as well. In 1992 Andrew Lloyd Webber was awarded a Knighthood for his services toward the arts of Britain by Queen Elizabeth.
It is safe to say that Andrew Lloyd Webber is a successful composer due to his wide variety of appeal to many diverse audiences. By using rock-based compositions and current themes, Andrew Lloyd Webber can appeal to just about any audience. He has won a great number of awards that most other composers have only dreamed of. Lloyd Webber has also had a good deal of professional artists perform his songs. These qualities in Andrew Lloyd Webber make him a composer who can make a living in this very difficult profession.