On Sunday 31st January, the last South Bank Show Awards included the first live performance of the Love Never Dies title song as Sierra Boggess (Christine) performed ‘Love Never Dies’ accompanied by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Louise Hunt on two grand pianos.

View the full performance here – with thanks to ITV.

Andrew writes about the song in the CD booklet:

“When at last I had a story, I made a decision. It would be daft not to occasionally have a flavour of the original show. But only very occasionally. I decided that none of the main melodies of The Phantom of the Opera would appear in Love Never Dies. After all the story is set roughly ten years on and, with one short exception, I have stuck firmly to my rule.

However there is one of the new melodies whose history I should explain before someone else does. It is ‘Love Never Dies’ itself. This was the only tune I wrote at the time when I first thought of continuing the Phantom and Christine’s story.

It was recorded by Kiri Te Kanawa under the title ‘The Heart is Slow to Learn’. Even though I had given up on the new Phantom, some second sense told me not to release the Kiri Te Kanawa recording, although it did subsequently appear on a limited edition compilation.

But with the Phantom sequel definitely abandoned in my mind, I used the chorus of the melody in The Beautiful Game, the musical I wrote with Ben Elton. Frankly I felt it stuck out like a sore thumb from the rest of the score, and it was eventually cut and replaced by ‘The Boys in the Photograph’, now the title of the show when it is revived. However the dramatic situation in the story of Love Never Dies is exactly the same as the one that I had originally composed the melody for and I was always proud of the moment. Once I had the new plot, I restored it to what I hope is its rightful home.”

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