Theatre impresario Cameron Mackintosh has reportedly told the Daily Telegraph newspaper in an interview that although he is "sorry"some musicians will loss their jobs when the West End production of 'Phantom of the Opera' returns in July, he also believes producers should not hold jobs for actors and musicians "ad infinitum".
It has been reported that that the show will use a reduced orchestration of 14 musicians when it resumes performances — an almost 50 percent reduction in the 27-member pit orchestra used prior its temporary closure due to Covid-19.
Just as thrilling
And whilst following the news a joint statement from Cameron Mackintosh Ltd and the Really Useful Group it was revealed that the new West End production of Phantom would be "using the acclaimed orchestration for 14 musicians that was created for the international productions of the show", and that "...the orchestrations are just as thrilling and rich as the original but would not have been possible with the technology available in 1986", the announcement was met with widespread criticism.
That appears to be set to continue after it was reported by Daily Telegraph Theatre Critic Dominic Cavendish that Cameron Mackintosh said that he had endured "â€¦a terrible year trying to keep on as many people as I can, but our job is to try to put a show on that can run and be brilliant."
Not the Civil Service
However, in defending the decision, he reportedly added: "Am I sorry? I'm sorry they're upset, but I do find it odd why musicians would want to keep doing the same thing year after year.
I believe we should not be holding jobs for actors or musicians ad infinitum. This is not the Civil Service, we're creating art."
When asked if he and Andrew Lloyd Weber were in danger of ruining what made Phantom of the Opera such as success in combining a "thrilling sound matching the palatial visual granduer", it was reported that he had "spent 50 years delivering the highest quality musicals this country has seen and I'm not about to stop now."
I believe we should not be holding jobs for actors or musicians ad infinitum. This is not the Civil Service, we're creating artCameron Mackintosh
Andrew Lloyd Weber meanwhile reportedly conceded that some for the music will now be played on a keyboard, although he added: "Today's technology enables excellent replication of sounds, especially woodwind and brass".
The show is estimated to have made over $6 billion since it was first launched in 1986 with the London production at the 1,200 seat Her Majesty's Theatre, the second longest running West End show.
It celebrated its 10,000th performance in 2010.