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By David Lefkowitz

Lord Lloyd Webber confirms that he will soon start work on a sequel to The Phantom of the Opera...

In a short video message posted to his website, AndrewLloydWebber.com, Lord Lloyd Webber Lord Lloyd confirms that he will soon start work on a sequel to his spectacularly successful musical, The Phantom of the Opera.

Speaking from his New York apartment, Webber faces the camera and says, "...I will do the Phantom of the Opera sequel, and [I've] met with a couple of people today who persuaded me to do it (who I will not reveal), but it's a very exciting day for me... More of the Phantom sequel anon... and I can reveal that it will be set in New York."

The statement reverses a Playbill.com interview LW gave in January 2006, where, though confirming that before starting on The Beautiful Game, he wrote a song ("The Heart is Slow to Learn") for a potential sequel, he said the unlikely project "didn't really feel [like] it was going anywhere." Lloyd Webber had also collaborated with Frederick Forsyth on the 1999 novel, "The Phantom of Manhattan," and he recently tinkered with the original Phantom musical to abridge it and glam it up for its current Vegas incarnation.

In a March 1 video blog, Lloyd Webber had already said he was more than 99 percent sure of doing a Phantom sequel and seemed to put on the back burner what was assumed to be his next project: a musical adaptation of Mikhail Bulgakov's "The Master and Margarita." (He confesses that the Russian story may work better as a play with music rather than as a full-fledged musical.) LW also says the Phantom sequel would take its basic story from the Forsyth book but would also require many plot changes to be stageworthy.

With nearly 8,000 performances to date, the original Phantom, co-written with Richard Stilgoe and Charles Hart, remains the longest-running show in Broadway history. A 1988 Best Musical Tony winner, Phantom plays at the Majestic Theater.