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World-famous Musical Coming to Shanghai

"The Phantom of the Opera", the world-famous British musical composer Andrew Webber's award winning musical, is on it's way to east China's Shanghai Municipality.

Said to be one of the four most prestigious musical dramas in the world, "the Phantom of the Opera" has attracted more than 58 million people around the world and has won seven Tony Awards since its debut in London in 1986.

The Shanghai musical season will kick off December 18th and end with the spring festival, making it the ever longest performance season for a musical staged in China. Tickets of all the 97 performances in Shanghai are going on sale this week.

The musical has been made possible by an investment of 50 million yuan (US$6 million), made by Shanghai Media and Entertainment Group (SMG), Shanghai Grand Theater and the Really Useful Group from England.

"The drama probably will become the most expensive overseas performance ever staged in China, said Qian Shijin, manager of the Shanghai Grand Theater, on Friday.

According to Qian, the musical drama will draw at least an audience of 100,000 in Shanghai, making another record in China's overseas performance market.

Since the debut of "Les Miserables" in Shanghai in 2001, musicals have only grown in popularity. Performances of "Cats" and "The Sound of Music" both witnessed exceedingly high box-office rates.

"Musicals, including those from overseas, are well-accepted by audience in Shanghai," acknowledged Qian.

"The Phantom of the Opera" is a love story telling about a hideously disfigured musician who lives beneath the Paris Opera House and finally falls in love with a young singer.

Two most famous songs in the drama are "the Phantom of the Opera" and "Music of the Night".

(Xinhua News Agency July 24, 2004)

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