Politics and the Reception of Andrew Lloyd Webber's the Phantom of the Opera

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


This article analyses the complicated and conflicted critical response to Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera within the political, economic and cultural context of the Thatcher/Reagan era. British critics writing for Conservative-leaning broadsheets and tabloids took nationalist pride in Lloyd Webber's commercial success, while others on both sides of the Atlantic claimed that Phantom was tasteless and crassly commercial, a musical manifestation of a new Gilded Age. Broader issues regarding the relationship between the government and 'elite' culture also affected the critical response. For some, Phantom forged a path for a new kind of populist opera that could survive and thrive without government subsidy, while less sympathetic critics heard Phantom's 'puerile' operatics as sophomoric jibes against an art form they esteemed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)271-287
Number of pages17
JournalCambridge Opera Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Oct 13 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts
  • Music


Dive into the research topics of 'Politics and the Reception of Andrew Lloyd Webber's the Phantom of the Opera'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this