Andrew Lloyd Webber Launches Vocal Competition to Lift Spirits Amid Pandemic

Andrew Lloyd Webber has started a vocal competition to lift spirits amid the coronavirus outbreak, according to the Associated Press. “I just thought, ’Wouldn’t it be fun to find a cadenza that we could do when finally we reopen in 2047,’” he joked. “Everybody is needing something to lift the spirits at the moment.” A cadenza is a freestyle vocal passage; for the Broadway composer’s Cadenza Challenge Competition, singers should record a 13-second cadenza for the song “Think of Me” from the show The Phantom of the Opera. The winner will be introduced onstage on Broadway or London whenever theaters open, and sing after the performance. Talk show host Graham Norton and singer Sierra Boggess will help the famed impresario judge the entries coming in from social media.

Webber has also been encouraging donations to COVID-19 relief efforts. He’s been streaming free recordings every Friday on YouTube and held virtual listening parties as well. As of now, there’s no end date for cadenza submissions.