"When people ask me if musical theatre should be taught in music colleges, I reply that there is no need. All anyone needs to study is the second act of La Boheme because it is the most tightly constructed piece of musical theatre that there is. It is practically director-proof: you can't stage it badly because it just works too well. If you can write La Boheme, you can write anything. I would also recommend studying Britten's Peter Grimes."
And on Prokofiev ... "My father gave me a choice of two records: Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker, which he was hoping I would go for, or Love For Three Oranges, which was rather more dissonant and not my father's favourite music at all. But my brother and I fell in love with it, and it led me to Prokofiev's Seventh Piano Sonata, the third movement, in 7/8 time, which is one of the greatest rock'n'roll pieces - it's got a pulse going though it and it's absolutely wonderful. Every single musical I have ever written has a piece in 7/8 time and that clearly has something to do with Prokofiev." From an interview with Andrew Lloyd Webber in today's Observer .
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