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Mead set to star in Radio 2’s Phantom concert performance

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Exclusive: Lee Mead is set to play Raoul in an exclusive concert performance of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera at the Royal Albert Hall.

The show is to be broadcast by BBC Radio 2 and is one of several events being staged by the Corporation over the year to mark Lloyd Webber’s 60th birthday on March 22.

Securing the rights for Phantom to be performed in a concert format is a worldwide first for BBC Radio 2, because the composer has not previously allowed the show to be performed outside its official theatre productions.

Mead was an understudy for Raoul in the West End production of The Phantom of the Opera before he won the BBC show Any Dream Will Do. While casting for the Albert Hall show has yet to be confirmed, a source close to the actor said a part in the concert was “on the cards”.

If he takes the role, Mead is likely to appear alongside American pop star Josh Groban, who is understood to be lined up to play the title role of the Phantom in the concert.

The singer is also set to appear in a concert version of the musical Chess, being held in May – also at the Royal Albert Hall.

BBC Radio 2 is believed to be in discussions with Lesley Garrett about taking on the role of the diva Carlotta, originally played by Rosemary Ash.

Earlier this year, Garrett told The Stage she would like to perform in another musical following her appearance as the Mother Abbess in The Sound of Music. The actress who will play the role of Christine, made famous by Sarah Brightman, has yet to be revealed.

BBC Radio 2’s concert will take place in June and is being produced by Anthony Cherry, who put together the station’s special Lloyd Webber Friday Night is Music Night show last year.

A spokeswoman for The Really Useful Group said: “The concert is looking promising, but contractual arrangements have not yet been made.”

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