Andrew Lloyd Webber has confirmed casting for Phantom: Love Never Dies, his upcoming sequel to The Phantom of the Opera - and a Canadian has nabbed the title role. Baritone Ramin Karimloo, born in Iran and raised in Toronto, will star as the Phantom, a role he has played in the long-running original on London's West End. Soprano Sierra Boggess is set to play Christine, a role she has played in the original in Las Vegas. A concept album based on Love Never Dies featuring Boggess and Karimloo, who was born in Iran and raised in Toronto, will be released before the musical premieres in London near year. Lloyd Webber's previously reported plan to open the much-anticipated musical in three cities at once, including Toronto, seems to have been abandoned.
"I personally feel that what will now happen is that Sierra and Ramin will open in London early next year and then go to New York in the autumn of 2010," Lloyd Webber told the U.K.'s Daily Mail. Love Never Dies is set on Coney Island 10 years after the action of Phantom of the Opera. It is set to be directed and choreographed by Jack O'Brien and Jerry Mitchell, the creative team behind Hairspray.