Phantom 2: Love Never Dies to premiere in Mar 2010 in both London and Broadway

Variety reports that Andrew Lloyd Webber's sequel to Phantom of the Opera, which is to be called Love Never Dies is to premiere on Broadway and in London's West End in Mar 2010.

The composer made the anouncement when speaking at a Eurovision Song Contest press conference on 16 May 2009. Webber co-wrote the Uk's song entry for the competition.

Earlier reports that Phantom 2: Love Never Dies would premiere in London's West End in Nov 2009 proved wrong, with delays to the production attributed to Webber deciding to re-work the musical's score.

Director Jack O'Brien, who helmed a 2008 concert reading of the musical's first act at Webber's annual show business bash "Sydmonton Festival" - held at his Uk home for invited guests only, will direct the new musical.

A report last year in The New York Post report said the musical will be "Set in 1906 in Coney Island. The Phantom, having fled Paris, is running a freak show. At night, he crawls into his lair and makes love to an automaton that looks like Christine.

Christine, meanwhile, has become a famous opera singer. But she's fallen on hard times because her husband, Raoul, has squandered their fortune. So she's accepted a high-paying gig from a mysterious impresario to open a new amusement park. On her first night in New York, she draws back the curtain in her hotel suite and comes face to face with her new employer - flash of lightning, crash of chords - the Phantom!

Christine has a child, Gustave, but is his father Raoul or the Phantom?

Love Never Dies has book by Ben Elton, with lyrics by Glenn Slater - lyricist for the Disney musical The Little Mermaid, and design by Bob Crowley.

Work on a sequel began almost a decade ago when the author Frederick Forsyth was asked to write a sequel to the story in the original 'Phantom of the Opera.' In 1998, at a concert held at London's Royal Albert Hall to celebrate his 50th birthday, Lloyd Webber revealed the song "The Heart Is Slow to Learn," performed by opera diva Kiri Te Kanawa, written for the sequel.

The composer dropped the idea of a 'Phantom of the Opera' sequal in 1999 to work on his musical 'The Beautiful Game'. Author Frederick Forsythe then published, in 1999, the story he had written for the musical as a novel named 'The Phantom of Manhattan.'

Rumours have been circulating for the last year about the show, but there has still been no official confirmation.