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Irish Independent
Irish Independent
By Kerri-Ann Roper, PA Entertainment Editor

Andrew Lloyd Webber and Antonio Banderas announce business venture

Antonio Banders and Andrew Lloyd Webber have announced a joint business venture (ALW/Really Useful Group)

Andrew Lloyd Webber and Antonio Banderas have teamed up for a joint business venture which will create Spanish language productions for global markets, it has been announced.

The venture, called Amigos Para Siempre (APS), will produce Spanish-language theatre, musical and live entertainment shows, and will also include producing some of Lord Lloyd-Webber’s best-loved works for major Spanish-speaking markets.

APS will licence, produce and develop works for Spanish-speaking markets across the globe, including those in America.

Antonio Banderas attending the Pain and Glory Premiere at Somerset House, London (Ian West/PA)

Lord Lloyd-Webber said: “Not only is Antonio Banderas entertainment royalty, he is also one of the most versatile, creative minds I have ever had the pleasure of working with.

“It is truly exciting to partner with Antonio to bring my work, as well as other brilliant Broadway and West End titles, to new markets.

“While millions of people in the Spanish-speaking world already love our shows and music, the appetite for more, and the level of musical and theatrical talent, is extraordinary.

“I can’t wait to work with Antonio to bring the very highest-quality Spanish language productions to the world.”

Andrew Lloyd Webber on stage during the Platinum Party at the Palace at Buckingham Palace (Joe Giddens/PA)

Rights to Spanish-language versions of musicals including The Phantom Of The Opera, Sunset Boulevard, Starlight Express, Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita, Cinderella, Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and School Of Rock will be available to APS through The Really Useful Group, the company owned by Lord Lloyd-Webber.

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Hollywood star Banderas, 61, starred in the 1996 film adaptation of the stage musical Evita, whose music was written by Lloyd Webber, alongside Tim Rice who wrote the lyrics.

He said: “I had the great privilege to work closely with Andrew during the recording and shooting of his celebrated musical Evita in 1996, but it was when I saw Jesus Christ Superstar back in the early 70s that I became attached to the music, the theatre and the fabulous talent of Andrew Lloyd Webber.

“It wouldn’t be wrong to say that I became an actor because of the enormous influence and the strong impression I experienced when I saw Andrew’s musicals.

“To have the opportunity to work with one of the most respected and admired composers of all times, offering his amazing works for Spanish speaking audiences, is one of the highlights of my career in show business.”

The song Amigos Para Siempre (Friends for Life) was written by Lord Lloyd-Webber and performed at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, where it was sung by his former wife Sarah Brightman and tenor Jose Carreras.

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