Today: April 11, 2024

Roy Budd’s Phantom

In October last year, after a 24 year wait, Roy Budd‘s previously unheard score for the silent classic, The Phantom Of The Opera premiered in the spectacular surrounds of the London Coliseum. The premier, brought Budd’s career full-circle, with his debut performance taking place in the same venue in 1953 when he was six years of age.

A self-taught pianist and child prodigy, Budd went on to perform with stars such as Aretha Franklin, Bob Hope, and Antonio Carlos Jobin as well as scoring 40 feature films, including the iconic Get Carter. In 1989 Budd acquired an original 35mm film print to the 1925 silent film Phantom Of The Opera from a collector. He restored the film to its full glory using an experimental two-colour process and tints from the film’s original release. Budd completed a full-orchestral score for the film using an 84-piece orchestra and recorded this with the Luxembourg Symphony Orchestra. In 1993, with five weeks before a London premiere and European tour, Budd suffered a brain haemorrhage and passed away at just 46 years-of-age.

Performed by the Docklands Sinfonia, the premier finally saw Budd’s cherished vision turned into a reality. Produced by Budd’s widow Sylvia, and Nick Hocart of Chizu Media, the show received critical acclaim and plans are already being made for further performances.

FilmJuice is thrilled to share this brief film as  taster of Budd’s spectacular achievement …


Acclaim for Budd’s Phantom Premiere: 

To call this screening a triumph is an understatementRich Cline, chair of the London Critics’ Circle Film Awards

“It’s quite extraordinary how Budd contrived his score to sound like a major orchestral piece with all its variations and yet match the movie beat for beatPlayed with perfect timing and huge energy by the Docklands Sinfonia” John Farndon, Composer

“The 1925 interpretation of Gaston Leroux’s novel isn’t the go-to classic film fans reach to, yet, having been overshadowed by Andrew Lloyd Webber’s more widely known musical, a revival might be appropriate – especially coupled with Roy Budd’s phenomenal score” Culture Fly

With this work Roy made the transition from film music composer and jazz pianist to Movie Maestro extraordinaire, producing a score that outshines anything that has been written for a silent movie Movie Music International 

The spirit of the late composer Roy Budd was present in the London Coliseum on Sunday night as the premiere originally set for September 1993 finally took place to a full house and a standing ovationMature Times

Equally, grace, suspense and humour where appropriate find their way into the music”… “it is a well-deserved TLT green lightTraffic Light Theatre Goer

Paula Hammond - Features Editor

Paula Hammond is a full-time, freelance journalist. She regularly writes for more magazines than is healthy and has over 25 books to her credit. When not frantically scribbling, she can be found indulging her passions for film, theatre, cult TV, sci-fi and real ale. If you should spot her in the pub, after five rounds rapid, she’ll be the one in the corner mumbling Ghostbusters quotes and waiting for the transporter to lock on to her signal… Email:

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