Andrew Lloyd Webber‘s producing and licensing company, the Really Useful Group, has partnered with U.S.-based recorded music and publishing company Concord Bicycle Music to launch The Musical Company, a new firm that aims to provide musical-theater creators with services in professional and amateur licensing, music publishing and original cast recordings.
Sean Patrick Flahaven, formerly the senior vice president of theater and catalog development at Warner/Chappell Music, will be the Musical Company’s founding CEO. Lloyd Webber, Concord Bicycle and RUG will own the firm, which opens for business Oct. 3.
The new company has already secured a major asset, acting as the worldwide managing agent for the pro and amateur performance licensing of Lloyd Webber’s catalog. That’s a repertoire that’s among the most popular and profitable in the musical theater canon, with shows including “The Phantom of the Opera,” “Cats,” “Jesus Christ Superstar,” “Evita” and “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.” The composer currently has three shows running on Broadway: “Phantom,” “School of Rock” and the recently opened revival of “Cats.”
The licensing of Lloyd Webber’s catalog yields “millions of pounds per annum,” according to RUG managing director Max Alexander. “Our ambition is to take this repertoire and more actively license and sell it,” he said. “And once we’ve built the machine for doing that, we can create and manage other repertoires.”
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At the same time, Concord Bicycle Music has named TMC the manager of the publishing rights to the works of Marvin Hamlisch (“A Chorus Line,” “They’re Playing Our Song,” “The Goodbye Girl”).
Flahaven, whose extensive licensing and recording credits include the smash-hit cast album of “Hamilton,” aims to position the company as a one-stop shop for licensing, publishing and recordings. “It’s something that I’ve seen writers need,” he said. “As we ramp up, we’re going to be selectively but proactively looking to sign other musical theater writers.”
The Musical Company enters a licensing market that already includes Music Theater International, Tams Witmark and Theatrical Rights Worldwide, among others. Disney Theatrical Productions and the Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization also oversee robust licensing activities.
Flahaven and TMC will be based in New York, but the company will also have the ability to operate out of offices in London (via RUG) and L.A. (with Concord Bicycle).
Lisbeth R. Barron, the chair and CEO of Barron International Group, initiated and executed the partnership deal.