When & Where
The Mid-Columbia Ballet
Contrary to his usual creative methods and to satisfy a personal curiosity, Andrew Lloyd Webber composed the music for CATS to existing poetry. He chose Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats by T.S. Eliot because it was a book he remembered with affection from his childhood. Webber found the verses to be extraordinarily musical, with “irregular and exciting metre” that challenged him as a composer. Some of the settings of CATS were performed in the summer of 1980 at the Sydmonton Festival. T.S. Eliot’s widow, Valerie Eliot, came to the concert and brought with her various unpublished poems by her husband, including “Grizabella the Glamour Cat”.