In 1968, Alain Boublilwas working as a music publisher, while also writing lyrics for pop songs. One day, he heard a song on his car radio by a young French singer called Patricia, which caught his attention.

Boublil and Schönberg

“There was something about the song that appealed to me,” he tells Limelight .

In what turned out to be a fateful moment, he called the radio station to find out who wrote it and was put in touch with Claude-Michel Schönberg. The two of them met and got on famously.

“The thing that was obvious was our common aspiration to tell a story through words and music,” says Boublil.

Schönberg concurs. “After talking and talking, I realised how much he was in love with musicals and I told him [about] my passion for operas, both of us being fed up [with] writing pop song after pop song.”

Schönberg had loved opera since he was a child and knew several by heart, including