The Phantom of the Opera
58 pages • 1 hour read
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- Prologue-Chapter 4
- Chapters 5-8
- Chapters 9-12
- Chapters 13-17
- Chapters 18-21
- Chapter 22-Epilogue
- Character Analysis
- Symbols & Motifs
- Important Quotes
- Essay Topics
Summary and Study Guide
The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux is a Gothic mystery novel first published serially in 1910. The novel follows a “ghost” who haunts the Paris Opera and the mysterious incidents attributed to this figure. The characters and the narrator himself try to uncover the secret of this ghost, who is really a masked man infatuated opera singer, Christine Daaé . The novel has been adapted into several formats, most notably a 1925 silent film directed by Rupert Julien and a 1986 musical composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber. A 2004 film adaptation of this musical directed by Joel Schumacher was nominated for three Academy Awards and three Golden Globes. This guide follows Arcturus Publishing Limited’s paperback edition, published in 2021. This edition uses Alexander Teixera de Mattos’ translation.
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The Prologue opens with the narrative’s frame: The narrator says they will explain the mysterious incidents at the Opera House through the existence of the "Opera Ghost". His investigation proves that this phantom was really a man with an incredible talent for illusions. By tracing the ghost’s life and movements, the narrator says they can explain the disappearances, deaths, and accidents that occurred 30 years prior.
The story itself begins on the night of the Opera’s gala performance where Christine Daaé unexpectedly dazzles the audience . Many young dancers claim to see the Opera Ghost lurking about, and when they hear news of stagehand Joseph Buquet's sudden death, they fear the ghost has struck. The retiring managers Poligny and Debienne relay the ghost's demands and threats to the new managers Moncharmin and Richard, who think the Opera employees are playing an elaborate joke. The managers soon receive their own demands from the Opera Ghost.
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Viscount Raoul de Chagny , who has been in love with Christine since childhood, visits her after the miraculous performance, but she pretends to not remember him. Raoul overhears a man's voice congratulating Christine in her dressing room and thinks she is in love with someone else. Raoul follows Christine to Perros, the seaside town where they spent a year of their childhood together. Christine thinks she has been visited by the heavenly Angel of Music , and this mysterious figure plays violin for her in the graveyard, where Christine visits her father’s tomb. Raoul discovers the Angel is a man in a mask and worries Christine is being taken advantage of.
Back in Paris, the managers ignore the ghost's demands and even act in direct opposition to them. Soon, disaster strikes. The opera star, La Carlotta , croaks onstage during a show, the men hear the ghost's voice taunting them, the chandelier crashes into the audience, and Christine disappears. After many days, Raoul finally meets Christine at a masked ball where he confronts her about the Angel of Music. She refuses to explain and runs away to her dressing room. Raoul, in hiding, hears the Angel's voice calling to Christine, and as if by magic, Christine vanishes through her mirror.
Later, Christine and Raoul play at being engaged and she agrees to explain her strange behavior. The Angel of Music is a man named Erik who hides his face because of its extreme scarring. Erik taught Christine to sing again, and on the night of the opera’s chandelier accident, he took her to his underground house. Christine is afraid to run away but afraid to go back to the monster in the cellars. The night Raoul promises to take Christine away, she vanishes again in the middle of her performance. Meanwhile, the managers slowly go insane, as their attempts to uncover the truth of the ghost only prove his existence further.
The police dismiss Raoul's story about the ghost man, but the Persian—a retired police chief who knows Erik—believes and helps him. They go through the revolving mirror in Christine's dressing room and descend into the cellars of the Opera where they encounter frightening figures. They try to sneak into Erik's house, but accidentally drop into his torture chamber. In the adjacent room, Erik forces Christine to answer his marriage proposal by the following night. Erik illuminates the torture chamber and disorients Raoul and the Persian to madness. Five minutes before Christine’s deadline, Raoul and the Persian discover a cellar full of explosives. Erik intends to blow up the entire Opera if Christine rejects him.
Christine agrees to the marriage and pleads with Erik to spare Raoul and the Persian. Raoul and the Persian pass out from exhaustion in the torture chamber and the Persian awakens to find themselves in a sitting room with Christine and Erik. Erik mixes a draft for the Persian, who falls asleep again and finds himself back in his own room upon waking. Erik, dying of love, later visits the Persian to share that he freed Christine and Raoul after he finally experienced love's happiness. Erik dies shortly after. The narrator share's Erik's tragic history of rejection in the Epilogue, asking the audience to pity and forgive the unfortunate man.
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The Phantom of the Opera
Gaston leroux, everything you need for every book you read..
Welcome to the LitCharts study guide on Gaston Leroux's The Phantom of the Opera . Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides.
The Phantom of the Opera: Introduction
The phantom of the opera: plot summary, the phantom of the opera: detailed summary & analysis, the phantom of the opera: themes, the phantom of the opera: quotes, the phantom of the opera: characters, the phantom of the opera: symbols, the phantom of the opera: literary devices, the phantom of the opera: theme wheel, brief biography of gaston leroux.
Historical Context of The Phantom of the Opera
Other books related to the phantom of the opera.
- Full Title: The Phantom of the Opera
- When Written: 1909-1910
- Where Written: Paris, France
- When Published: Serially from September 1909 to January 1910. Published as a novel in March 1910.
- Literary Period: Realism
- Genre: Novel
- Setting: The Paris Opera House, the Palais Garnier
- Climax: Christine agrees to marry Erik so that he will not blow up the Opera House.
- Antagonist: Erik
- Point of View: First person
'The Phantom Of The Opera' Is Based On A Book From 1910, But It's As Relevant As Ever
Yes, The Phantom of the Opera . The one with the singing and the mask and the sick electric guitar sting. That Phantom, the little French story from the early 20th Century that most people know through its countless, way more popular adaptations. But before Andrew Lloyd Webber was trapping tourists on Broadway, before Lon Chaney was hamming it up on the silent screen, before the internet was flooded with Erik/Raoul fanfiction, an author named Gaston Leroux sat down to write a mystery novel about a shattered chandelier.
Leroux was inspired by the rumors that swirled around the old Paris Opera: there were tales of an enormous lake hidden under the building's foundation (it was really a covered water tank), of a ballet dancer's skeleton being used as set dressing, and of a hidden stash of phonographic recordings deep in the cellar. There was also the true story of the time that the grand chandelier's counterweight fell through the ceiling, killing a construction worker. So Leroux cooked up an Opera Ghost responsible for all this weirdness, and turned it into a serialized novel, Le Fantôme de l'Opéra. And, to be honest, it's a pretty schlocky Gothic romance.
I mean, don't get me wrong, The Phantom of the Opera is a ton of fun, especially if you love dark and brooding monster boyfriends (which I do). It's still one of my shameful, secret favorite books. It's also a toxic mess of gender and race stereotypes and unhealthy romantic tropes, as so many "classic" love stories are. And if you're looking for cheesy synth music, or a true masterpiece of horror, or groundbreaking storytelling, then you should look to one of the many, many Phantom adaptions.
But if you're looking for an odd little book that surprisingly defies its own time and place in its discussion of male violence and entitlement, then maybe give Leroux a chance.
The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston LeRoux, $17, Amazon
You probably know the basics of the story already. A sweet young ingénue, Christine Daaé, is called upon to sing when the Opera's leading soprano falls ill. She's a tremendous success, and her old childhood playmate, Raoul, realizes that he now has the hots for her. But Christine is being all weird and vague about her new music teacher, who she claims is the Angel of Music. Plus, some mysterious Phantom is threatening the Opera's managers, demanding money and a promotion for Christine. He's murdered one stagehand already.
Naturally, Christine's Angel is revealed to be none other than the Phantom himself, a musical genius named Erik, who lives deep in the bowels of the opera house. Leroux's Phantom wears a full face mask to hide his face, which Christine describes as looking like a skull or a "death's head" (his costume was changed to a half-mask for the musical so that the actor could actually use his mouth for singing). Erik is also obsessed with rope tricks, weird mirrors, and ventriloquism, since I guess turning his back on human society has left him with a lot of time on his hands.
The managers refuse to pay up, so Erik drops that famous chandelier, killing a member of the audience. Erik also kidnaps Christine to his underground lair, where she hangs for a bit before she yanks off his mask. Erik immediately freaks out and demands to keep Christine forever as his bride now that she's seen him unmasked. He wants her love to make up for all the hatred he's endured. "If I am the phantom, it is because man's hatred has made me so," he says. "If I am to be saved it is because your love redeems me."
Erik agrees to give her two weeks to get her life together before she moves into his creepy basement apartment, so long as Christine promises to come back and marry him and deliver him from his sad, lonely life. He says:
'Now I want to live like everybody else. I want to have a wife like everybody else and to take her out on Sundays. I have invented a mask that makes me look like anybody. People will not even turn round in the streets. You will be the happiest of women. And we will sing, all by ourselves, till we swoon away with delight. You are crying! You are afraid of me! And yet I am not really wicked. Love me and you shall see! All I wanted was to be loved for myself. If you loved me I should be as gentle as a lamb; and you could do anything with me that you pleased.'
While above ground, Christine finally tells Raoul what's been going on with her. She and Raoul decide to run away together, since Raoul is handsome, rich, and not a murderer.
But of course she wants to sing one last song at the opera, Erik kidnaps her again, and it's up to pretty-boy Raoul to rescue her with the help of a mysterious Persian man who seems to be Erik's one friend (he's cut from most adaptations, leaving Erik with exactly no friends). They get caught in one of Erik's secret escape-the-room games, though, and Erik reveals that he has rigged the opera with explosives, and if Christine doesn't marry him he will blow the whole place to hell.
Christine accepts his terms rather than let everyone die. But then... Erik starts ugly crying. And then Christine starts ugly crying. And then Erik finally realizes that if he actually loves this woman, he should stop freaking kidnapping her and threatening her and let her make her own choices. So he lets her go. He tells her that she is free to marry Raoul if she wants to, because he doesn't want to keep making her cry:
"I know you love the boy... don't cry any more!'
Then I made her understand that, where she was concerned, I was only a poor dog, ready to die for her... but that she could marry the young man when she pleased."
Christine kisses him on his forehead in gratitude. And Erik finally understands that the only way to win people's love is to be kind and not kidnap them and respect their decisions.
There is an element of that old beauty-and-the-beast, toxic man redeemed by pretty lady trope, to be sure. And that's... not great. But Erik does not "get the girl" in the end. No amount of love makes up for the fact that he's kidnapped her and threatened mass violence. It's only once he sees how miserable he's made Christine that he puts aside his self-pity for empathy. His actions are not actually excused by the fact that he's a sad lonely man who lives underground. Leroux and Christine are both sympathetic to Erik's plight; it's clear that he deserved better than a lifetime of abuse and fear. But, he's still not entitled to a girlfriend.
His face doesn't make him a monster. His actions do.
Phantom is old and dramatic and more than a little silly. It's a fun read for the Gothic heroine in us all. But it's also a vital read for all the basement-dwelling men out there who feel blind rage towards the girls who "won't date them." After all, if Erik had approached Christine in a normal way, instead of kidnapping her and then screaming at her about how he's too ugly to be loved, she might have actually liked him. Her real problem is not that he's nose-less, it's that he thinks blowing up an opera house is a reasonable response to getting turned down by his crush. It is definitively not.
And in the end, even Erik knows that.
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The Phantom of the Opera: Based on the novel by Gaston Leroux Hardcover – Picture Book, March 8, 2016
- Hardcover $19.95 5 Used from $9.98 3 New from $15.76
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- Reading age 5 - 7 years
- Print length 40 pages
- Language English
- Grade level Kindergarten - 2
- Dimensions 8.63 x 0.38 x 11.25 inches
- Publisher EDLM
- Publication date March 8, 2016
- ISBN-10 9781419720864
- ISBN-13 978-1419720864
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- ASIN : 1419720864
- Publisher : EDLM; Rei/Com edition (March 8, 2016)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 40 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9781419720864
- ISBN-13 : 978-1419720864
- Reading age : 5 - 7 years
- Grade level : Kindergarten - 2
- Item Weight : 1.23 pounds
- Dimensions : 8.63 x 0.38 x 11.25 inches
- #1,434 in Children's Europe Books
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- #12,600 in Children's Mystery, Detective, & Spy
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Discover the real history behind 'The Phantom of the Opera'
Learn about the myths and legends that inspired the classic musical.
The Phantom of the Opera is there, inside your... history book? He could be, or at least inside a book of legends. The story of a masked, disfigured Paris Opera House dweller who puts an ingenue under his musical spell sounds like the stuff of myths. But stories of a chandelier crash and a ghost at the opera house in Paris circulated long before The Phantom of the Opera , now set to close in February 2023, became the longest-running Broadway show and third-longest-running West End show in history.
Compoer Andrew Lloyd Webber based the show on a 1910 novel of the same name by Gaston Leroux. And he based his novel on multiple spooky events in the Palais Garnier, the opera house where the Phantom book and musical are set.
Some of the stories of people, places, and events that inspired The Phantom of the Opera are true. Others are probably not, but they're fun legends that Leroux immortalized and Webber later made famous with his iconic score. While no one knows exactly how true these stories are, here's how they inspired Leroux to create the tale that haunts and thrills audiences over a century later, and how Webber made them his own.
Experience these tales now before The Phantom of the Opera closes on Broadway.
Get The Phantom of the Opera tickets now.
Is The Phantom of the Opera based on a true story?
Yes and no — the plot of The Phantom of the Opera is fictional, but parts are inspired by true stories and legends. While everything in the musical did not actually happen, many elements of the show (and the novel it's based on) are taken from real stories of what happened at a Paris opera house. For example, there was actually a devastating chandelier accident, and there are many rumors of a ghostly presence haunting the theatre.
Read more below to find out what true (and ghost) stories inspired the record-breaking show, and see them on stage before The Phantom of the Opera closes.
The chandelier crash in Phantom was inspired by a true event.
The Act 1 finale, during which a one-ton chandelier comes crashing down onto the stage, is one of the most iconic moments in The Phantom of the Opera musical. It's thrilling to watch live, and it was inspired by a real tragedy at the Palais Garnier. Contrary to popular belief, though, it wasn't actually the chandelier that fell. On May 20, 1896, a performance of the opera Helle was underway when a counterweight, one of multiple which held the chandelier up, broke loose and fell through the ceiling.
One person was killed, and several others were injured. Forensic investigators later said a nearby electrical wire probably overheated and melted the steel cable holding up the counterweight, causing its fall. In The Phantom of the Opera book and musical, the Phantom cuts the whole chandelier loose during the curtain call of the opera Il Muto , in order to exact revenge on Christine for falling in love with Raoul instead of him. Luckily, no one in the musical dies from the crash.
The Paris Opera House really has an underground lake.
Yes, the Palais Garnier actually has an underground lake! In the Phantom musical and book, the lake is the centerpiece of the Phantom's lair. A feat of theatrical magic transforms the Broadway stage into the lake, on which the Phantom and Christine ride on a canoe amid the mist, as he sings the music of the night.
Legend goes that a faceless man (and some fish) once lived in the lake. Leroux heard the rumor and ran with it. In reality, the lake looks more like a sewer and had a much more practical purpose: keeping well and steam pump water away while the opera house foundation was being built. The only occupants of the "lake" as of late are a single white catfish (the opera house staff's unofficial pet) and French firefighters, who practice swimming in the dark there. We wonder if they've ever heard music coming from seemingly nowhere while doing so...
The Phantom is based on a real ghost story.
The many legends that inspired the Phantom are shrouded in as much mystery as the character himself. One story goes that in 1873, a stage fire destroyed the Paris Opera company's old venue, the Salle Le Peletier. (That part is true.) A ballerina died and her fiancé, a pianist, was disfigured. Legend has it that he retreated to the underground of the Palais Garnier, the company's new venue, and lived there until he died. Is he the same faceless man that supposedly lived in the lake? That's uncertain, but it's clear how these legends inspired the Phantom's appearance and living situation in Leroux's book.
Another rumor that inspired Leroux is the story of a ghost who haunts the Palais Garnier. Not only did the tale inspire him, but Leroux became obsessed with proving that the ghost was real. In the prologue to The Phantom of the Opera novel, he talks about the mysterious disappearance of one Vicomte de Chagny, who disappeared to Canada for 15 years without a trace. When he finally returned to Paris, he immediately went to the Palais and asked for a free opera ticket.
Leroux goes on to claim that Chagny and his brother were fighting over Christine Daaé (a fictional character), insinuating that a "tragedy" happened between the two. Since the Vicomte is clearly the inspiration for Christine's childhood friend and lover, Vicomte Raoul de Chagny, in Leroux's novel, it appears he believed the brother is the ghost, who was killed in some sort of tussle and now haunts the shadowy corners of the Palais Garnier.
Though the ghost's presence is hearsay — or, according to some sources, the opera house ghost is actually a jilted old woman — Leroux firmly believed the ghost is real. He also claimed that a body was unearthed below the Palais Garnier, which belonged to the would-be ghost and proved his story. (The fact that the revolutionary French Commune government used the Palais basement to hold prisoners is a somewhat more likely explanation for the body.) After all that, it's almost ironic that the titular character of The Phantom of the Opera isn't an actual ghost, but he kept the name "The Phantom" for his otherworldly, ghostly presence.
Andrew Lloyd Webber wrote Christine Daaé based on his real love story.
Christine Daaé is a fully fictional character, but some researchers say she was inspired by Christina Nilsson, a Swedish soprano who enjoyed a 20-year career as an acclaimed international opera singer. Other accounts say that Christine was partly inspired by a ballerina named Nanine Dorival, though no one knows for sure. Dorival (along with an acquaintance of Leroux's named Madame la Baronne de Castelot-Barbezac) is also said to have inspired the character of Meg Giry, as Dorival and Giry's mothers are both boxkeepers.
What's certain is that Webber's real-life romance inspired how he'd adapt Christine's character for the musical 70 years later. When he was writing The Phantom of the Opera , Webber was married to Sarah Brightman, a classical soprano who he'd met and married after she starred in his musical Cats in the West End.
He wrote the role of Christine for Brightman, composing the character's songs to fit her vocal range. After she originated the role in the West End, Webber naturally wanted Brightman to do so on Broadway, too. The Actor's Equity union refused at first, saying he should cast an American actor and that international Broadway leads had to be major stars. But love conquered all — Webber insisted, and he came to a compromise with Equity that he'd cast an American lead in his next London production. Webber and Brightman eventually divorced, but her influence on the role remains forever.
The Phantom of the Opera love triangle comes from a legend.
One of the inspirations for the main characters' love triangle is mentioned above, about how two brothers supposedly fought over a woman named Christine. There's another spooky story, though, that is said to have inspired Leroux. According to legend, a ballet dancer named Boismaison fell for the aforementioned ballerina Nanine Dorival. However, a French sergeant, Monsieur Mauzurier, also loved her, and he took it upon himself to get Boismaison out of the picture.
Boismaison had willed his bones to the Paris Opera in the hopes that he'd stay near his lover even after he died. According to a now-debunked legend, they honored his wishes and held onto his bones, even using his skeleton as a prop in Le Freischütz , an opera by Carl Maria von Weber. Nevertheless, the fabled love triangle inspired that of Raoul, the Phantom, and Christine. With source material as bizarre as this, it's no wonder that The Phantom of the Opera 's love story became a Gothic horror for the ages.
Originally published on Sep 29, 2022 13:00
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The Phantom of the Opera: Based on the novel by Gaston Leroux
For the Reader who loves theater/musicals.
Since starting ballet classes at the Paris Opera, Meg has explored every nook and cranny of the majestic, mysterious building, places where she is allowed to go . . . and places where she isn’t! In one of these forbidden passages, she meets the Phantom of the Opera, a mysterious figure who is sobbing his heart out. He is in love with Christine, an opera singer—but she is about to marry her fiancé, Raoul! One evening, Christine mysteriously disappears. Meg is hot on the trail.
Revisiting the famous novel by Gaston Leroux, this faithful adaptation retells the story for a young audience in beautiful illustrations, and includes a 30-minute CD on which the story is read aloud, accompanied by original music.
The Phantom of the Opera (Book)
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Le Fantôme de l'Opéra (English: The Phantom of the Opera ) is a novel by French writer Gaston Leroux . It was first published as a serialisation in "Le Gaulois" from September 23, 1909 to January 8, 1910. Initially, the story sold very poorly upon publication in book form and was even out of print several times during the twentieth century; it is overshadowed by the success of its various film and stage adaptations. The most notable of these were the 1925 film depiction and Andrew Lloyd Webber's 1986 musical. Originally produced for the West End, The Phantom of the Opera musical is the longest running Broadway show in history, despite the show's closure, and it is one of the most lucrative entertainment enterprises of all time.
- 2 Characters in the Novel
- 3 Insistance of the Existence of Erik by Leroux
- 4 Translations
- 5 Illustrations
- 6 Adaptations
The novel opens with a prologue in which Gaston Leroux claims that Erik, the "Phantom of the Opera", was a real person.
We are then introduced to Christine Daaé. She and her father, a famous fiddler, traveled all over Sweden playing folk and religious music. Her father was known to be the best wedding fiddler in the land. When Christine is six, her mother dies and her father is brought to rural France by a patron, Professor Valerius.
During Christine's childhood, which is described retrospectively in the early chapters of the book, her father tells her many stories featuring an 'Angel of Music', who, like a muse, is the personification of musical inspiration. Christine meets and befriends the young Raoul, Viscount of Chagny, who also enjoys her father's many stories. One of Christine and Raoul's favourite stories is one of Little Lotte, a girl with golden hair and blue eyes who is visited by the Angel of Music and possesses a heavenly voice.
On his deathbed, Christine's father tells her that from Heaven, he will send the Angel of Music to her. Christine now lives with Mamma Valerius, the elderly widow of her father's benefactor.
Christine is eventually given a position in the chorus at the Paris Opera House (Opera Populaire). Not long after she arrives there, she begins hearing a beautiful, unearthly voice which sings to her and speaks to her. She believes this must be the Angel of Music and asks him if he is. The Voice agrees and offers to teach her "a little bit of heaven's music." The Voice, however, belongs to Erik, a disfigured genius who was one of the contractors who built the opera and who secretly built into the cellars a home for himself. He is the Opera ghost ("Fantôme" in French can be translated as both "ghost" and "phantom") who has been extorting money from the Opera's management for many years. Unknown to Christine, at least at first, he falls in love with her.
With the help of the Voice, Christine triumphs at the gala on the night of the old managers' retirement. Her old childhood friend Raoul hears her and remembers his love for her. A time after the gala, the Paris Opera performs Faust, with the prima donna Carlotta playing the lead. In response to a refused surrender of Box Five to the Opera Ghost, Carlotta loses her voice and the chandelier overhead plummets into the audience.
After the chandelier crashes, Erik kidnaps Christine to his home in the cellars and reveals his true identity. He plans to keep her there only a few days, hoping she will come to love him, and Christine begins to find herself attracted to her abductor. But she causes Erik to change his plans when she unmasks him and, to the horror of both, beholds his face. Furious, he lets her know of his despair and love. Fearing that she will leave him, he decides to keep her with him forever, but after two weeks, when Christine requests release, he agrees, on condition that she would wear his ring and be faithful to him.
Up on the roof of the Opera, Christine tells Raoul of Erik taking her to the cellars. Raoul promises to take Christine away where Erik can never find her and to take her even if she resists. Raoul tells Christine he shall act on his promise the following day, to which Christine agrees, but she pities Erik and will not go until she has sung for him one last time. The two leave. But neither is aware that Erik has been listening to their conversation or that it has driven him to jealous frenzy. During the week and that night Erik has been terrorizing anyone who stood in his way, or in the way of Christine's career, including the managers.
The following night, Erik kidnaps Christine during a production of Faust. Back in the cellars, Erik tries to force Christine into marrying him. If she refuses, he threatens, he will destroy the entire Opera using explosives he has planted in the cellars, killing everyone in it, including himself and Christine. Christine continues to refuse, until she realizes that Raoul and an old acquaintance of Erik's known only as "The Persian," in an attempt to rescue her, have been trapped in Erik's torture chamber. To save them and the people above, Christine agrees to marry Erik and kisses him. Erik rescues the Persian and the young Raoul from his torture chamber thereafter. Erik, who admits that he has never before in his life received a kiss — not even from his own mother — is overcome with emotion. He lets Christine go and tells her "go and marry the boy whenever you wish," explaining, "I know you love him." They cry together, and then she leaves. The Persian, being an old acquaintance, is told of all these secrets by Erik himself, and on his express request, the Persian advertises in the newspaper about Erik's death.
Characters in the Novel [ ]
Erik/The Phantom (also known as the Angel of Music)
Raoul, Vicomte de Chagny
Insistance of the Existence of Erik by Leroux [ ]
Throughout the book, Leroux insists that the ghost or man, dubbed Erik, was indeed real. From his introductory, he begins to state that everything within the book was factual. Indeed, it was even upon his deathbed that he made a final plea to the world that Erik was a true figure in history.
Translations [ ]
There are currently 5 English translations of Le Fantôme de l'Opéra . The first English translation, by Alexander Teixeira de Mattos in 1911, though it sometimes omits entire paragraphs or chapters, is still the most widespread version of the book. Due to its being the first English translation (and the only one up until 1990), publishers may assume that it is unabridged, and so will republish it as a "complete and unabridged" or "original" version, unknowingly misleading those who purchase these copies. Unless a copy credits a particular translator, it is likely to be the Teixeira de Mattos translation. Currently, four other English translations are in circulation: a 1990 edition by Lowell Bair; 'The essential phantom of the opera : The definitive, annotated edition of Leroux’s classical novel', edited by Leonard Wolf, published in 1996; another, by Jean-Marc and Randy Lofficier, published in 2004; and a completely new translation by Mireille Ribière published in 2009 to coincide with the centenary of the first publication
Illustrations [ ]
The original Frod book publication of 1910 was illustrated with five oil paintings by André Castaigne. The paintings served as an inspiration for the 1925 film, and have appeared in many subsequent reprintings and translations.
Adaptations [ ]
There have been numerous literary and dramatic works based on The Phantom of the Opera, ranging from musicals to films to children's books. The best known stage and screen adaptations of the novel are probably the 1925 silent film version starring Lon Chaney, Sr. and the 1986 Andrew Lloyd Webber musical , which first opened in London's West End with Michael Crawford in the title role, Sarah Brightman as Christine Daae, and Steve Barton as Raoul, Vicomte de Chagny. This musical was adapted into a 2004 film , directed by Joel Schumacher. It starred Gerard Butler as Erik, Emmy Rossum as Christine Daae, and Patrick Wilson as Raoul. Brian DePalma wrote and directed a 1974 film called Phantom of the Paradise , which was loosely based on The Phantom of the Opera.
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- 1 Christine Daaé
- 2 Erik (The Phantom of the Opera)
- 3 The Phantom of the Opera (Book)
Where to start? A guide to Fosse’s work.
His writing is spare and existential, often focusing on the interior lives of rather solitary characters.
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By Joumana Khatib and Tina Jordan
- Oct. 5, 2023
Throughout a decades-long career, the playwright and author Jon Fosse has inspired comparisons to Henrik Ibsen, Samuel Beckett and even George Harrison from the Beatles.
One of his English translators, Damion Searls, writing in The Paris Review in 2015, described Fosse’s work this way: “Think of the four elder statesmen of Norwegian letters as a bit like the Beatles,” he wrote. “Per Petterson is the solid, always dependable Ringo; Dag Solstad is John, the experimentalist, the ideas man; Karl Ove Knausgaard is Paul, the cute one; and Fosse is George, the quiet one, mystical, spiritual, probably the best craftsman of them all.”
His work is spare and existential, often focusing on the interior lives of rather solitary characters. Winding, run-on sentences are common; so are fishermen. “You don’t read my books for the plots,” he told The Financial Times in 2018.
Here is a guide to his major works.
Written in the wake of Fosse’s conversion to Catholicism, the seven novels in the extraordinary “Septology” series track an aging artist’s reckoning with the divine, and represent his most significant novelistic work. “Each novel begins, midthought, the same way, with Asle reflecting on how to finish his painting of the St. Andrew cross; each one ends the same way, mid-Latin prayer, at least until something else happens in the final book,” Randy Boyagarda wrote in his review.
Morning and Evening
This short, powerful novella opens with the birth of Johannes, whose parents hope he will become a fisherman like his father. Years later, as an old man, Johannes reflects on his family and close friendships. (Yes, he did end up becoming a fisherman.)
These novels fictionalize the life of Lars Hertervig, a 19th-century Norwegian painter, as he careens into madness. While studying in Dusseldorf, Hertervig is paralyzed by anxiety about his talent and is left essentially homeless after his attraction to his landlady’s daughter leads him to outrageous sexual delusions.
Aliss at the Fire
A woman named Signe thinks back to more than 20 years earlier, when her husband set out by boat and never came back. Soon, her thoughts take on a metaphysical quality, and even include the memories of family members from generations prior. The fjord where Signe lives is a constant across all of the memories of loss and grief.
Late at night, as an unnamed narrator drives aimlessly through the remote Norwegian woods, his car becomes mired in the rutted road. Hopelessly lost, he finally gets out of his car, only to see a strange creature, “a shining whiteness,” approaching him.
Fosse’s literary agency calls the work, which will be released by Transit Books in the United States on Oct. 31, “a brilliant novel about the border between life and death.”
After a man — more or less a hermit — encounters an old friend and his wife, the three become enmeshed in a sinister love triangle.
“ I Am the Wind ”
Fosse has been said to be the most performed of living European dramatists, though English adaptations are less common. “I Am the Wind” is an existential play centered on two men in a fishing boat. “Fosse’s terse, rhythmic script captures a gut-level anxiety about elemental questions of identity,” a critic for The Times wrote in 2014.
“ A Summer Day ”
This may remind you of “Aliss at the Fire” — the emotional center of this play is a woman waiting plaintively for her husband to return from a fishing trip. Even with a clear, unabiding sense of dread, the play “exerts a strong but stealthy undertow, a distinctive dramatic momentum,” the Times critic wrote.
“Someone Is Going to Come”
In this play of jealousy, sexual tension and paranoia, a couple move to a remote, tattered old house by the sea where neither can shake the thought that “someone is going to come.”
A young pregnant girl moves to her parents’ home, along with the child’s father. Her parents don’t know that she’s expecting, adding to the play’s sense of claustrophobia and the tension of the unsaid.
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Your Essential Guide to Buying Broadway Tickets Online
- By Sage Anderson
If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, Rolling Stone may receive an affiliate commission.
If you’re from out of town (or even a New Yorker who normally avoids the theatre district like the plague), securing coveted seats to blockbuster musicals, plays, and other live shows on Broadway can be confusing. But with a bit of planning, it’s more accessible than ever to buy Broadway tickets to some of the most successful shows — like Hamilton , Wicked , and Chicago , to name a few.
Tickets for these shows and the winners of this year’s Tony Awards , like Kimberly Akimbo and the revival of Parade , have already been on sale for months, but there are still ways you can buy Broadway tickets online. Tony wins from new shows and musicals like Shucked and Some Like It Hot are also available to purchase online.
How to Buy Broadway Tickets
If you think you have to be in the Big Apple to order tickets physically, you don’t. There are still a couple of things to keep in mind when researching the availability and pricing for the shows you want to go to, so keep these in mind before showtime.
For a complete list of current and upcoming Broadway shows, we recommend checking out Broadway.org first, the Broadway League’s official online site for all the theatre information you’ll need. This will give you a good idea of which shows are open, a theatre district map, and details about the shows.
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There are a few primary online ticket vendors used by Broadway theaters, including Telecharge, Ticketmaster , StubHub and VividSeats . In general, ticket prices will range anywhere from $20-$200+ dollars (although the higher end skews almost exclusively Hamilton ), depending on where you’re sitting, performance dates, and times. Expect a premium for ticket prices on high-capacity days, like weekend evenings, and for seats in the floor and lower-level mezzanine sections.
BONUS : Use promo code RS15 to take $15 off your purchase of $125 or more on VividSeats.com
You can always check online for discounted Broadway tickets , including group discounts, student discounts, standing-room discounts, and rush tickets, which most theaters frequently offer. However, in this case, you’ll probably have less wiggle room regarding dates, what time you can see the show, and what seat you end up in (probably the upper mezzanine, if we’re being honest).
Buying and reserving tickets online is still one of the easiest ways to see a Broadway show without the hassle or extra steps of the box office. You can show up at the theatre at showtime with a few clicks and taps.
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Adapted by David Lindsay-Abaire from his own 2001 play, the 2023 Tony Award-winner for Best Musical centers on teenager Kimberly Levaco (played by the 63-year-old Victoria Clark) who has to navigate high school while suffering from an unnamed, “incredibly rare” genetic disorder that makes her age at an accelerated rate. Tickets are currently on sale for shows here .
The darkly comedic original soundtrack is available here .
Some Like It Hot
This crowd-pleasing musical comedy is a stage version of the 1959 film of the same name. The musical, like the film, follows the story of jazz-age musicians struggling during Prohibition who, on the run from the mob, pose as women in an all-women’s traveling band. Tickets are already on sale here .
The cast album hasn’t been released yet, but you can listen to the original London cast recording soundtrack here .
A Beautiful Noise: The Neil Diamond Musical
Created in collaboration with Neil Diamond , A Beautiful Noise is based on the true events of a kid from Brooklyn who became a show-stopping rock icon. With 140 million albums sold, an induction into the Songwriters and Rock and Roll Halls of Fame, a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, and sold-out concerts worldwide, Neil Diamond’s story was made for the stage. Tickets are available now .
The musical includes a catalog of classics like “ America ,” “ Forever in Blue Jeans ,” “ Sweet Caroline ,” and is available for purchase to bring the musical to life in your home.
Here Lies Love
This is not your typical Broadway show. Here Lies Love is an immersive experience that turns the theatre into a literal dancefloor. It tells the story of Imelda and Ferdinand Marcos’ rise and fall in the Philippines as one of history’s most powerful dictators. Conceptualized by David Byrne of the Talking Heads and music made in partnership with Fatboy Slim, it combines history, truthtelling, and disco for a night unlike any other. Tickets are currently available on VividSeats .
The soundtrack is also available for purchase with a limited-time deal on Amazon .
The Lion King
In addition, renditions of songs such as “ Circle of Life ,” “ I Just Can’t Wait to Be King ,” and “ Hakuna Matata ” is featured from the legendary Elton John, lyrics by Tim Rice, can be purchased here .
Back to the Future
Adapted from the classic 1985 film, the futuristic show is finally coming to Broadway after premiering on the West End. It features original music, as well as songs featured in the film, such as “The Power of Love” and “Johnny B. Goode”. Where we’re going, we don’t need roads, but the musical opens on August 3 and you can pre-order your tickets here .
The original cast recording of the West End performance was released in March of 2022, and you can listen to the soundtrack online here .
This new jukebox musical casts 16th-century housewife Anne Hathaway as the narrator giving advice to her husband William Shakespeare on ways to improve his play Romeo and Juliet. Journey on an Elizabethan romp that tells the “what if?” story of how Juliet’s story might have continued without Romeo featuring the chart-topping hits of Swedish songwriter-producer Max Martin. With songs like “Roar”, “Domino”, and “Since U Been Gone”, get your tickets online now .
The U.S. soundtrack isn’t available online, but you can listen to the Original London Cast recording here .
Inspired by the book Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow, Hamilton opened on Broadway in 2015, with music and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda, and has since gone on to win 11 Tony Awards and garner a special filmed version of the original cast performance, now streaming on Disney+ . Scoring elusive seats to this show has been no easy feat, but you can currently buy Hamilton tickets online for performances.
Before you head to the theater, you can jam out to the Grammy Award-winning soundtrack too. You can get the Hamilton soundtrack online here .
If you want to hear the songs from this farm-to-fable musical, you can get the Original Cast soundtrack here .
MJ: The Musical
Centered around the making of his 1992 Dangerous World Tour, this brand-new musical takes you behind the history of how Michael Jackson became a legend, and you can see the musical now with tickets on sale here .
While the cast album isn’t available online, you can catch all the classic songs you love with The Essential MJ album here.
Taking place before Dorothy, and her little dog Toto, Wicked dives into the untold story of the witches of Oz. It won’t take any spells for you to check out tickets, available online now .
Want to experience the magic before showtime? Get the Wicked soundtrack here .
Six is a pop musical modern retelling, based on the lives (and deaths) of the eight wives of Henry VII, which was set to perform mere hours before the coronavirus theater shutdown in 2020. The musical has finally debuted on Broadway, and tickets are currently available here .
Listen to each wife take turns singing about how they suffered the most under Henry on the studio cast recording here .
Moulin Rouge!: the Musical
The musical adaptation, based on the movie directed by Baz Luhrmann, is a spectacle that attempts to balance excess and doom. Moulin Rouge! has resumed performances at Al Hirschfeld Theatre, and tickets are available now .
Catch the soundtrack, which includes 70 pop songs — including “Sympathy for the Devil” and “Bad Romance” — here .
Ben Platt of Dear Evan Hansen fame and Micaela Diamond (The Cher Show) star in a revival of Jason Robert Brown and Alfred Uhry’s Tony Award–winning 1998 musical tragedy. Set in 1913 Georgia and based on the true story of Leo Frank, Platt plays a Jewish man falsely accused of murdering a young girl. You can get your tickets online here.
While there’s no cast recording from the revival, you can listen to the original 1998 cast recording online here .
Even though you could pop in the original Disney movie, or stream the live-action adaption to hear iconic songs like “Friend Like Me”, you can always get the original soundtrack here .
Book of Mormon
From the creators of “South Park” and the co-creator of Avenue Q, the comedy musical about two Mormon boys sent on a mission has tickets available right now on VividSeats .
Full of the raunch and satire Matt Stone and Trey Parker are known for, you can listen to the original soundtrack here .
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
That latest in a string of Sondheim revivals, the revival of the classic Sweeney Todd has returned in full swing with Josh Groban as the titular canibbal killer opposite Annaleigh Ashford. Tickets to this one are a hot commodity due to the star power of its cast, so you’ll want to check availability here .
You can listen to the original 1979 Broadway cast recording , as well as the movie’s album, here .
There’s never a better time to see one of the longest-running American musicals in Broadway history. Chicago tickets (the jazz-era musical, not the band) are currently on sale , including weekends.
No matter what your verdict on the show is, you can always listen to the soundtrack here .
The revival of Lerner & Loewe’s classic 1960 musical comes to life once again with a new book by Aaron Sorkin, based on the original book by Alan Jay Lerner. But you don’t have to go on an arduous quest to find Camelot once more — simply check out the available seats here .
The cast album for the 2023 Camelot revival will come out June 30 , but in the meantime, you can listen to the original cast recording here .
Broadway’s first-ever revival of the biomusical features a revised book by Harvey Fierstein and Beanie Feldstein leading the cast as Fanny Brice. Previews have already kicked off, but you can get tickets for the show’s opening starting April 24 here .
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First released as a concept album , then turned into an Off-Broadway production , you can listen to all three albums, including the original Broadway cast, here .
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