THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA
The Phantom of the Opera is Andrew Lloyd Webber’s most critically-acclaimed musical, having won over 70 major theatre awards, including 4 Olivers and 7 Tonys. Seen by over 160 million people worldwide in 41 countries, 186 cities and 18 languages, this haunting love story continues to take the world by storm.
Based on the novel by Gaston Leroux, this new production of The Phantom of the Opera takes place in nineteenth-century Paris, where a musical genius known only as ‘The Phantom’ lurks deep beneath the Paris Opera House. Mesmerised by the talents and beauty of a young soprano named Christine Daaé, The Phantom attempts to lure Christine into becoming his protégé. Can Ms.Daaé resist the mystery of the Opera Ghost, or will she be drawn into his world of obsession, darkness and betrayal?
SHOW TIME is Approximately 2 hour and 45 minutes including intermission.
At an auction of opera memorabilia at the Paris Opera House, an old man, Raoul, Vicomte de Chagny, bids for a strange musical box which seems to hold for him some special memory. An old chandelier, Lot 666, is revealed and as it is reilluminated we are swept back to the time of Raoul’s youth, when the chandelier hung in splendor from the dome of the Opera House.
~ ACT 1 ~
30 years earlier. A new production of the classic opera Hannibal, is in rehearsal. Monsieur Lefèvre, manager of the Opera House, arrives and explains to the company that he is retiring. He introduces the new managers, Messieurs André and Firmin. André asks the prima donna, Carlotta, to sing, but a stage weight falls suddenly from above the stage, almost killing her. There are murmurs among the company that it must have been the work of ‘The Phantom of the Opera’. Carlotta storms out, leaving the production without a star. Madame Giry, the ballet mistress, hands the managers a note from ‘the opera ghost’ demanding a salary and a free box at the opera. Meg, Madame Giry’s daughter, suggests to André and Firmin that her friend and fellow dancer Christine Daaé could take Carlotta’s place. Christine has been taking singing lessons, but is unable (or unwilling) to say from whom. The managers grant her an audition.
Audition and performance merge and, from the managers’ box, the young Raoul, the new patron of the Opera House, recognises Christine as a friend from his youth. After the Gala, Meg asks Christine about her mysterious teacher, but Christine can only tell Meg that he is the Angel of Music whom her late father had always promised would one day visit her. Christine’s performance is met with unanimous approval and Raoul goes backstage to her dressing room congratulate her and to invite her to supper. As soon as Christine is alone, a masked figure appears behind the mirror. It is The Phantom, the teacher whom she has never seen – her Angel of Music. The Phantom draws Christine into the dark beyond the mirror and, when Raoul returns, the room is empty. Christine is led deep below the Opera House. They cross a lake and arrive at The Phantom’s subterranean lair. The Phantom explains that he is a composer and she has been his inspiration. He is teaching her so that she can sing his music.
Christine wakes the following morning and discovers a music box which plays an enchanting tune. Consumed with curiosity about the identity of her mentor, Christine uncovers The Phantom’s face. His anger dissolves into self-pity and Christine guiltily gives him back his mask. The Phantom demands Christine returns to the Opera House above.
Meanwhile the Opera has been thrown into confusion by Christine’s disappearance. Some of the ballet corps go searching for The Phantom in Box Five but are frightened by Joseph Buquet, one of the stage crew, who describes in lurid detail The Phantom’s deformed face. Madame Giry cautions him to hold his tongue.
André, Firman, Raoul, Carlotta all receive notes from The Phantom insisting that Carlotta be replaced by Christine as leading lady in a forthcoming revival of the opera Il Muto. News arrives of Christine’s return, but the managers assure Carlotta that she is the Prima Donna and The Phantom’s demands will be rejected. The Phantom’s voice is heard threatening ‘a disaster beyond imagination’. Il Muto is performed with Christine cast in a silent role. The Phantom’s voice reiterates his demands and, when these are ignored, he makes Carlotta croak like a frog the moment she begins her singing. André is forced to replace her with Christine. During the ballet Joseph Buquet’s dead body is discovered on stage.
In the ensuing pandemonium Christine flees with Raoul to the safety of the roof of the Opera House. They agree to elope together that night. The Phantom emerges from his hiding place, where he has heard everything, and vows vengeance. As the cast of Il muto take their bows, the chandelier crashes down from the ceiling.
~ ACT 2 ~
6 months later. At a masked ball in the Grand Foyer of the Opera House, all celebrate the New Year and the disappearance of The Phantom. At the height of the festivities a strange figure appears. The Phantom has returned. He flings to André the score of his new opera, Don Juan Triumphant, commanding that it be performed and telling Christine that she still belongs to him. Raoul interrogates Madame Giry about the identity of The Phantom. He is an escaped fairground freak – a physical monstrosity with a brilliant mind. Presumed dead, he in fact lives still, somewhere in the Opera House.
Raoul hits upon a scheme to ensnare The Phantom using his own opera as bait. If Christine agrees to sing the principal role, The Phantom is sure to attend. With the doors locked and guarded he will be unable to escape. Christine reluctantly agrees to co-operate. The singers have immense difficulty learning the dissonant score, especially Piangi, but their task is mysteriously facilitated when the piano magically takes over and the singers, mesmerized, begin to perform flawlessly.
Christine returns to the roof alone, grieving for her father. The Phantom appears but his hypnotic influence is broken when Raoul arrives looking for Christine. Enraged, The Phantom declares war on them both.
In The Phantom’s opera, Christine becomes aware that The Phantom has taken the place of Piangi in the role of Don Juan, thereby seducing Christine who is playing the role of a young maid. Just as he declares his love for her the body of Piangi is revealed, stabbed to death by Don Juan’s sword. The Phantom manages to escape from the Police, taking Chrstine as his hostage to his underground lair.
Madame Giry helps Raoul find The Phantom’s hideout. When Raoul arrives, The Phantom traps him and threatens to kill Raoul unless Christine promises to stay with him. Christine shows compassion for his sufferings and astonished The Phantom lets the two lovers go. The Phantom retreats into the darkness..
~ INTERMISSION ~
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