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The Phantom of the Opera

Cover to Vocal Score

Book by Andrew Lloyd Webber & Richard Stilgoe: Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber: Lyrics by Charles Hart: Additional lyrics by Richard Stilgoe

Her Majesty's Theatre, London - October 9, 1988
Majestic Theatre, Broadway - January 1, 1988


0n the stage of the Opera de Paris, 1905, old stage props are being auctioned. The elderly Raoul, Vicomte de Chagny, is the major buyer and he seems emotionally affected by his purchases. A broken chandelier is produced. The auctioneer recalls its connection with the mysterious tale of the Phantom of the Opera nearly 50 years earlier. The music begins as the working portion of the chandelier is lit. Like magic, the lit portion starts to grow to full size. Finally, it rises to its former position in the auditorium as the stage of the Opera reverts, in flashback, to the grandeur of the year 1861. The great soprano Carlotta Giudicelli is rehearsing the opera Hannibal.

As she sings her aria, the backdrop crashes down. The chorus insist that this is the work of the Phantom and a frightened Carlotta refuses to perform that evening. Meg, who performs in the Opera's ballet, suggests that her fellow dancer Christine Daae should take over. As Christine sings for managers, André and Firmin, the scene changes to that evening's performance where she enjoys a great success. The Opera's distinguished patron - Raoul as a young man - recognises Christine as a childhood acquaintance.

In her dressing room afterwards, Christine confides to Meg that she has a mysterious teacher whom she has never seen. She associates this disembodied voice with her dying father's promise to send an 'angel of music' to watch over her. Raoul de Chagny asks Christine to supper. As he leaves, the Phantom, angry at Raoul's familiarity with his protégée, commands Christine to look in the mirror. She sees him, then takes his hand and disappears with him through the mirror.

The creature leads Christine deep into the caverns and waterways beneath the opera house and across a subterranean lake, lit by candelabra. When they reach his secret lair, he plays a huge organ and sings of his shadowy, sensual world of music. The next morning, Christine wakes to the sound of the Phantom composing at the organ. She snatches at his mask and reveals his horribly disfigured face. Although he is enraged, he is reluctant to return her to the theatre and only does so after realising that her absence will cause a search.

Messages are then delivered from the Phantom. Raoul is forbidden to see Christine and another decree orders that Christine be given the leading role in the next opera, Il Muto, while Carlotta is to take a nonsinging role. Carlotta is furious. To keep her with the company, André and Firmin flatter her outrageously and privately assure her that she will, after all, play the star part.

They have reckoned without the Phantom. In the first performance of Il Muto he ridicules Carlotta by making her croak like a toad. Then a stagehand is found murdered. Christine takes Raoul up on to the roof of the theatre where they will be safe from the Phantom. She tells him everything. He comforts her and confesses his love, which she returns. The Phantom witnesses their kiss. Christine completes the opera in Carlotta's place. As she takes her curtain call, the great chandelier crashes to the stage.

Act Two opens on New Year's Eve. Everyone is gathered at the Opera for a masked ball. It is now six months since the chandelier incident and Raoul and Christine have secretly become engaged. At the height of the festivities, the Phantom appears on the Grand Staircase dressed in red and wearing a death's-head mask. He presents the score of a new opera, Don Juan Triumphant, and commands that the Opera stage it. In the notes to his opera, the Phantom orders that Christine not only take the primadonna role but that she should return to him for more tuition.

Confused and afraid, Christine seeks comfort at her father's grave but even there she is haunted by her angel of music. As he calls her to him, the figures of her father and the Phantom seem to merge in her mind. Raoul appears and breaks the mesmeric influence by carrying Christine to safety.

During the premiere of the opera, the Phantom murders the leading man and takes his place opposite Christine. He sings passionately of his love. At the climax of his song, Christine tears at his mask to expose his hideous deformity to the audience. Screaming, he grabs her and they disappear, pursued by theatre staff.

Raoul, the first to reach the Phantom's lair, is trapped and a rope is dropped over his neck. The monster offers Christine a choice: succumb to him or see her loved one die. Christine, feeling both terror and pity, approaches the Phantom and kisses him. The kiss has a magical effect. The creature releases Raoul and urges them both to cross the lake. As they leave, he whispers, 'Christine, I love you'. The Phantom covers himself with his cloak as the mob breaks in. The cloak is snatched aside. Only his mask remains.

Musical Numbers:

  1. Think of Me - Carlotta, Christine and Raoul
  2. Angel of Music - Christine and Meg
  3. Little Lotte ../The Mirror (Angel of Music) - Raoul, Christine & Phantom
  4. The Phantom of the Opera - Phantom and Christine
  5. The Music of the Night - Phantom
  6. I Remember .../Stranger Than You Dreamt It - Christine and Phantom
  7. Magical Lasso - Buquet, Meg, Madame Giry & the Ballet Girls
  8. Notes ...../Prima Donna - Firmin, André, Raoul, Carlotta, Giry, Meg &Phantom
  9. Poor Fool, He Makes Me Laugh - Carlotta and Company
  10. Why Have You Brought Me Here ..../
  11. Raoul and Christine
    All I Ask Of You - Raoul and Christine
    All I Ask Of You (Reprise) - Phantom

  12. Masquerade/Why So Silent - Full Company
  13. Twisted Every Way - André, Firmin, Carlotta, Piangi, Raoul, Christine, Giry & Phantom
  14. Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again - Christine
  15. Wandering Child .../Bravo, Monsieur - Phantom, Christine & Raoul
  16. The Point of No Return - Phantom and Christine
  17. Down One More ..../Track Down This Murderer - Full company.