- Schools & Colleges
- Youth Groups
- Music Materials & Resources
- Concert Rentals
Search this site
The Phantom Of The Opera Cast / Vocal Requirements
1 Woman 2 Men
3 Women 4 Men
PRINCIPAL AND FEATURED CHARACTERS
Christine Daaé , a chorus girl The Phantom , a composer and magician known as the Opera Ghost Raoul, Vicomte de Chagny , patron of the Opera, childhood sweetheart of Christine Monsieur Firmin , co-manager of the Opera Monsieur André , co-manager of the Opera Carlotta Giudicelli , the Prima Donna of the Opera Madame Giry , the ballet Mistress Ubaldo Piangi , leading tenor of the Opera, Carlottas husband Monsieur Reyer , the chief répétiteur/director of the Paris Opera Meg Giry , Madame Giry’s daughter, member of the ballet chorus, Christine’s best friend
Login / Register to apply & obtain a free quote
Monsieur Lefèvre , the previous owner of the Opera Joseph Buquet , chief stagehand of the Opera Madame Firmin Auctioneer Porter/Marksman/Fop (in Il Muto ) Don Attilo (in Il Muto )/Passarino Slave Master (in Hannibal ) Flunky/Stagehand Policeman Page 1 & 2 (in Don Juan Triumphant ) Porter/Chief Fire Officer Wardrobe Mistress/ Confidante (in Il Muto ) Princess (in Hannibal ) Innkeepers Wife (in Don Juan Triumphant ) Two Fire Marshals Two Epicene Men (a hairdresser and Jeweler) Ensemble: The Ballet Chorus of the Opera, Stagehands, Policemen, Attendants
The original Broadway cast doubling is indicated, but these parts may be split among the ensemble.
The Phantom —High Baritone with a full-voice range of at least two octaves Christine Daae —Soprano with a G (below middle C) and a top E Raoul, Vicomte de Chagny —Light Baritone Monsieur Firmin —Baritone Monsieur André —High Baritone Carlotta —Coloratura Soprano Madame Giry —Mezzo Soprano Meg Giry —Strong singing voice Ubaldo Piangi —Tenor Male Dancer—Slave Master —Little to none—strong dancing role Female Corps de Ballet —Little to none—strong dancing role
The Phantom of the Opera
By gaston leroux, the phantom of the opera character list.
Erik, otherwise known as the Phantom, is the tragic titular character of the novel. He is physically deformed and may be interpreted either as a tragic hero or a tragic villain. Erik falls in love with Christine but expresses his feelings in harmful and at times disastrous manners, such as sabotaging performances and taking Raoul captive. He is childish and gives the impression that he is usually one to have things his way (a tendency that is evident in Raoul as well).
Christine is the main female protagonist of the novel. Christine is originally from Sweden. Her mother died while she was young; her father, with whom she had a very close relationship, died a few years later, but he passed down his passion for music to Christine and told her tales of an angel of music. Erik manipulates Christine into thinking he is the angel of music, and is thus able to gain her trust. Christine is the love interest of both Erik and Raoul, and Erik's jealousy over her love for Raoul is a major source of conflict throughout the novel.
Raoul de Chagny
Raoul is the Viscount of Chagny and Christine's childhood friend. When they meet years later, after Raoul watches Christine's performance at the Opera, they fall in love, get engaged, and make plans to elope. However, Erik, who also loves Christine, grows jealous of Raoul; conflict arises as the two men compete for her, despite Erik's feelings being unrequited. He is rash, impatient, and often speaks his mind without considering the relationships that he has built with the people around him, particularly in regard to his brother Philippe and his lover Christine.
Philippe de Chagny
Philippe is Raoul's older brother. As both of their parents have died, Philippe is owner of the family estate and wealth, and takes care of Raoul. He opposes Raoul and Christine's relationship and marriage, causing them to keep their engagement secret.
Madame Giry (Mme. Giry)
Madame Giry is the box keeper of the Opera. She is loyal to Erik and even displays fondness for him, as he leaves her gifts and promises to help her daughter succeed if Madame Giry obeys him. At one point, she is fired by the managers of the Opera, but she regains her position after Erik intervenes.
Meg is Madame Giry's daughter. She is Christine's friend, but she also helps her mother in doing Erik's bidding. She is described as being relatively self-centered, with black eyes and hair, and a very thin body.
The Persian is a figure from Erik's tragic past who provides information about him. He helps Raoul recover Christine from Erik, but is only somewhat successful (Erik gives up Christine on his own accord). He is referred to as "daroga" by Erik (daroga means "police chief" in Persian), and at one point he helped Erik escape the death penalty enacted by the Persian Shah (Erik knew too many state secrets). Eventually the Persian was relieved of his duties for helping Erik, but nonetheless he continued to receive a pension after having moved to Paris to keep an eye on Erik. He is skeptical of Erik's promise to do no more harm and so resolves to help Raoul find Christine before Erik does anything else. At the end, Erik, in a very weakened state, comes to him and tells him that he has reunited Raoul and Christine, and wishes to give him some of his most important possessions after he dies.
Carlotta is the spoiled and vain Spanish prima donna whose performance is sabotaged by Erik. At Erik's demand, she is replaced by Christine.
M. Armand Moncharmin and M. Firmin Richard
The new managers of the Opera House. When their predecessors attempt to explain the conditions laid down by Erik (that he receive a monthly payment of 20,000 francs and that Box Five be reserved for him), they wave it off as a joke. They do not take these warnings seriously: instead, they decide to sit in Box Five themselves one night and replace Mme. Giry with Richard's concierge as the box keeper of Box Five. As a result, Erik uses the hollow walls (unbeknownst to them) of Box Five to scare them by projecting his voice; he drops the chandelier onto the crowd, killing Richard's concierge. He also makes Carlotta croak like a toad while performing, embarrassing, horrifying, and scaring both Moncharmin and Richard. They eventually make their payments and acquiesce to Erik's demands, albeit very skeptically.
M. Debienne and M. Poligny
The old managers of the Opera House. On the final night of their tenure they are thrown an extravagant farewell ceremony, in which all the Parisian social and artistic elites are present. Shortly before they leave, they warn Moncharmin and Richard, their successors, to follow Erik's conditions.
The Persian's servant. He brings guns to the Persian and Raoul in Christine's dressing room before they make their way to Erik's home. Darius also cares for the Persian after Erik drops him at the Persian's front doorstep following the incident in the torture chamber.
The acting-manager. He is involved in the investigation of Christine's disappearance.
The managers' secretary. He is also involved in the investigation of the disappearance of the Christine.
The superstitious chorus master. He is also involved in the investigation of the disappearance of the Christine.
The commissary of the police who is called in to investigate the disappearance of Christine.
The lead ballet dancer.
Professor and Mamma Valerius
The couple who took in Christine and her father after they struck poverty in an attempt to get famous from Christine's father's musical talents. They educate and raise Christine. After the Professor and her father's deaths, Christine lives with Mamma Valerius in Paris.
A ballet girl.
The Phantom of the Opera Questions and Answers
The Question and Answer section for The Phantom of the Opera is a great resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.
Cancellation of GradeSaver
Hi Harold. Unfortunately, this isn't the place to make this request. Please go to the contact us link on the home page and they should be able to help you.
Its beauty is an illusion wrought by the music.
Why do you think Christine thought she was dreaming when she first heard the voice?
I think she thought the voice was so beautiful, could it be real?
Study Guide for The Phantom of the Opera
The Phantom of the Opera study guide contains a biography of Gaston Leroux, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.
- About The Phantom of the Opera
- The Phantom of the Opera Summary
- Character List
Essays for The Phantom of the Opera
The Phantom of the Opera essays are academic essays for citation. These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux.
- Erik of the Phantom of the Opera and Heathcliff of Wuthering Heights as Byronic Heroes
- Identity Issues in The Phantom of the Opera
Lesson Plan for The Phantom of the Opera
- About the Author
- Study Objectives
- Common Core Standards
- Introduction to The Phantom of the Opera
- Relationship to Other Books
- Bringing in Technology
- Notes to the Teacher
- Related Links
- The Phantom of the Opera Bibliography
Wikipedia Entries for The Phantom of the Opera
- Film and television
- Let The Dream Begin - The Phantom of the Opera Fan Cast Recording
Welcome Guest. Please Login or Register .
Character Vocal Ranges and Biographies
- The Phantom of the Opera (Musical)
- The Phantom of the Opera (2004 Movie)
- Previous Thread
- Next Thread
- Please make a selection first
- « Prev
- Next »
A Coronation Anthem: In Conversation with Andrew Lloyd Webber
The captivating ‘the point of no return’ | the phantom of the opera, the mystical ‘he’s the wizard’ (amber riley) | the wiz live, the beautiful ’beneath a moonless sky’ | love never dies.
Musicals On Line
for Musical Theater lovers!
How do you solve a problem like ‘Maria’… #shorts | The Sound of Music
POTO Madrid (Spain) 2004 Full Show Bootleg – POTO in Spanish
- The Phantom of the Opera
The Phantom of the Opera: Character Descriptions
Seems like the race for the musical with the most number of revivals is on. With “Les Miserables” eventually relenting to a revival, the revival of “The Phantom of the Opera” is only appropriate.
Buzz surrounding about the first black actor to play the title role was met with initial skepticism. Regardless of who plays these roles that have etched an indelible mark on our memories, it would still be interesting to analyze the characters that we all could relate to at once.
The Phantom a.k.a. “OG”
In Andrew Lloyd Webber’s version, the origins of “OG” was mentioned as from a freak show and was described as a genius and prodigy, at least according to Madame Giry. He eventually found the perfect voice to interpret his music in his ward, Christine Daae. The part that described him as a genius and prodigy turned out to be more applicable in creating mazes and traps within the opera itself in a way that even the perceived owners can’t control. These skills at manipulating the acoustics and other parts of the opera gave him the reputation as “The Phantom of the Opera” as if he’s just a ghost that everyone can hear and sense but could never see.
Swedish soprano Christine Daae received her earliest music lessons from her father who was a violinist. Her father also constantly reminded her of her “Angel of Music”, an entity that she never saw or met. This was mentioned in the song “Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again”. After her childhood friend, Raoul, chided her for her “imagination”, she then asked “OG” for his proof of existence.
A character that Webber initially created for his wife at the time, Sarah Brightman, it eventually became associated with other musical theater actresses that became angels of music.
Raoul, Vicomte de Chagny
Christine’s childhood friend and eventual lover, he tried to win her love despite the seemingly indomitable rivalry looming at the background. He realized that it is not enough to be the opera’s new patron and was steadfast in his love for Christine. He promised a better life for Christine as mentioned in the song “All I Ask of You”.
The original prima donna of the opera house in the story, it was her walk-out from the stage that prompted Christine to be the new prima donna. It is obviously a move by OG to finally put his ward into leading lady status and finally headline operas. She is self-centered, vain and like hogging the spotlight to herself – this, despite blunt feedback by OG as mentioned in one of the letters that Madame Giry would deliver to the opera owners. Her voice was reduced to a frog’s croak in one production where she snatched the lead role from Christine. This is where it was slightly suggested that OG’s powers were beyond the supernatural.
A tenor with pronunciation issues, Piangi comes across more as a tool for Carlotta to play around and make her look better on stage. Not that Carlotta is off-tune but she’s a diva that needed someone to bully and that someone turned out to be Piangi. Piangi in return ends up becoming Carlotta’s lackey to the point of parroting everything that Carlotta said. An easy pushover, he ended up becoming Raoul’s pawn to entrap OG later in the story.
The only character in the musical that may have an idea behind OG’s real identity, Madame Giry was only to scared to tell more. This sealed the mystery shrouded in the character of OG. It seems like she was the only person who may have seen OG prior to wearing the mask and the tuxedo. Before Christine, only she had access to OG’s lair. By her directions, Raoul found the way to OG’s hideout.
Madame Giry’s daughter and Christine’s best friend. She is one of the resident dancers of the opera house.
Firmin and Andre
The new owners of the opera house, they eventually downplayed OG just like Raoul. While they don’t mind having Christine headline their operas, being in good terms with Carlotta, they eventually relented to her whims. It was this professional conflict that pushed OG’s territorial hold on the opera.
Unlike most musicals, the extra attraction that “The Phantom of the Opera” holds over its fanbase is the suspense element. Sure, there is a love triangle and some characters fall in love but it is the dangerous kind of love. The conflict that made it extra interesting is how Christine is frightened of OG but enamored with him just the same. Sometimes it seems like hypnosis like how Christine fainted in the middle of OG’s “Music of the Night”. But most of the time, it’s useless to understand what made her fall for OG. It’s neither good nor bad. It just is. It served as the main meat of the story.
To keep yourself updated with the latest articles from us, like our official Facebook page, MusicalsOnline.com , and follow us on Twitter @musicalnews . Thanks for reading.
The Phantom of the Opera (Supermini & 2118 Remix)
#phantombroadway | the phantom of the opera.
Music of the Night – Ted Keegan
All I Ask of You – Emilie Kouatchou and John Riddle
Alternate which side pictures are on to stimulate visual intreast
Site Map | Disclaimer | Credits This site best viewed at 1024 x 768
Set up your vocal range
Don't know your range? Find with Vocal Range Test
Andrew Lloyd Webber - The Phantom of the Opera : Vocal Range & Original Key
Are you a beginner or advanced singer?
Singing Carrots Blog relevant read: How to learn a song effectively?
Latest videos on Singing Carrots
Users who like this song also like:.
Share the word.
The songs you star are added to your repertoire page
Do you use Chords Websites?
You can access all the information on this page for any song in one click. Directly from the chords website that you normally use!
Check our Chrome Extension
The Phantom of the Opera
Gaston leroux, everything you need for every book you read., viscount raoul de chagny quotes in the phantom of the opera.
“As I would not let go of the cloak, the shadow turned round and beneath the hood I saw a terrifying skull, whose staring eyes burned with the fire of Hell. I thought I was face to face with Satan himself. It was like a vision from beyond the grave.”
To think that he had believed in her innocence, in her purity! That he had tried for a moment to explain everything by her naivety, her simplicity of mind and her extreme candour. The Spirit of Music! He knew him now! He saw him! Surely he was some minor singer at the Opera, some good-looking Lothario, some coxcomb all smiles and sweet talk. He felt ridiculous and pitiable. Ah, what a wretched, insignificant and foolish young man you are, Viscount de Chagny! he raged to himself. As for Christine, what a brazen, devilishly cunning creature!
His heart was cold, frozen solid: he had loved an angel and now he despised a woman.
Christine simply took off her mask and said: “It is a tragedy, Raoul!”
He now saw her face and could not suppress a cry of surprise and shock. Gone was her fresh, glowing complexion. No longer a reflection of her tranquil disposition and untroubled conscience, her face—so charming and gentle in former days—was deadly pale. How anguished she looked now! Her features were cruelly furrowed by sorrow and her beautiful, limpid eyes—Little Lotte’s eyes—had become wells of deep, dark, unfathomable mystery and were bordered with terribly doleful shadows.
It was a tranquil and pure fountain of harmony from which the faithful could safely and piously assuage their thirst, secure in the knowledge that they were partaking of musical grace. Having touched the Divine, their art was transfigured.
“When a man,” resumed Raoul, who felt his strength draining away from him, “adopts such a romantic stratagem to seduce a girl...”
“Either he is a villain, or she is a fool?” she interrupted.
“If Erik does not hear me sing tomorrow, he will be devastated.”
“It can only be thus if you want to escape him for ever.”
“You are right, Raoul. At all events, he will certainly die of grief if I run away.” … And then she added in a muted voice: “On the other hand, he could just as easily kill us.”
“Does he love you so much?”
“Yes, he would stop at nothing for me, not even murder.”
“Oh, how I hate him!” cried Raoul. “And you, Christine, tell me: do you hate him too? I need to know so that I can listen to the rest of your extraordinary tale with some peace of mind.”
“No, I do not hate him,” said Christine simply.
“You are afraid of him, but do you love me? If Erik were handsome, would you love me, Christine?”
“Why do you raise questions that I have pushed to the back of my mind as if they were sinful?”
She rose too and wrapped her beautiful, trembling arms round the young man.
“Oh, my betrothed, if I did not love you, I would not offer you my lips! Kiss them, for the first and last time.”
“Are people always unhappy when they’re in love?”
“Yes, Christine, they are unhappy when they love but are unsure of being loved in return.”
“Are you speaking for Erik, here?”
“For Erik and for myself,” said the young man shaking his head, thoughtful and forlorn.
“Let me tell you why I would like to see you leave tonight.”
“Yes, tell me, Raoul.”
“Because tomorrow, all your resolve will be gone!”
“Then, Raoul, you must take me away. Are we not agreed on that?”
“I don’t express myself like other people. I don’t do anything like other people. But I am very tired of it! Tired of having a forest and a torture chamber in my home! Sick of living like a mountebank, in a house full of tricks! Yes, I am sick and tired of it all! I want a nice, quiet apartment like everyone else, with ordinary doors and windows, and a proper wife.”
The Phantom of the Opera
58 pages • 1 hour read
A modern alternative to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes, SuperSummary offers high-quality Study Guides with detailed chapter summaries and analysis of major themes, characters, and more.
- Prologue-Chapter 4
- Chapters 5-8
- Chapters 9-12
- Chapters 13-17
- Chapters 18-21
- Chapter 22-Epilogue
- Symbols & Motifs
- Important Quotes
- Essay Topics
- Discussion Questions
Erik / The Opera Ghost
Erik is the titular phantom and main antagonist of the story who develops into a tragic character. The text introduces Erik through his persona as the Opera Ghost, a figure more of legend than a real man. Erik torments the Opera under this disguise, extorting money from the managers and wreaking havoc amongst the superstitious artists. Raoul, who only knows Erik secondhand, perceives him as a one-dimensional monster, a murderer, and lunatic kidnapper who abuses Christine’s impressionability. Christine and the Persian—however frightened they are of him—know that Erik is more complex and feels a full range of emotions. Erik has a history of violence and unchecked cruelty in countries from Persia to India, but after the Persian saved Erik’s life, he hasn’t directly killed anyone himself, though he continues to play dangerous games that end in the fatalities of Joseph Buquet and Philippe de Chagny.
Don't Miss Out!
Access Study Guide Now
Ready to dive in?
Get unlimited access to SuperSummary for only $ 0.70 /week
Appearance versus reality.
Books Made into Movies
Books on justice & injustice, good & evil, hate & anger, horror, thrillers, & suspense, loyalty & betrayal, mortality & death, nature versus nurture, safety & danger, trust & doubt, truth & lies, valentine's day reads: the theme of love.
Understanding Musicals part 5 – Multi-character Song
The multi-character song.
An important feature of musical theatre writing (as with operatic writing) is the opportunity for a multi-character song, where several characters to speak at once, portraying different emotions or reactions to situations. Setting multi-character texts to music enables the audience to multi-task, processing different layers of information.
Here are two pieces that demonstrate multiple emotions: Master of the House from Les Misérables, and Prima Donna from Phantom of the Opera.
Master of the House (Les Miserables)
Master of the House is a comedy character duet for Thenadier and Madame Thenadier. In the musical these two characters provide important moments of light relief in an otherwise epic and moral story. This number marks Thenadier’s first appearance, and gives a very strong portrayal of the couple’s situation, their interaction and their aspirations.
Thenadier believes himself to be a good landlord, Madame Thenadier has other ideas. The audience is left in no doubt that the Thenadiers are argumentative (lyrics), basically dishonest (plot, lyrics and orchestration) and charming in their own way (melody and musical style). The simple, highly repetitive tune has the feel of a music hall number: the emotions are strong and clear, the chorus is repeated so that the audience can learn the tune quickly and feel a sense of connection with the characters (even join in the singing), and there is almost a sense of ‘crossing the footlights’ – singing directly to the audience as if the characters know that they are in a theatre.
The verse is a simple A-minor tune, and the accompaniment has a classical feel, with ‘oom-cha’ chords. But the orchestration states that there is something not quite right about the Thenadiers – clashing harmonies using a Bin the offbeat chords, a wailing saxophone in the melodic interjections, and a punchy synthesized bass giving a dirtier feel to the song. The harmonies are simple and straightforward: the verse uses tonic, dominant and subdominant, with the last four bars forming the transition into the major key; the chorus revolves around a tonic/dominant pattern, with the submediant used only in passing towards the end. Note the tempo differences as Thenadier moves between situations – slower (more ingratiating) for greeting new customers, faster for the chorus (whipping up the crowd to support him).
Madame Thenadier’s verse is slower, with a different rhythmic pattern in the accompaniment, and more of the feel of an elephantine Schubert lied. The orchestration under her first chorus is more elegant, with upper woodwind semiquaver patterns giving a slightly more feminine, more educated impression. The final chorus continues with Madame Thenadier interrupting and alternating with the ensemble, and there is an extra four bars of music inserted before the ending – the ‘repetition for emphasis’ rule.
Prima Donna (Phantom of the Opera)
‘Prima Donna’ is a typical multi-character song, a septet for opera singers Carlotta and Piangi, theatre managers Monsieur André and Monsieur Firmin, Visconte Raoul, dancer Meg and ballet mistress Madame Giry. Carlotta has been insulted once too often by the letters from the Phantom, and threatens not to sing. The other six characters react in different ways, reflected in their music.
Lloyd Webber has chosen to set this scene to a stately 19th-century Viennese waltz, such as those written by Johann Strauss II. The distinctive characteristics in this style include sweeping, arching phrases and rich harmonies. The waltz is always in 3/4 time, and the particular Viennese lilt is created in performance by bringing the second beat of the bar in slightly early and delaying the third beat slightly. This pattern in orchestral music is usually only followed for the first few bars of each musical section.
At first glance, the scene appears to be a beautiful and melodic ensemble in praise of Carlotta’s skill as a singer and the magic of opera as an art form. However, under the serene surface there are several interesting characteristics. The managers usually sing together, and Monsieur André stays within the musical style throughout, indicating his more old-fashioned values and his total focus on persuading Carlotta to sing. Monsieur Firmin’s vocal line, however, contains tiny clashes, chromatic passing notes (Bbs against Bs); Firmin is the more pragmatic and resigned of the two managers, and is reluctant to deal with Carlotta’s temperament.
Madame Giry’s line is particularly interesting as it contains several very strong harmonic clashes, including Dbagainst a G minor chord and Db against a C dominant seventh chord. In the vocal writing as in the production, Madame Giry, who knows more than she is telling, is held apart from the other characters.
In the coda, the Phantom interrupts the procedure with a spoken voiceover issuing dire warnings. The orchestration under the singers’ sustained Bb chord highlights the tension by using a church organ sound playing rising and falling chromatic triads. They end on E major, the furthest key from Bb major – in the medieval period the augmented fourth was considered the devil’s interval. The final chord has Carlotta on a high D (the third of the chord in Bb), giving a more triumphant feel, that the singers will win over adversity.
Choose a multi-character song from a ‘blockbuster’ musical (‘Cell Block Tango’ from Chicago is a good example) and examine the relationship between the characters in their dramatic context. How much information can we discover about each character? How is this information reflected in the vocal writing and musical style? This exercise can also be used as character research in preparation for performance projects.
To find out more about how we help actors create clear characterisation in Musical Theatre songs, watch our Mastering Musical Theatre masterclass online
Or book a 1-1 session online or in person here
Learn with Us
Vocal Process Teacher Accreditation
Book a Consultation
Books and e-books
Get in Touch
- Vocal Process Ltd Alder Hollow, 10 West Wall Presteigne LD8 2By
- © 2022 Vocal Process Limited
- Terms and Conditions
- Medical Disclaimer
- Website powered by Akira Studio Ltd
Subscription form with gift
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
Join StageAgent today and unlock amazing theatre resources and opportunities.
The Phantom of the Opera
See more characters from Richard Stilgoe Andrew Lloyd Webber Charles Hart
- Sample Materials
- Suggested Audition Pieces
- Related Products
- Useful Articles
Christine is the naive young ingenue of the Phantom. Having been
READ MORE - PRO MEMBERS ONLY
Join the StageAgent community to read our character analysis for Christine Daaé and unlock other amazing theatre resources!
Already a member? Log in
Upgrade to PRO to read our character analysis for Christine Daaé and unlock other amazing theatre resources!
Upgrade to StageAgent PRO
Other Characters From The Phantom of the Opera
The Phantom of the Opera - Musical
Vicomte Raoul de Chagny
View All Characters in The Phantom of the Opera
Think of me, wishing you were somehow here again, auditioning for christine daaé based on his/her attributes, we recommend you consider these audition pieces.
THIS FEATURE IS ONLY AVAILABLE FOR PRO MEMBERS
Auditioning for Christine Daaé?
Upgrade to PRO Sign Up for PRO to view suggested audition pieces!
Suggested Monologues PRO only
Suggested songs pro only.
We only provide suggested audition monologues or songs for an individual character if our system finds content that matches a character's traits. Results may vary.
Click the keyword tags below to see more results.
*Our system only provides suggested monologues or songs for select characters if we have matching monologues and song information in our database.
More about Christine Daaé
Sign up today to unlock amazing theatre resources and opportunities.
Auditions & Jobs
Simonas Search - Submit for NYC Appointments New York, NY
New York, NY
Next Fall New York, NY
Social Media Coordinator for Treasure Trunk New York, NY
Oops! This page is only accessible by StageAgent Pro members.
Take your performing arts career to the next level.
Gain full access to show guides, character breakdowns, auditions, monologues and more!
or log in to your account
You need a Pro account to access this feature.
UPGRADE TO PRO
or or log in to your account