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Scene 1 THE STAIRCASE OF THE OPERA HOUSE


(The guests, whom we cannot yet see clearly, are in fancy dress; a peacock, a lion, a dragon, Mephistopheles, a highwayman, a clown, knights, ladies, an executioner. The foyer was stunning before, but now it is a wild, extravagant, and surreal visual feast. At the entrance, Firmin and Andre, ridiculously costumed, greet the guests as they enter. They each take champagne from a tray, raise their masks and LAUGH)

 

FIRMIN M'sieur Andre?

 

ANDRE M'sieur Firmin!

 

(Each raises his mask to the other. They recognize each other.)

 

FIRMIN Dear Andre, what a splendid party!

 

ANDRE The prologue to a bright new year!

 

FIRMIN Quite a night! I'm impressed!

 

ANDRE Well, one does one's best.

 

ANDRE/FIRMIN (raising their glasses) Here's to us!

 

FIRMIN The toast of all the city;
What a pity that the Phantom can’t be here!

 

(The gauze lifts fully to reveal the staircase of the opera house. A large crowd of ONLOOKERS watches as magnificently COSTUMED GUESTS pass by and make their way up to the main entrance. The stairs are lined with ORNAMENTED GUARDSMEN. At the entrance, Firmin and Andre greet the guests as they enter.

The GUESTS revel in their own magnificence, indulging in the debauchery that their anonymity allows them. They travel up and down the staircase in a dizzying spectacle)

 

CHORUS Masquerade! Paper faces on parade.
Masquerade! Hide your face, so the world will never find you!

Masquerade! Every face a different shade.
Masquerade! Look around—there's another mask behind you!

Flash of mauve. Splash of puce.
Fool and king. Ghoul and goose.
Green and black. Queen and priest.
Trace of rouge. Face of beast.

Faces!
Take your turn, take a ride
on the merry-go-round
in an inhuman race!

Eye of gold. Thigh of blue.
True is false. Who is who?
Curl of lip. Swirl of gown.
Ace of hearts. Face of clown.

Faces!
Drink it in, drink it up,
till you've drowned in the light, in the sound.
But who can name the face?

(The auditorium has been transformed into a giant dance floor, with all the seats removed. Some of the wealthier guests watch the madness from the boxes above.)

Masquerade! Grinning yellows, spinning reds.
Masquerade! Take your fill—let the spectacle astound you!

Masquerade! Burning glances, turning heads.
Masquerade! Stop and stare at the sea of smiles around you!

Masquerade! Seething shadows breathing lies.
Masquerade! You can fool any friend who ever knew you!

Masquerade! Leering satyrs, peering eyes.
Masquerade! Run and hide—but a face will still pursue you!

 

(The ENSEMBLE activity becomes background, as ANDRE, FIRMIN, CHRISTINE, MEG, GIRY, PIANGI and CARLOTTA come to the fore, glasses in hand.)

 

GIRY What a night.

 

MEG What a crowd!

 

ANDRE Makes you glad!

 

FIRMIN Makes you proud! All the creme de la creme!

 

CARLOTTA Watching us watching them!

MEG/CHRISTINE And all our fears are in the past!

 

ANDRE Six months.

 

PIANGI Of relief!

 

CARLOTTA Of delight!

 

ANDRE/FIRMIN Of Elysian peace!

 

MEG/CHRISTINE And we can breathe at last!

CARLOTTA No more notes!

 

PIANGI No more ghost!

 

GIRY Here's a health!

 

ANDRE Here's a toast: to a prosperous year!

 

FIRMIN To the new chandelier!

 

PIANGI/CARLOTTA And may its splendor never fade!

FIRMIN Six months!

 

ANDRE What a joy!

 

MEG What a change!

 

FIRMIN/ANDRE What a blessed release!

 

GIRY And what a masquerade...

 

(They clink glasses and move off. MEG and CHRISTINE, ducking off to the side of the upper foyer, share an intimate moment. Christine is admiring a worn, simple ring that hangs on a silver chain around her neck. She pushes her swan mask up onto her forehead, exposing her face.)

 

CHRISTINE Think of it; a secret engagement. Lookyour future bride! Just think of it.

 

MEG I only wish we didn’t have to hide...

(She goes on tiptoe to kiss Christine’s cheek; Christine pulls back)

MEG: What’s wrong, Christine…?

 

CHRISTINE: No, Meg, please don’t, they’ll see—

MEG What’s there to see?
I’ve kissed your cheek a thousand times…
Christine, what are you afraid of…?

 

CHRISTINE ...Let's not argue.

 

MEG No, of course. I understand.

 

BOTH I can only hope this fear will pass in time.

 

(They are swept up into the midst of a large, intense dance on the foyer floor. CHRISTINE is furiously whirled from partner to partner, each one increasingly more reminiscent of the Phantom. Terrified and disoriented, she spins in the sea of masks, searching for someone in the crowd...

Suddenly, MEG reaches out from the whirling throng and grabs her. CHRISTINE’s fear washes away and a smile returns to her face. MEG pulls her back into the dance as the music rolls on into the climax)

 

ALL Masquerade! Paper faces on parade!
Masquerade! Hide your face, so the world will never find you!

Masquerade! Every face a different shade!
Masquerade! Look around—There's another mask behind you!

Masquerade! Burning glances, turning heads.
Masquerade! Stop and stare at the sea of smiles around you!

Masquerade! Grinning yellows, spinning reds.
Masquerade! Take your fill let the spectacle...astound...you...

 

(At the height of the activity a grotesque figure suddenly appears at the top of the staircase and the chorus trails off into gasps and the occasional scream. Dressed all in crimson, with a death's head visible inside the hood of his robe, the PHANTOM has come to the party. With dreadful wooden steps he descends the stairs and takes the center of the stage)

 

PHANTOM Why so silent, good messieurs?
Did you think that I had left you for good?
Have you missed me, good messieurs?
I have written you an opera!

(He takes from under his robe an enormous bound manuscript)

Here I bring the finished score: "Don Juan Triumphant"!

(He throws it to the floor, where the score scatters dramatically along the steps. In the background, MEG moves to pull a frightened CHRISTINE closer; GIRY’S arm flashes out and holds her still in a bruising grip, stopping Meg from drawing attention to herself.)

PHANTOM Fondest greetings to you all.
A few instructions just before rehearsal starts.

(He casually draws the saber at his hip and mockingly threatens the subjects of his criticism one by one as he addresses them)

Carlotta must be taught to act,
not her normal trick of strutting round the stage.
Our Don Juan must lose some weight;
it's not healthy in a man of Piangi's age.

(His gaze falls on MEG, still restrained behind her mother’s arm)

You should have left the child home.
There are
dangers, when you so expose your heart...

(He rounds on the MANAGERS)

And my managers must learn
that their place is in an office, not the arts!

(As he turns to face Christine, the saber is sheathed.)

As for Miss Christine Daae...

No doubt she'll do her best! It's true her voice is good.
She knows, though, should she wish to excel
she has much still to learn,
if pride will let her return to me.
Her teacher, her teacher...

 

(CHRISTlNE, mesmerized, approaches as the PHANTOM beckons her. He reaches out, grasps the chain that holds the secret engagement ring, and rips it from her throat)

 

PHANTOM Your chains are still mine—you belong to me!

 

(ALL cower in suspense as the music crescendos, until suddenly, his figure evaporates)


Scene 2 BACKSTAGE


(GIRY is hurrying across. MEG appears, causing her to jump; she calms quickly, setting her candle aside, but pauses as it becomes obvious that Meg is far from her usual self)

 

GIRY Is something wrong, Meg?

 

MEG (Her arms are folded across her stomach, but her voice, while quiet, is steady) Who is he?

 

(The reaction is immediate; GIRY stiffens and shakes her head sharply, turning to leave; MEG hurries up to her, gently gripping her arm.)

 

GIRY My dear, don't ask me—I know no more than anyone else.

 

MEG That's not true!

 

GIRY Meg, don’t ask. There have been too many accidents. You already know too much.

 

MEG Accidents?! Please, Maman. For all our sakes.

 

GIRY (glancing around nervously) Very well. (She lets Meg into her dressing room and locks the door) It was years ago. There was a traveling fair in the city. Tumblers, conjurers, human...oddities. I was younger than you are now. Studying to be a ballerina—one of many.

 

MEG (sitting down nearby and holding her mother’s hand) What happened?

 

(Behind her, as she recites the tale, we see APPARITIONS of the things she describes.)

 

GIRY There was—I shall never forget him—a boy. Locked in a cage.

 

MEG In a cage…?

 

GIRY More monster than man, they called him. The devil’s child.

 

MEG That’s so cruel.

 

GIRY: Deformed from birth, it seemed. There was a man, his...handler. (The projection is shown beating the figure of a cowering child) His body was found--strangled with the rope used to tie the boy. So the police reported. (starts from her daze and moves to stand) I have said too much and you should be in bed— (seeing Meg’s face, she sighs) Yes, I saw him run. I hid him. From the world, and its cruelties. He has known nothing else of life since then, except this opera house. For some years I knew him, and then never again. But he was a genius, Meg. A scholar, an architect, a magician...

 

MEG A composer?

 

GIRY: And so afraid, Meg, and what else could I have done? He was only a little boy.


Scene 3 – BALLET DORMITORIES, NIGHT


(Unable to truly share a bed, MEG and CHRISTINE have settled for setting up their beds beside one another in a secluded corner. A vase of lilacs is set up on CHRISTINE’s nightstand. Everything is dark and quiet. MEG is asleep, with her back to the dormitory. CHRISTINE, however, tosses and turns for several moments before sitting up; she can’t sleep. She slips out of bed, pausing for a few moments to watch MEG sleep. Then, taking up a HOODED CLOAK from the back of a CHAIR, CHRISTINE slips downstairs)

 

EXT. PARIS STREETS

(Christine, dressed in a heavy hood, steps out of a rear door of the opera house and approaches a stablemaster, handing him a few coins. She gets inside.)

 

STABLEMASTER: Où allez-vous, mademoiselle?

 

CHRISTINE: To my father’s grave, please.

 

INT. BALLET DORMITORIES

(The clatter of hooves and carriage wheels makes MEG stir faintly. She sits up and rubs her eyes, and does a double-take as she looks over at the next bed to find it empty, with the covers thrown back. She frowns and stands, crossing to the door to peek out. As she does so she rests her hand on the back of the chair where Christine’s traveling cloak was hanging moments ago.

She freezes, looking between the chair back and the window to the street. MEG starts for the door, then turns back. She crosses back into the dormitory and grabs a FIREPLACE POKER, then runs out the door.)

 

EXT. PARIS STREETS

(CHRISTINE’s carriage rattles through the city as she looks out over the gloomy surroundings, singing absently to herself.)

 

CHRISTINE: In sleep he sang to me, in dreams he came...
That voice which calls to me and speaks my name...

 

(And as the music swells, the carriage reaches…)

 

A GRAVEYARD

(A BELL TOLLS in the distance. Christine gets out of the carriage, opens the gate and begins to walk among the tombs.)

 

CHRISTINE You were once my one companion.
You were all that mattered.
You were once a friend and father—
then my world was shattered.

Wishing you were somehow here again.
Wishing you were somehow near.
Sometimes it seemed if I just dreamed,
Somehow you would be here.

Wishing I could hear your voice again.
Knowing that I never would.
Dreaming of you won't help me to do
all that you dreamed I could.

Passing bells and sculpted angels, cold and monumental,
seem, for you, the wrong companions—you were warm and gentle.

Too many years fighting back tears. Why can't the past just die?

Wishing you were somehow here again.
Knowing we must say goodbye.
Try to forgive. Teach me to live.
Give me the strength to try!

No more memories! No more silent tears.
No more gazing across the wasted years.
Help me say goodbye...

 

(Suddenly, the STRAINS OF A GHOSTLY VIOLIN are heard throughout the cemetery. Christine looks up, bewildered.)

 

PHANTOM (very soft and enticing)
Wandering child, so lost, so helpless.
Yearning for my guidance.

 

(Bewildered, CHRISTINE looks up, and murmurs breathlessly):

 

CHRISTINE Angel, or father...friend, or Phantom?
Who is it there, staring.?

 

PHANTOM (more and more hypnotic) Have you forgotten your Angel?

CHRISTINE Angel, oh, speak. What endless longings
echo in this whisper!

 

(MEG appears in the shadows, slipping off the back of one of the opera house’s sleepy ponies. She hesitates on the verge of revealing herself, peering into the gloom.)

 

PHANTOM (now drawing CHRISTINE towards him) Too long you've wandered in winter...

MEG (to herself, in a heartbroken murmur, as the PHANTOM begins the familiar melody that once belonged to her) Once again she is his...

 

PHANTOM Far from my far-reaching gaze...

MEG: Once again she returns...

 

CHRISTINE (increasingly mesmerized) Wildly my mind beats against you...

PHANTOM You resist...

 

PHANTOM/CHRISTINE Yet your/the soul obeys!

 

MEG: ...to the arms of her angel!
Angel or demon, still he calls her.
Luring her back from the grave.
Angel or dark seducer?
Who are you, strange angel?

PHANTOM Angel of Music! You denied me,
turning from true beauty.
Angel of Music! Do not shun me.
Come to your strange Angel.

CHRISTINE Angel of Music! I denied you,
turning from true beauty.
Angel of Music! My protector.
Come to me, strange Angel.

 

(CHRISTINE moves towards the figure of the PHANTOM)

 

PHANTOM (beckoning her) I am your Angel of Music. Come to me, Angel of Music.

 

(MEG snaps free from her despairing reverie as she makes out the figure of the PHANTOM at last and realizes the danger her lover is in)

 

MEG Christine!

 

(Inexorably the PHANTOM continues to beckon CHRISTINE)

 

PHANTOM I am your Angel of Music. Come to me, Angel of Music...

 

MEG (in desperation) Christine! Christine, listen to me! Your father loved you! Whatever you may believe, your father would not hurt you this way! Let her go—Christine, please, look at me! Just look at me!

 

(Coming out of her trance CHRISTINE turns and mouths)

 

CHRISTINE Meg…?

 

(With monumental effort she takes a single step back from the looming presence of the Phantom; then another. MEG hurries forward and holds out her hand; Christine stumbles toward her and takes it, all but falling into Meg’s arms. Meg embraces her protectively.

MEG almost doesn’t notice the danger in time. Having disappeared when CHRISTINE turned away from him, the PHANTOM now reappears in a fury, drawing a rapier from under a cloak and flying at MEG. Barely in time, MEG shoves CHRISTINE free and swings her fireplace poker in a wild block. It saves her life, but the PHANTOM recovers first and lunges, forcing her to dodge. They exchange a few more blows, but MEG is hopelessly outmatched and the PHANTOM slashes deep into her “sword” arm, making her drop the poker and backpedal. MEG trips, scrambling backward, and the PHANTOM sweeps his sword up for the kill.

 

CHRISTINE No!

(She lunges forward, reaching out; the PHANTOM, sword raised, freezes. The moment hangs between them.)

CHRISTINE Please. Not her.

 

(The PHANTOM stares at her in rage; it seems as if he is going to shove her out of the way and finish it; but finally, in a sharp movement, he sheathes the sword.)

 

PHANTOM (words bitten off through his teeth) An old debt. That account is now settled. Cross my path again and you will find you have outlived my indulgence.

(He turns away)

PHANTOM (to CHRISTINE) Come.

(She hesitates)

PHANTOM (deadly soft) Come.

 

(Christine hangs between them for a moment, then breaks; she runs to MEG’s side and drops to her knees, pressing a hand over MEG’s injury and helping her up by her uninjured arm. As they stand they look around warily; the PHANTOM is gone.)

 

MEG We should go…

 

CHRISTINE Quickly.

 

(They exit. Unseen by them, hidden in the dark shadows, the PHANTOM watches.)

 

PHANTOM (in a dark snarl) Now let it be war...upon you both!


Scene 4— MANAGERS’ OFFICE, NIGHT


(ANDRE and FIRMIN are in the office, accompanied by the VICOMTE. MEG is sitting before them on the other side of a desk, looking uncomfortable at the interrogation; MME GIRY is nearby, arms crossed, hovering—a mixture of exasperated and protective.)

 

GIRY ...could have been killed, Meg! Of all the foolhardy things to do—

 

ANDRE (flustered) Yes, well, that being as it may—

 

FIRMIN Far be it from us to interfere with your sphere of discipline, Madame Giry, but given that the little adventure (GIRY makes an incredulous noise and is ignored) did happen, and the young ladies are back safe, it is imperative we at least learn what we can! (To Andre, in an undertone) You know, Andre, we could have bought any number of perfectly good opera houses...

 

MEG I’ve told you everything I know, messieurs.

 

VICOMTE You’re certain? You must have seen something, some hint as to how he accomplishes these—these tricks!

 

MEG I’m sorry, Monsieur le Vicomte, I’m sorry but I didn’t see... (MEG looks helplessly at her mother)

 

GIRY Messieurs, if you please—

 

FIRMIN Well, if the girl really has nothing else to say. It seems we know nothing except that some lunatic is obsessed with Miss Daae, which is hardly a revelation!

 

ANDRE I mean! This...person is real enough, it seems. And a man can’t simply disappear into thin air!

 

(The VICOMTE holds a hand up for silence; everyone turns to him.)

 

VICOMTE We have all been blind
and yet the answer is staring us in the face.
This could be the chance to ensnare our clever friend.

 

ANDRE We're listening.

FIRMIN Go on.

 

VICOMTE We shall play his game.
Perform his work—but remember we hold the ace.
For, if Miss Daae sings, he is certain to attend.

 

ANDRE (carried along by the idea) We make certain the doors are barred.

 

FIRMIN (likewise) We make certain our men are there.

 

VICOMTE We make certain they're armed.

 

VICOMTE/ANDRE/FIRMIN (savoring their victory) The curtain falls—his reign will end!

 

(Beat)

 

GIRY Madness!

 

ANDRE I'm not so sure.

 

FIRMIN Not if it works!

 

GIRY This is madness!

 

ANDRE The tide will turn!

 

GIRY (increasingly alarmed, bordering on frantic) Monsieur, believe me—
there is no way of turning the tide!

 

FIRMIN (to GIRY) You stick to ballet!

 

VICOMTE (rounding on GIRY) Then help us!

 

GIRY Monsieur, I can't.

 

VICOMTE Instead of warning us—

 

VICOMTE/ANDRE/FIRMIN Help us!

 

GIRY I wish I could—!

 

VICOMTE/ANDRE/FIRMIN Don't make excuses!

 

VICOMTE Or could it be that you're on his side?

 

(MEG, furious, tries to jump to her feet and is once again restrained by her mother’s hand)

 

MEG: How dare you—

 

GIRY Hush, Meg. Monsieur, believe me, I intend no ill.
But messieurs, be careful—we have seen him kill!

 

ANDRE/FIRMIN (to GIRY) We say he'll fall and fall he will!

VICOMTE This is his undoing!

 

ANDRE/FIRMIN (to VICOMTE) If you succeed you free us all
this so called "angel" has to fall!

GIRY (to VICOMTE) Hear my warning! Fear his fury!

ANDRE (to FIRMIN) Christine sings
We'll get our man.

 

FIRMIN (to ANDRE) If Christine helps us in this plan.

VICOMTE Say your prayers, black angel of death!

ANDRE (to FIRMIN) If Christine won't, then no-one can.

GIRY (to VICOMTE) Monsieur, I beg you, do not do this.

ANDRE/FIRMIN This will seal his fate!

GIRY: You will kill us all!

 

(In the midst of the tumult, as it devolves into a shouting match, no one notices Meg stand and slip out, tiptoeing out into the opera house until she quietly lets herself into Christine’s dressing room. Christine is tiny and frightened, curled up on the floor in a dark corner, and Meg crosses to her side to put her arms around her.)

 

MEG You heard them shouting, didn’t you? I’m so sorry, Christine...

 

CHRISTINE: Meg, I'm frightened. Don't make me do this. (MEG strokes her hair, holding her close) Meg, it scares me. Don't put me through this ordeal by fire. He'll take me, I know. We'll be parted forever. He won't let me go...

What I once used to dream I now dread.
If he finds me, it won't ever end.
And he'll always be there, singing songs in my head.
He'll always be there, singing songs in my head...

 

MEG (to CHRISTINE) You said yourself he was nothing but a man.
Yet while he lives, he will haunt us till we're dead.

 

(CHRISTINE turns away unhappily)

 

CHRISTINE Twisted every way, what answer can I give?
Am I to risk my life, to win the chance to live?
Can I betray the man who once inspired my voice?
Do I become his prey? Do I have any choice?

He kills without a thought, he murders all that's good—
I know I can't refuse! And yet, I wish I could.
Oh God—if I agree, what horrors wait for me
in this, the Phantom's opera?

 

MEG (to CHRISTINE, very tenderly) Christine, Christine, whatever you decide,
I’ll be right here; stand by your side in the darkness...

 

(CHRISTINE, overcome by her conflicting emotions, turns and clings to MEG, burying her face in her shoulder)


Scene 5— A REHEARSAL FOR DON JUAN TRIUMPHANT


(REYER supervises the learning of the new piece from the piano. Present are PIANGI, CHRISTINE, CARLOTTA, GlRY and CHORUS)

 

CHORUS Hide your sword now wounded knight!
Your vainglorious asconnade
brought you to your final fight
for your ride, high price you've paid!

 

CHRISTINE Silken couch and hay-filled barn
both have been his battlefield.

 

PIANGI (wrong) Those who tangle with Don Juan—

 

REYER (stopping him) No, no, no! Chorus rest, please. Don Juan, Signor Piangi—here is the phrase. (He demonstrates it) "Those who tangle with Don Juan." If you please?

 

PIANGI (still wrong) Those who tangle with Don Juan.

 

REYER No, no. Nearly—but no. "Those who tan, tan, tan."

 

PIANGI (still wrong) Those who taaaangle with Don Juan...

 

CARLOTTA (to the OTHERS) His way is better. At least he make it sound like music!

 

GIRY (to CARLOTTA) Signora—would you speak that way in the presence of the composer?

 

CARLOTTA (careless of the implications of this remark) The composer is not here. And if he were here, I would—

 

GIRY (cutting in, extremely pointed) Can you be certain of that, Signora?

 

(There’s an ominous silence at her words)

 

REYER So, once again—after seven. (He gives the note and counts in) Five, six, seven.

 

PIANGI (wrong again) Those who are the tangling with Don Juan—!

 

(Gradually EVERYONE starts either to talk or to practice the phrase simultaneously)

 

CARLOTTA Ah, pi— non posso! What does it matter what notes we sing?

 

GIRY Have patience, Signora.

 

CARLOTTA No one will know if it is right or if it is wrong. No one will care if it is right, or if it is wrong! (mocking) Those who tangle with Don Juan!

 

PIANGI (trying again) Those who tan. tan. (to CHRISTINE) Is right?

 

CHRISTINE (to PIANGI) Not quite, Signor: Those who tan. tan.

 

REYER (attempting to restore order) Ladies. Signor Piangi. If you please—!

(REYER thumps the piano keys, then leaves the piano, and attempts to attract attention using signals. At the height of the mayhem, CHRISTINE moves away from the group. She sits quietly, staring blankly at nothing, almost corpselike. MEG, watching her from where MME GIRY’s ballet drills are proceeding in a much more disciplined manner, gets up to go to her. GIRY taps her cane against the stage and shakes her head, and MEG reluctantly falls back into line.)


Scene 6 BEFORE THE PREMIERE ; THE OPERA HOUSE ON THE NIGHT OF THE PREMIERE OF "DON JUAN TRIUMPHANT''


(The orchestra is tuning. A whistle sounds the CHIEF FIRE OFFICER is reviewing two FIRE MARSHALLS in tin helmets. A worklight on a stand illuminates them. Also present are the VICOMTE, ANDRE and FIRMIN, supervising the proceedings, and a MARKSMAN, at present hidden in the pit)

 

CHIEF You understand your instructions?

 

FIREMEN (severely) Sir!

 

CHIEF When you hear the whistle, take up your positions. I shall then instruct you to secure the doors. It is essential that all doors are properly secured.

 

FIRMIN Are we doing the right thing, Andre?

 

ANDRE Have you got a better idea?

 

CHIEF Monsieur le Vicomte, am I to give the order?

 

VICOMTE Give the order.

(The CHIEF blows his whistle. The FIREMEN fan out, leaving the VICOMTE, the CHIEF and the MANAGERS on stage)

VICOMTE (to the MARKSMAN) You in the pit—do you have a clear view of this box?

 

MARKSMAN (appearing from the pit) Yes, sir.

 

VICOMTE Remember, when the time comes, shoot. Only if you have to—but shoot. To kill.

 

MARKSMAN How will I know, sir?

 

VICOMTE You'll know.

 

FIRMIN Monsieur le Vicomte, are you confident that this will work?

 

VICOMTE Will Miss Daae sing?

 

FIRMIN Don't worry about that, monsieur. Andre?

 

ANDRE We're in your hands, sir.

 

CHIEF My men are now in position, sir.

 

VICOMTE Go ahead, then.

 

(Sounding his whistle again, the CHIEF shouts into the auditorium):

 

CHIEF Are the doors secure?

 

(Exit doors are slammed all over the building, The FIREMEN answering one by one: "Secure." The orchestra falls silent. Very quietly from nowhere, we hear the VOICE of the PHANTOM)

 

PHANTOM'S VOICE I'm here: The Phantom of the Opera.

(ALL look around apprehensively. FIREMEN start to run in the direction of the VOICE)

PHANTOM'S VOICE (from somewhere else) I'm here: The Phantom of the Opera.

 

(Again, they follow the VOICE. This happens several times, the PHANTOM'S VOICE darting more and more bewilderingly from place to place. Finally it is heard from Box Five, and in the confusion the MARKSMAN fires a shot. The VICOMTE rounds on the MARKSMAN furiously)

 

VICOMTE Idiot! You'll kill someone. I said: only when the time comes!

 

MARKSMAN But, Monsieur le Vicomte!

 

(The PHANTOM'S VOICE cuts in, filling the building. All look up)

 

PHANTOM'S VOICE No "buts"! For once, Monsieur le Vicomte is right.

Seal my fate tonight.
I hate to have to cut the fun short,
but the joke's wearing thin.
Let the audience in.
Let my opera begin!


Scene 7 "DON JUAN TRIUMPHANT"


(The set of the final scene of "Don Juan TRIUMPHANT" A huge hall with an arch. Behind the arch, which has curtains, is a bed. A fine table, laid for two. PASSARINO, DON JUAN'S servant, is directing the STAFF as they make the room ready. They are a crowd of sixteenth century ruffians and hoydens, proud of their master's reputation as a libertine)

  

CHORUS Here the sire may serve the dam! 
Here the master takes his meat!
Here the sacrificial lamb
utters one despairing bleat!

CARLOTTA AND CHORUS Poor young maiden! For the thrill
on your tongue of stolen sweets,
you will have to pay the bill
tangled in the winding sheets!

Serve the meal and serve the maid!
Serve the master so that, when
tables, plans and maids are laid,
Don Juan triumphs once again!

 

(PIANGI, as Don Juan, emerges from behind the arch. He snaps his fingers. MEG follows en déshabillé. She pirouettes coquettishly for him. He throws her a purse. She catches it, kisses him and leaves.)

 

DON JUAN Passarino, faithful friend, once again recite the plan.

 

PASSARINO Your young guest believes I'm you—I, the master, you, the man!

 

DON JUAN When you met you wore my cloak, with my scarf you hid your face.
She believes she dines with me, in her master's borrowed place!

Furtively, we'll scoff and quaff, stealing what, in truth, is mine.
When it's late and modesty starts to mellow, with the wine...

 

PASSARINO You come home! I use your voice—slam the door like crack of doom!

 

DON JUAN I shall say: "Come hide with me! Where, oh, where? Of course—my room!"

 

PASSARINO Poor thing hasn't got a chance!

 

DON JUAN Here's my hat, my cloak and sword. Conquest is assured, if I do not forget myself and laugh!

 

(DON JUAN puts on PASSARINO's cloak and goes into the curtained alcove where the bed awaits. Although we do not yet know it, the Lasso has done its work, and SIGNOR PIANGI is no more. When next we see DON JUAN, it will be the PHANTOM. Meanwhile, we hear AMINTA (CHRISTINE) singing happily in the distance)

 

AMINTA (CHRISTINE—offstage, entering)

No thoughts within her head, but thoughts of joy!
No dreams within her heart but dreams of love!

 

PASSARINO (onstage) Master?

 

DON JUAN (PHANTOM—behind the curtain) Passarino—go away! For the trap is set and waits for its prey.

(PASSARINO leaves. CHRISTINE (AMINTA) enters. She takes off her cloak and sits down. Looks about her. No one. She starts on an apple. The PHANTOM, disguised as DON JUAN pretending to be PASSARINO, emerges. He now wears PASSARINO's robe, the cowl of which hides his face. His first words startle her.)

DON JUAN (PHANTOM) You have come here in pursuit of your deepest urge,
in pursuit of that wish, which till now has been silent, silent.

I have brought you, that our passions may fuse and merge.
In your mind you've already succumbed to me,
dropped all defenses, completely succumbed to me.
Now you are here with me: no second thoughts.
You've decided, decided.

Past the point of no return
No backward glances:
the games we've played till now are at an end.
Past all thought of "if" or "when"
No use resisting.
Abandon thought, and let the dream descend.

What raging fire shall flood the soul?
What rich desire unlocks its door?
What sweet seduction lies before us?

Past the point of no return,
the final threshold.
What warm, unspoken secrets will we learn?
Beyond the point of no return.

 

(CHRISTINE remains silent, confused and conflicted. She nervously looks around – nobody senses that anything is wrong. Her voice is weak and shaky.)

 

AMINTA (CHRISTINE) You have brought me to that moment where words run dry,
to that moment where speech disappears into silence, silence.

I have come here, hardly knowing the reason why.
In my mind, I've already imagined our bodies entwining
defenseless and silent…

(At the moment she reaches the word “defenseless” CHRISTINE’s nervously wandering gaze falls on MEG, tucked in the wings. MEG is halfway through a costume change, tying her hair up with one hand, but has hurried to the edge of the stage and is watching with concern. For a heartbeat, their eyes meet. CHRISTINE gathers herself, and a bit of steel enters her. Her voice and resolve steady.)

...and now I am here with you: no second thoughts,
I've decided, decided.

(As she sings, she gains more and more strength, approaching the PHANTOM with more intensity.)

Past the point of no return.
No going back now;
our passion-play has now, at last, begun.
Past all thought of right or wrong.
One final question:
how long should we two wait before we're one?

When will the blood begin to race,
the sleeping bud burst into bloom?
When will the flames at last consume us?

(Christine can’t take it any longer. She turns to run from the stage, but the Phantom grabs her and forcibly pulls her towards him. She tries to get away, but he is too strong.)

BOTH Past the point of no return 
the final threshold:
The bridge is crossed, so stand and watch it burn.
We've passed the point of no return.

 

(By now the POLICE have realized that SIGNOR PIANGI is dead behind the curtain, and it is the PHANTOM who sings in his place. CHRISTINE knows it too. As final confirmation, the PHANTOM sings):

 

PHANTOM (plaintively) Say you'll share with me one love, one lifetime.
Lead me, save me from my solitude.

 (The Phantom takes a JEWELED RING off of his finger and places it on Christine’s – this is meant to be a proposal. She looks on, entreating him to stop with her eyes.)

Say you want me with you, here beside you.
Anywhere you go, let me go too.

Christine, that's all I ask of...

 

(We never reach the word 'you', for CHRISTINE quite calmly reveals the PHANTOM'S face to the audience. Christine tries to run, but the Phantom, furious, pulls her back towards him. As the FORCES OF LAW close in on the horrifying skull, the PHANTOM sweeps his cloak around her and vanishes. MEG pulls the curtain upstage, revealing PIANGI'S body garroted, propped against the bed, his head gruesomely tilted to one side. She screams.

Utter pandemonium erupts. The stage is boiling with activity, the audience is screaming. Gunshots go wild. And then, as the POLICE try to establish order, the lights of the CHANDELIER begin to flicker. Suddenly, triggered by some unseen mechanism, one of the supporting chains snaps. The chandelier, off-balance, lurches drunkenly over the opera house, and any attempt at restoring peace is shattered. Crystal scatters into the seats as the audience attempts to get out from underneath; the weight and movement finally wrench the main cable free of its mooring, and the massive chandelier crashes into the orchestra pit as the MUSICIANS dive out of its path. Some do not make it.

Not all the gas lights were extinguished before the crash, and the fire catches and begins to spread as we transform to...)

 

REVERSE VIEW OF THE STAGE

(POLICE, STAGEHANDS, etc. rush onto the burning stage in confusion. Also: ANDRE, FIRMIN, the VICOMTE, GIRY, CARLOTTA and MEG. GIRY attempts to call the BALLET GIRLS to her; many in the CHORUS respond to her gestures instinctively as the only voice of reason, and she tries to direct them toward the exits.)

 

CARLOTTA What is it? What has happened? Ubaldo! (Horrified, she drops to the floor beside him)

 

ANDRE Oh, my God. My God.

 

FIRMIN We're ruined, Andre—ruined!

 

MEG (shoving her way through the crowd, grabs GIRY) Where has he taken her?

 

(There is, briefly, a pause as GIRY looks at her daughter, a moment where she may refuse to answer…)

 

GIRY Come with me!

 

CARLOTTA (wretched, sobbing over PIANGI's body) Oh, my darling, my darling. Who has done this? (hysterical, attacking ANDRE) You! Why did you let this happen?!

 

(She breaks down, clinging to PIANGI’s body. A member of the CHORUS grabs her shoulder and tries to pull her away as the fire spreads.)

 

MEG (hurrying in her mother’s wake) The passage behind the mirror?

 

GIRY No time. I can show you the faster route. But remember: your hand at the level of your eyes!

 

MEG (holding up her hand) The lasso. I know.

 

GIRY Remember it, Meg! First Buquet, and he knew the stories as well as you. Now Piangi—

 

MEG I’ll remember. Thank you.

 

GIRY This is no favor, my dear. But if you must go, I will give you what help I can. Now come, Meg! Or we shall be too late.


Scene 8 THE LABYRINTH UNDERGROUND


(Meanwhile, down below, we see the PHANTOM and CHRISTINE in the underground passages The Phantom is dragging her after him, with Christine struggling in vain to resist. This journey is much more furious, much less beautiful than we remember it.)

 

PHANTOM Down once more to the dungeon of my black despair!
Down we plunge to the prison of my mind!
Down that path into darkness deep as hell!

(He rounds on her, bitterly)

Why, you ask, was I bound and chained in this cold and dismal place?
Not for any mortal sin, but the wickedness of my abhorrent face!

 

(He hears the offstage voices of the pursuing MOB)

 

MOB (offstage) Track down this murderer! He must be found!

 

PHANTOM (moving off again; we’ve reached the boat, and he flings Christine down into it, pushing off across the underground lake)
Hounded out by everyone! Met with hatred everywhere!
No kind word from anyone! No compassion anywhere!
Christine. Why? Why?!

 

(MEG and GIRY appear above. They make their way down, meeting a pack of rats. MEG screams and lowers her guard. GIRY grabs her wrist and pulls her hand into position again.)

 

GIRY Your hand at the level of your eyes!

MEG ...at the level of your eyes. (She grimaces apologetically)

 

MOB (offstage) Your hand at the level of your eyes!

 

GIRY He lives across the lake, if I cannot convince you. You need go no farther, Meg—

 

MEG I have to. You…(a pause, as she hesitates) You know why.

 

(For a moment, GIRY just looks at her)

 

GIRY You never have realized the danger you place yourself in, my dear. I will try to bring help, if they will listen, but I fear it will come too late.

 

(MEG reaches out to take her hand. She hesitates as if she’s about to speak, then simply says…)

 

MEG Thank you.

 

(GIRY turns to go back up the slope. MEG looks at the water. After a moment she strips off what remains of her costume skirt and wades into the lake. The flickering torches of the MOB are visible in the distance.)

 

MOB Track down this murderer, he must be found!
Hunt out this animal, who runs to ground!
Too long he's preyed on us, but now we know:
the Phantom of the Opera is there deep down below.

He's here: the Phantom of the Opera.


Scene 9— BEYOND THE LAKE


(Christine, now dressed in the wedding dress, is torn from the bedroom by the Phantom (no longer dressed in Piangi’s robe). The mannequin of Christine, stripped of its clothing, lies bizarrely strewn across the silver throne.).

 

CHRISTINE (Coldly furious) Have you gorged yourself at last, in your lust for blood?

(no reply)

Am I now to be prey to your lust for flesh?

 

PHANTOMThat fate which condemns me to wallow in blood
has also denied me the joys of the flesh.
This face—the infection which poisons our love...

(He takes the bridal veil from the dummy, and moves slowIy towards her. Christine turns away.)

This face, which earned a mother's fear and loathing.
A mask my first unfeeling scrap of clothing.

(In rage he turns on Christine and tears her around, forcibly placing the veil on her head.)

Pity comes too late—turn around and face your fate!
An eternity of this before your eyes!

 

(They are almost touching. She looks calmly and coldly into his face)

 

CHRISTINE This haunted face holds no horror for me now.
It's in your soul that the true distortion lies.

 

(The PHANTOM suddenly senses MEG'S presence. Behind the portcullis, MEG climbs out of the water)

 

PHANTOM Wait! I think, my dear, we have a guest!

 

CHRISTINE (horrified) Meg!

 

PHANTOM(to MEG) Sweet girl, this is indeed an unparalleled delight!
I had rather hoped that you would come.
And now my wish comes true—
you have truly made my night!

 

MEG (pleading, grasping the bars of the gate) Free her! You’re not an animal, free her! She’s hurt, she’s frightened—

 

PHANTOM (to CHRISTINE, mocking) Your lover makes a passionate plea!

 

CHRISTINE Please, Meg, it's useless—

 

(The words sound like Meg’s soul is being torn from her chest)

 

MEG I love her! Does that mean nothing?! I love her! Show some compassion!

 

PHANTOM (a furious snarl) The world showed no compassion to me!

 

MEG Christine. Christine... (to PHANTOM) Let me see her.

 

PHANTOM Be my guest…(he flicks a look over Meg and finishes in a sneer)...sir.

 

(He gestures, and the fence rises. MEG enters. Fatally, as she reaches out toward Christine, the hand she reflexively extends is the one she was holding beside her eyes.)

 

CHRISTINE Meg, my angel—

 

(The PHANTOM doesn’t take that well; the sharp look he throws CHRISTINE stops her still in her tracks, and he turns back to MEG. He spreads his arms in a falsely jovial welcome, but his words drip venom as he slowly approaches her,)

 

PHANTOM My dear, I bid you welcome!
Did you think that I would harm her?
Why should I make her pay
for the sins which are yours?

(So saying, he takes the lasso and, before MEG has a chance to move, strikes with it like a whiplash. The noose catches her around the neck and tightens with a flick of his wrist. As Meg struggles and chokes against the rope the Phantom pulls more out of hiding places and pulls her hands away from attempting to loosen the noose, binding them to the portcullis while he taunts her.)

PHANTOM Hide behind your mother’s blood!
Raise up your hand to the level of your eyes!
Nothing can save you now—except perhaps Christine!

(He grabs CHRISTINE violently, catching her as she runs forward and dragging her away from the portcullis before she can try to help.) 

Start a new life with me—
Buy her freedom with your love!
Refuse me, and you send your lover to her death!
This is the choice—This is the point of no return!

 

(CHRISTINE pulls herself free of him and, for a moment, just stares in him, shaking with fury and heartbreak)

 

CHRISTINE (bitterly) The tears I might have shed for your dark fate
grow cold, and turn to tears of hate!

 

(She tears the veil off of her head and throws it to the ground.)

 

MEG (despairing) Christine, forgive me, please forgive me.
Let me die rather than be used against you—!

CHRISTINE (towards the Phantom) Farewell my fallen idol and false friend.
One by one I've watched illusions shattered.

 

PHANTOM Past all hope of cries for help: no point in fighting

 

MEG Either way you choose, he has to win.

PHANTOM For either way you choose, you cannot win!
So, do you end your days with me, or do you send her to her grave?

 

(The PHANTOM sadistically pulls the lasso tighter around MEG's throat; MEG looks him in the eye and glares, voice dripping with hate despite her fear.)

 

MEG Why make her lie to you to save me?

 

CHRISTINE Angel of Music...

PHANTOM Past the point of no return—

MEG Christine, I’m begging you, say no!

 

CHRISTINE ...who deserves this?

PHANTOM —the final threshold.

MEG Don't throw your life away for my sake!

 

CHRISTINE When will you see reason?

PHANTOM Her life is now the prize which you must earn!

 

MEG I will not be your jailer...

 

CHRISTINE Angel of Music...

PHANTOM You've passed the point of no return.

 

CHRISTINE (through the despair, a glimmer of very personal anger) ...you deceived me. I gave you my mind, blindly.

 

PHANTOM (to CHRISTINE) You try my patience—make your choice!

 

(She reflects for a moment, then with resolution moves slowly towards the PHANTOM)

 

CHRISTINE (quietly at first, then with growing emotion) Pitiful creature of darkness.
What kind of life have you known...?
God give me courage to show you you are not alone!

 

(CHRISTINE takes an unexpected move: tears streaming down her cheeks, she turns him around and kisses him long and full on the lips. The embrace lasts a long time. MEG watches in horror and agony.

CHRISTINE pulls back from the PHANTOM, who is stunned and shocked. Her sacrifice is too much for him to bear. Then the PHANTOM moves. Slowly and resolutely, he walks toward MEG. The PHANTOM takes a lighted candle and holds it near MEG's face. A tense moment. But the suspended rope suddenly falls harmlessly—the PHANTOM has burned the rope by which the noose was held, and walks away from her.

CHRISTINE rushes forward to help MEG free of the ropes; they kiss, fierce and frightened, CHRISTINE kissing MEG’s face as they work like she can’t quite stop herself. The PHANTOM ignores them now, turning away.)

 

MOB Some: Track down this murdererhe must be found!
Hunt out this animal, who runs to ground!
Too long he's preyed on us—but now we know:
the Phantom of the Opera is there deep down below!

MOB Others: Who is this monster, this murdering beast?
Revenge for Piangi! Revenge for Buquet!
This creature must never go free.

 

PHANTOM Take her—forget me—forget all of this. Leave me alone—forget all you've seen. Go now. Don't let them find you! Take the boat—leave me here. Just take her and go—before it's too late. Go. Go now—go now and leave me!

 

(MEG and CHRISTINE move off towards the boat; CHRISTINE supports most of a badly winded MEG’s weight. The PHANTOM looks mockingly at his mask. The musical box starts up, and he listens to it)

 

PHANTOM Masquerade. Paper faces on parade. Masquerade. Hide your face so the world will never find you...

(CHRISTINE re-enters and walks slowly towards him. She takes off the large “engagement” ring forced on her earlier, and gives it to the PHANTOM)

PHANTOM Christine, I love you...

 

(She hurries off. The PHANTOM puts the ring on his finger)

 

CHRISTINE (In the distance, to MEG, as the boat pulls away in the shadows)
Say you'll share with me, one love, one lifetime.
Say the word and I will follow you.

 

MEG Share each day with me.

CHRISTINE Each night...

BOTH Each morning.

 

PHANTOM (looking after her) You alone can make my song take flight…
It's over now, the music of the night!

 

(The PHANTOM walks slowly towards the throne. He takes his place on it, sitting on his cloak. The MOB including GIRY, appears above, climbing down the portcullis. As the MOB enters the lair, the PHANTOM wraps his cloak around himself and disappears.

 

GIRY crosses to the throne and picks up his mask in her hand, looking around the lair. It’s empty.)