Scene 1 REHEARSALS FOR "HANNIBAL" BY CHALUMEAU
(We have reached the great choral scene in which HANNIBAL and his army return to save Carthage from the Roman invasion under Scipio. HANNIBAL is UBALDO PIANGI; ELISSA, Queen of Carthage (his mistress) is CARLOTTA GUIDICELLI. The two leading SLAVE GIRLS are played by MEG GIRY and CHRISTINE DAAE. MME. GIRY is the ballet mistress. M. REYER, the repetiteur, is in charge.
We join the opera towards the end of ELISSA's (CARLOTTA's) great aria. She is alone, holding a present from the approaching HANNIBAL: a bleeding severed head)
CARLOTTA (at the climax of an extravagant cade)
This trophy from our saviours,
from the enslaving force of Rome!
(A STAGE HAND carries a ladder across the stage. More STAGE HANDS are seen still constructing parts of the scenery)
With feasting and dancing and song,
tonight in celebration
we greet the victorious throng,
returned to bring salvation!
The trumpets of Carthage resound!
Hear, Romans, now, and tremble!
Hark to our step on the ground!
Hear the drums—Hannibal comes!
(PIANGI enters, as HANNIBAL)
PIANGI (HANNIBAL) Sad to return to find the land we love
threatened once more by Roma's far-reaching grasp.
REYER (interrupting him) Signor, if you please: "Rome". We say "Rome” not "Roma".
PIANGI Si, si, Rome, not Roma. Is very hard for me. (practising) Rrrrrome. Rome.
(Enter LEFEVRE, the retiring manager of the Opera, with M. FIRMIN and M. ANDRE, to whom he has just sold it)
REYER (to PIANGI) Once again, then, if you please, Signor: "Sad to return."
LEFEVRE (to ANDRE and FIRMIN, walking blithely among the actors) This way, gentlemen, this way. Rehearsals, as you see, are under way for a new production of Chalumeau's "Hannibal"...
REYER (scandalized) Monsieur Lefevre! I am rehearsing!
LEFEVRE Monsieur Reyer, Madame Giry, ladies and gentlemen, please—
(No one is listening to him. He looks helplessly to MME. GIRY for assistance; she BANGS her cane against the stage, and suddenly there is silence.)
LEFEVRE: Thank you. May I have your attention, please? As you know, for some weeks there have been rumours of my imminent retirement. I can now tell you that these were all true…
(General exclamations and chatter at the announcement)
LEFEVRE ...and it is my pleasure to introduce to you the two gentlemen who now own the Opera Populaire, M. Richard Firmin and M. Gilles Andre. (Polite applause. Some bowing. CARLOTTA makes her presence felt) Gentlemen, Signora Carlotta Giudicelli, our leading soprano for five seasons now.
ANDRE (eager to impress) Of course, of course. I have experienced all your greatest roles, Signora.
LEFEVRE And Signor Ubaldo Piangi.
FIRMIN An honour, Signor.
(the rehearsal continues)
Sad to return to find the land we love
threatened once more by Rome's far-reaching grasp.
Tomorrow we shall break the chains of Rome...
Tonight, rejoice—your army has come home!
(BALLET GIRLS begin their dance. LEFEVRE, ANDRE and FIRMIN stand centre-stage watching the ballet. They are very obviously in the way. The ballet continues under the following dialogue.)
LEFEVRE (indicating PIANGI) Signor Piangi, our principal tenor. He does play so well opposite La Carlotta.
GIRY (exasperated by their presence, bangs her cane angrily on the stage) Gentlemen, please! If you would kindly move to one side?
LEFEVRE My apologies, Madame Giry. (leading ANDRE and FIRMIN aside) Madame Giry, our ballet mistress. I don't mind confessing, Monsieur Firmin, I shan't be sorry to be rid of the whole blessed business.
GIRY We take a particular pride here in the excellence of our ballet.
(MEG becomes prominent among the dancers)
ANDRE I can see why! Especially that little blonde angel.
GIRY (somewhat acerbic, considering ANDRE’s unsubtle ogling) My daughter. Meg Giry. A promising dancer, Monsieur. Very promising.
(CHRISTINE becomes prominent. She has absent-mindedly fallen out-of-step)
GIRY (spotting her, bangs her cane again) You! Christine Daae! Concentrate, girl!
MEG (quietly, to CHRISTINE) Christine. What's the matter?
FIRMIN (to LEFEVRE) Daae? Curious name. No relation to the famous Swedish violinist?
LEFEVRE His daughter, I believe.
GIRY: His only child. Orphaned at seven. I think of her as a daughter also. Gentlemen, please...
(The ballet continues to its climax with LEFEVRE, FIRMIN and ANDRE finally herded out of the way, and ends. The CHORUS resumes)
CHORUS Bid welcome to Hannibal's guests:
the elephants of Carthage!
As guides on our conquering quests,
Dido sends Hannibal's friends!
(The ELEPHANT, a life-sized mechanical replica, enters. PIANGI attempts to climb onto the elephant’s back but can’t quite make it.)
Once more to my welcoming arms
my love returns in splendour!
PIANGI (HANNIBAL, clinging precariously to the side of the elephant)
Once more to those sweetest of charms
my heart and soul surrender!
(Throughout the final chorus FIRMIN and ANDRE are visibly distracted by the beautiful ballerinas, to the equally visible irritation of Carlotta)
CHORUS The trumpeting elephants sound:
Hear, Romans, now and tremble!
Hark to their step on the ground!
Hear the drums! Hannibal comes!
(The elephant is led off. Two stagehands are revealed operating it from within)
CARLOTTA (indignant) All they want is dancing!
LEFEVRE (unaware, to FIRMIN and ANDRE) The Vicomte is very excited about tonight’s gala—
CARLOTTA (bitter laughter) Ah, is that so? I hope he is as excited by dancing girls as your new managers, because I will not be singing! Andiamo, it’s finished, bye-bye…(etc)
ANDRE (to LAFEVRE) ...What do we do?
LEFEVRE (resigned) Grovel. Grovel!
CARLOTTA (in the background) Bye-bye, dancing girls…!
(FIRMIN and ANDRE follow Carlotta, spewing general flattery. She is unimpressed. After a few moments of this:)
ANDRE Monsieur Reyer, isn’t there a rather marvelous aria for Elissa in Act Three of "Hannibal"? I wonder, Signora, if, as a personal favour, you would oblige us with a private rendition? Unless, of course, Monsieur Reyer objects.
CARLOTTA My manager commands.
REYER My diva commands.
CARLOTTA Yes! I do.
REYER (who is obviously very used to this) Will two bars be sufficient introduction?
FIRMIN Two bars will be quite sufficient
REYER (ensuring that CARLOTTA is ready) Signora?
(As the introduction is played on the piano)
FIRMIN I keep asking you, monsieur, why exactly are you retiring?
LEFEVRE My health.
CARLOTTA (waxing melodramatic)
Think of me, think of me fondly, when we've said goodbye.
Remember me once in a while, please promise me you'll try.
When you find that, once again, you long to take your heart—
(As CARLOTTA is singing a backdrop crashes to the floor on top of her)
MEG/BALLET GIRLS/CHORUS He's here: the Phantom of the Opera. He is with us. It's the ghost.
PIANGI (looking up, furiously) You idiots! (He rushes over to CARLOTTA) Cara! Cara! Are you hurt?
LEFEVRE Signora! Are you all right? Buquet! Where is Buquet?
PIANGI Is no one concerned for our prima donna?
LEFEVRE Get that man down here! (to ANDRE and FIRMIN) Chief of the flies. He's responsible for this.
(The drop is raised high enough to reveal upstage an old stagehand, JOSEPH BUQUET, holding a length of rope, which looks almost like a noose)
LEFEVRE Buquet! For God's sake, man, what's going on up there?
BUQUET Please monsieur, don't look at me: as God's my judge, I wasn’t at my post. Please monsieur, there's no one there! And if there is, well then...it must be a ghost.
MEG (looking up) He's there; the Phantom of the Opera.
ANDRE Good heavens! Will you show a little courtesy?
FIRMIN (to MEG and the OTHERS) Mademoiselle, please!
ANDRE (to CARLOTTA) Signora…These things do happen.
CARLOTTA ‘These things do happen?’ You have been here five minutes, what do you know! Si! These things do happen! Well, until you stop these things happening, this thing does not happen! Ubaldo! Andiamo! (PIANGI dutifully fetches her furs from the wings)
LEFEVRE I don't think there's much more with which I can assist you, gentlemen. Good luck. If you need me, I shall be in Frankfurt.
(He leaves. The COMPANY looks anxiously at the NEW MANAGERS)
ANDRE La Carlotta...Signora Giudicelli, she will be...coming back, won’t she?
(REYER throws his hands in the air hopelessly)
GIRY You think so, messieurs? I have a message, sir, from the Opera Ghost.
(The GIRLS twitter and twirl in fear. CHRISTINE takes hold of MEG nervously)
FIRMIN God in Heaven, you're all obsessed!
GIRY He merely welcomes you to his opera house and commands you to continue to leave Box Five empty for his use, and reminds you that his salary is due.
FIRMIN His salary?!
GIRY Monsieur Lefevre paid him twenty thousand francs a month.
FIRMIN Twenty thousand francs?!
GIRY (unaffected) Perhaps you can afford more, with the Vicomte de Chagny as your patron?
FIRMIN (to GIRY) Madame, I had hoped to have made that announcement myself, when the Vicomte was to join us for the gala. But obviously, we shall now have to cancel, as it appears we have lost our star!
ANDRE Who is the understudy for this role?
REYER There is no understudy, monsieur—the production is new!
FIRMIN Can you believe it? A full house, Andre—we shall have to refund a full house!
MEG Christine Daae could sing it, sir!
(Reaction to this from the CHORUS and BALLET GIRLS. Everyone glares at MEG, but she stands her ground.)
FlRMIN The chorus girl? Don’t be ridiculous.
MEG (to FIRMIN) She's been taking lessons from a great teacher.
ANDRE From whom?
CHRISTINE (uneasily) I don't know, sir.
FIRMIN Oh, not you as well!
GIRY Let her sing for you, monsieur. She has been well taught.
(A long pause; the managers exchange loaded looks, but no one protests further)
REYER From the beginning of the aria then, mam'selle.
FIRMIN Andre, this is doing nothing for my nerves...
ANDRE Don't fret, Firmin. She’s very pretty, at least.
CHRISTINE (hesitant, clearly nervous)
Think of me, think of me fondly, when we've said goodbye.
Remember me once in a while, please promise me you'll try.
(as CHRISTINE continues, her demeanor changes; she begins to sing with confidence, vigor, and strength; the managers and those around her are shocked)
When you find that, once again, you long to take your heart back and be free,
if you ever find a moment, spare a thought for me.
(Transformation to the Gala. CHRISTINE is revealed in full costume)
And though it's clear, though it was always clear that this was never meant to be,
if you happen to remember, stop and think of me.
Think of all the things we've shared and seen;
don't think about the things which might have been.
(As she sings MEG is visible with her mother in the wings; she’s smiling softly, glowing with pride, while MME GIRY is more subdued and looks between MEG and CHRISTINE quietly)
Think of me, think of me waking, silent and resigned.
Imagine me, trying too hard to put you from my mind.
Recall those days, look back on all those times, think of the things we'll never do;
there will never be a day when I won't think of you.
(The audience bursts into mid-aria APPLAUSE and BRAVOS. Prominent among the cheers are those of Meg, who applauds with immense enthusiasm. Her mother strokes Meg’s hair and glances up into the flies before slipping away.)
MEG It’s like a dream—they cheer like they love her… Bravo!
(Her tone turns a bit wistful)
Yet I recall a lonely, gentle girl, an angel hiding broken wings;
And I knew I loved her long before I heard her sing.
CHRISTINE Flowers fade, the fruits of summer fade; they have their seasons, so do we.
But please promise me that sometimes, you will think…
(She moves into a masterful CADENZA that shakes the rafters of the opera house. It’s ABSOLUTELY PERFECT.)
(There’s a pregnant pause, but then the APPLAUSE booms and the audience leaps to its feet. Roses begin to collect on the stage. Christine offers a humble smile in response.)
Scene 2 AFTER THE GALA
(The curtain closes upstage. BALLET GIRLS from the wings gush around CHRISTINE, who hands each a flower from her bouquet. REYER silently mouths Brava in her direction before ducking out of the celebration)
GIRY (to CHRISTINE) Yes, you did well. He will be pleased. (to the DANCERS) And you! You were a disgrace tonight! Such ronds de jambe! Such temps de cuisse! Here we rehearse. Now!
(She emphasizes this with her cane. The BALLET GIRLS scramble into position, beginning their exercises upstage, GlRY keeping time with her stick. Variations on this continue throughout the scene.
CHRISTINE moves slowly, downstage, away from the DANCERS as her dressing room becomes visible. Unseen, MEG also slips away and follows her. As CHRISTINE is about to open the dressing room door, she hears the PHANTOM's voice out of nowhere)
PHANTOM'S VOICE (softly) Brava, brava, bravissima...
PHANTOM’s VOICE Christine...
(CHRISTINE is bewildered by the voice. MEG, following, has not heard it. She dances up and gently touches CHRISTINE’s elbow; CHRISTINE turns in surprise, and is relieved to see her)
MEG Where in the world have you been hiding? Really, you were perfect!
I only wish I knew your secret! Who is this great tutor?
CHRISTINE (abstracted, entering the dressing room)
Father once spoke of an angel. I used to dream he'd appear.
Now as I sing, I can sense him, and I know he's here...
Here in this room he calls me softly. Somewhere inside. hiding.
Somehow I know he's always with me—He, the unseen genius.
MEG (uneasy and concerned, taking Christine’s hands)
I watched your face from the shadows—distant through all the applause.
I hear your voice in the darkness, yet the words aren’t yours...
CHRISTINE (not hearing her, ecstatic)
Angel of Music! Guide and guardian! Grant to me your glory!
MEG (to herself) Who is this angel? This...
BOTH Angel of Music! Hide no longer! Secret and strange angel.
CHRISTINE (darkly) He's with me, even now.
MEG (bewildered, increasingly alarmed) Your hands are cold.
CHRISTINE All around me...
MEG (gently touching CHRISTINE’s jaw) Your face, Christine, it's white—
CHRISTINE It frightens me.
MEG Don't be frightened...
(THEY look at each other. The moment is broken by the arrival of GIRY)
GIRY Meg Giry. Are you a dancer? Then go and practice! (MEG leaves and joins the DANCERS)
Scene 3 CHRISTINE 'S DRESSING ROOM
(ANDRE, FIRMIN and the new patron, the VICOMTE DE CHAGNY are seen making their way towards the dressing room, the MANAGERS in high spirits, bearing champagne)
ANDRE A tour de force! No other way to describe it!
FIRMIN What a relief! Not a single refund!
ANDRE Richard, I think we've made quite a discovery in Miss Daae! Perhaps we could present the young lady to you, Monsieur le Vicomte?
FIRMIN (indicating CHRISTINE'S dressing room) Here we are! I believe congratulations are in order.
GIRY (appearing as if out of nowhere, clears her throat pointedly) I shall pass them on to her, messieurs. She has a great need for privacy following such a performance. If you please...
ANDRE (taken aback but unwilling to argue with her) Well! As you wish.
(Feathers somewhat ruffled, they move off)
FIRMIN (wryly) Acting every bit the lead soprano already.
(Unseen as GIRY casts a suspicious look at the departing managers and leaves, MEG slips out from behind a curtain, knocks at the door and enters)
MEG Christine Daae, why are you hiding?
(They embrace and laugh. CHRISTINE moves away and sits at her dressing table)
CHRISTINE You’re not supposed to be here, your mother will be furious. (She smiles; her concern is not serious) I’m glad you came.
MEG She’ll probably only flay me a little. Oh, Christine, we’re all so proud of you! (levity passing) I wanted to see you. I worry sometimes...
CHRISTINE I’m fine, Meg. I was thinking.
MEG (teasing) Maman says you do far too much of that.
CHRISTINE I never imagined any of this. Could you, when your mother brought me here?
MEG (achingly fond, sitting close to Christine) You were so quiet. But you always used to tell such wonderful stories. Things you’d read with your father, do you remember?
(CHRISTINE smiles slightly at the reminder; her demeanor is wistful and soft)
CHRISTINE I would tell them and you would make them come to life. All those dark stories of the North. Your mother would ask—
MEG —whether I was a dancer or a Gothic novelist!
CHRISTINE (still reminiscing) You always knew my favorites. "What I love best, Lotte said, is when I'm asleep in my bed, and the Angel of Music sings songs in my head."
BOTH "The Angel of Music sings song in my head..."
MEG (soft) You sang like an angel tonight.
CHRISTINE (turning in her chair to look at her) Father said, "When I'm in heaven, child, I will send the Angel of Music to you". Well, my father is dead, Meg; and I have been visited by the Angel of Music.
MEG I believe it. (She smiles, mood shifting from tender to playful) And you’re missing your own party! Come enjoy yourself, Christine, you’ve earned it.
CHRISTINE No, Meg. The Angel of Music is very strict.
MEG (a flicker of concern, but trying to hide it) Well, tell it we won’t keep you out late. (When this doesn’t earn a laugh, she tries another tack) I’ll stay with you then. (A grin) I know where Buquet keeps his good bottles. I’ll fetch us one and we can—
CHRISTINE No, Meg.
(MME GIRY raps on the door, looking unamused. MEG winces)
MEG I ran off from practice. I have to go! Please don’t stay here by yourself. You deserve to be happy. (A harder rap) I’ll see you when I get back, Christine!
CHRISTINE Meg, I—
GIRY (over Christine’s faint objections) Meg Giry, if you are not in front of me in ten seconds—
MEG ...If I get back. Have fun, Christine, please!
CHRISTINE (calling after her) Meg!
(MEG kisses CHRISTINE quickly on the cheek, then ducks out of the dressing room and tries to make nice with her mother. GIRY is having none of it, and the conversation fades as they walk off.
Tremulous music. CHRISTINE runs fingers over a single rose on a table, then takes a deep breath. She is just moving toward the door after all when the PHANTOM'S voice suddenly breaks the silence, echoing around the room like thunder.)
PHANTOM'S VOICE (booming)
Insolent girl! This sweet companion, basking in your glory!
Deviant fool! Who plays a suitor, sharing in my triumph!
Angel! I hear you! Speak, I listen. Stay by my side, guide me!
Angel, my soul was weak—forgive me. Enter at last, Master!
Flattering child, you shall know me; see why in shadow I hide.
Look at your face in the mirror: I am there inside!
(The figure of the PHANTOM becomes discernible behind the mirror)
Angel of Music! Guide and guardian! Grant to me your glory!
Angel of Music! Hide no longer! Come to me, strange angel.
(The PHANTOM beckons Christine toward the mirror)
I am your Angel of Music.
Come to me, Angel of Music...
(CHRISTINE walks towards the glowing, shimmering glass. Meanwhile, MEG has returned. She tries the door, but finds it locked)
(Inside the room the mirror opens. Behind it, in an inferno of white light, stands the PHANTOM. He reaches forward and takes CHRISTINE firmly, but not fiercely, by the wrist. His touch is cold, and CHRISTINE gasps. She’s heard MEG, and pauses to look back. Meanwhile, MEG grows increasingly alarmed.)
MEG Christine! (She knocks harder on the door) Are you all right? Is someone there?
I am your Angel of Music.
Come to me, Angel of Music…
(CHRISTINE turns to face the Phantom once again. He draws her forward and they disappear through the mirror, which closes behind her.)
Scene 4 THE LABYRINTH UNDERGROUND
(Subterranean gloom, through which we can discern the PHANTOM leading CHRISTINE through the darkness, deeper and deeper through the seemingly endless series of stone tunnels and stairways that rest beneath the Opera Populaire. The PHANTOM’s lantern cuts through the oppressive darkness, casting eerie shadows on the crumbling stone walls. We see CHRISTINE and the PHANTOM in a boat which moves slowly across the misty waters of the underground lake)
CHRISTINE In sleep he sang to me, in dreams he came.
That voice which calls to me and speaks my name.
And do I dream again? For now I find
the Phantom of the Opera is there inside my mind.
PHANTOM Sing once again with me our strange duet.
My power over you grows stronger yet.
And though you turn from me to glance behind,
the Phantom of the Opera is there inside your mind.
Those who have seen your face draw back in fear.
I am the mask you wear...
PHANTOM It's me they hear.
BOTH Your/my spirit and your/my voice, in one combined:
The Phantom of the Opera is there inside your/my mind.
He's there, the Phantom of the Opera.
Beware the Phantom of the Opera.
CHRISTINE ...were both in you.
BOTH And in this labyrinth, where night is blind,
The Phantom of the Opera is there, inside your/my mind.
CHRISTINE He's there, the Phantom of the Opera…
(She begins to vocalise strangely, her song becoming more and more extravagant.)
Scene 5 BEYOND THE LAKE
(They have reached a magnificent stone arch framing a large iron portcullis. Beyond the gate is the shimmering light of candles in darkness. The portcullis lifts, as if of its own accord, and they float into...)
INT. THE PHANTOM’S LAIR
(A giant palace of stone built right into the catacombs. The lair’s décor consists almost entirely of shades of black and silver, and with hundreds of candles providing points of light, the effect is not unlike stars set against a black sky. A massive pipe organ dominates the far wall. The organ has a composition resting on it, unfinished. The PHANTOM sits down and joins the accompaniment on the organ. CHRISTINE looks on, captivated.)
PHANTOM I have brought you to the seat of sweet music's throne.
To this kingdom where all must pay homage to music...music...
You have come here, for one purpose, and one alone.
Since the moment I first heard you sing, I have needed you with me,
to serve me, to sing, for my music. My music.
Night-time sharpens, heightens each sensation.
Darkness stirs and wakes imagination.
Silently the senses abandon their defenses…
Slowly, gently, night unfurls its splendour.
Grasp it, sense it, tremulous and tender.
(The Phantom, with the gentlest and slightest touch, turns her head toward him.)
Turn your face away from the garish light of day
Turn your thoughts away from cold, unfeeling light
And listen to the music of the night.
Close your eyes and surrender to your darkest dreams!
Purge your thoughts of the life you knew before!
Close your eyes, let your spirit start to soar…
And you'll live as you've never lived before.
Softly, deftly, music shall caress you.
Feel it, hear it, secretly possess you.
Open up your mind, let your fantasies unwind,
in this darkness which you know you cannot fight
The darkness of the music of the night.
Let your mind start a journey through a strange new world!
Leave all thoughts of the world you knew before!
Let your soul take you where you long to be!
Only then can you belong to me.
Floating, falling, sweet intoxication.
Touch me, trust me savour each sensation.
Let the dream begin, let your darker side give in
to the power of the music that I write!
The power of the music of the night.
(During all this, the PHANTOM has conditioned CHRISTINE to the coldness of his touch and her fingers are brave enough to stray to his mask and caress it, with no hint of removing it.
Christine follows the Phantom to a grandiose mirror, obscured by a dark black curtain. In one fluid movement, the Phantom tears the curtain away.
Standing in the frame of the mirror (the mirror has been shattered, and shards of shattered mirror creep out from the frame’s edges) is an effigy of Christine dressed in a wedding gown, a perfect wax-face impression. In the darkness, it creates the uncanny illusion of an actual mirror image.
The Phantom motions for Christine to approach it. In a daze, Christine reaches out to it. But before she can touch it, the mannequin of Christine loses balance and tumbles forward, its arms outstretched towards Christine. Christine faints – it’s all just too bizarre. As she falls to the ground, the Phantom catches her.)
PHANTOM You alone can make my song take flight;
help me make the music of the night.
Scene 6 CHRISTINE’S DRESSING ROOM
(It’s dark. All the candles have been extinguished, and bouquets of flowers form vaguely threatening shadows in the eerie silence. MEG appears outside the door, glancing over her shoulder as she fiddles with MME GIRY’S KEYS, which she’s “borrowed”. She searches through the key ring until she finds the right one, and finally unlocks the dressing room door.
She moves into the room slowly, tiptoeing and jumping at shadows. She moves as if to look behind the mirror—but as her fingers brush against the glass it suddenly swings open, making her leap back. She looks around, and tentatively moves toward the revealed passage. She takes a step inside, then another…
MME GIRY appears seemingly out of nowhere, grabbing MEG by the wrist. MEG shrieks, whirling around, and freezes when she sees her mother. GIRY is not angry, however; she sighs without a word and shakes her head, releasing MEG and gesturing back toward the dressing room. MEG, badly shaken, obeys.)
INT. OPERA HOUSE— BALLET DORMITORY
(BUQUET leaps from the shadows with a dramatic cry, causing the BALLET GIRLS gathered around to shriek and titter. A length of fabric serves as his cloak, and a piece of rope tied into a noose. He is enjoying showing off.)
BUQUET Like yellow parchment is his skin.
A great black hole serves as the nose that never grew.
(Demonstrating his method of self-defense against the lasso, he inserts his hand between his neck and the noose, and then pulls the rope taut. With a mixture of horror and delight, the BALLET GIRLS applaud this demonstration)
BUQUET (explaining to them) You must be always on your guard, or he will catch you with his magical lasso!
(He suddenly lunges and throws the length of rope around one of the girls, playfully tugging her in. She and the others shriek and scramble away; the laughter dies quickly as they realize GIRY has entered, observing. She sends MEG off to join the other girls, then turns on BUQUET.)
GIRY Those who speak of what they know
Find, too late, that prudent silence is wise.
Joseph Buquet, hold your tongue!
Keep your hand at the level of your eyes!
Scene 7— PHANTOM’S LAIR, THE NEXT MORNING
(As the light brightens, we see the PHANTOM seated at the organ furiously scratching out the notes of his composition with a feather quill. There is a musical box in the shape of a barrel organ beside the bed. Mysteriously, it plays as CHRISTINE wakes up. The music keeps her in a half trance)
CHRISTINE I remember there was mist. swirling mist upon a vast, glassy lake.
There were candles all around and on the lake there was a boat.
And in the boat there was a man...
(She rises and approaches the PHANTOM, who does not see her; unsure at first, but growing more and more confident, she reaches for the mask)
Who was that shape in the shadows?
Whose is the face in the mask?
(She finally succeeds in lifting the mask from his face. The PHANTOM springs up and rounds on her furiously. She clearly sees his face. The audience does not, as he is standing in profile and in shadow)
PHANTOM Damn you! You little prying Pandora!
You little demon!
(She runs up against the wall, trying to escape him. She’s not fast enough; the PHANTOM grabs her arm and whips her around to face him.)
Is this what you wanted to see?!
Curse you! You little lying Delilah!
You little viper!
Now you cannot ever be free!
Damn you. Curse you…!
Stranger than you dreamt it? Can you even dare to look
or bear to think of me: this loathsome gargoyle
who burns in hell, but secretly yearns for heaven,
(Covering the disfigured side of his face with his hand, he slowly brings himself towards CHRISTINE.)
Fear can turn to love
You'll learn to see, to find the man behind the monster.
who seems a beast, but secretly dreams of beauty,
(He holds out his hand to the mask, which she gives to him. He puts it on. Confidence restored, he stands.)
PHANTOM Come, we must return. Those two fools who run my theatre will be missing you.
Scene 8 THE MANAGERS' OFFICE
(Desk, chairs, papers. FIRMIN is scornfully eyeing a newspaper article)
FIRMIN "Mystery after gala night," it says. "Mystery of soprano's flight!"
“Mystified,” all the papers say. “We are mystified, we suspect foul play!"
(He lowers the paper)
Bad news on soprano scene.
First Carlotta, now Christine!
Still, at least the seats get sold.
Gossip's worth its weight in gold...
What a way to run a business!
Spare me these unending trials!
Half your cast disappears, but the crowd still cheers!
Opera! To hell with Gluck and Handel—
It's a scandal that'll pack 'em in the aisles!
(ANDRE bursts in, in a temper)
ANDRE Damnable! Will they all walk out?
This is damnable!
FIRMIN Andre, please don't shout.
It's publicity! And the take is vast! Free publicity!
ANDRE But we have no cast!
FIRMIN (calmly) But Andre, have you seen the queue?
(He has been sorting mail on his desk. Finding the two letters from the PHANTOM):
Oh. It seems you've got one too...
(He hands the letter to ANDRE, who opens it and reads):
ANDRE "Dear Andre, what a charming gala!
Christine enjoyed a great success!
We were hardly bereft when Carlotta left. Otherwise,
the chorus was entrancing, but the dancing was a lamentable mess!"
FIRMIN (reading his) "Dear Firmin, just a brief reminder:
my salary has not been paid.
Send it care of the ghost, by return of post. P.T.O.:
No one likes a debtor, so it's better if my orders are obeyed!"
FIRMIN/ANDRE Who would have the gall to send this? Someone with a puerile brain!
FIRMIN (examining both letters) These are both signed "O.G.".
ANDRE Who the hell is he?
BOTH Opera ghost!
FIRMIN (unamused) It's nothing short of shocking!
ANDRE He is mocking our position!
FIRMIN In addition, he wants money!
ANDRE What a funny apparition.
BOTH To expect a large retainer! Nothing plainer—he is clearly quite insane!
(They are interrupted by the arrival of the VICOMTE, who brandishes another of the PHANTOM'S notes)
VICOMTE What is this?
ANDRE You mean the papers?
VICOMTE No, not the papers—what is this?
FIRMIN Well, how should we know?
VICOMTE I want an answer—I take it that you sent me this note?
FIRMIN What's all this nonsense?
ANDRE Of course not!
FIRMIN Don't look at us!
VICOMTE It’s not from you, then?
FIRMIN Of course not!
ANDRE We're in the dark.
VICOMTE Monsieur, don't argue—Isn't this the letter you wrote?
FIRMIN And what is it that we're meant to have wrote? (Realizing his mistake, with immense dignity) Written.
(VICOMTE hands the note to ANDRE, who reads it)
ANDRE "My dear Vicomte, my most gracious regards and congratulations on your patronage of this humble opera. Your generosity is most especially noted due to your clearly reduced circumstances, which render it impossible to provide even a meager salary for: your obedient servant, O. G."
(The MANAGERS look mystified)
VICOMTE If you didn't write it, who did?
(CARLOTTA bursts in, accompanied by PIANGI. She too has a letter, which pleases her no more than the others)
CARLOTTA Where is he?!
ANDRE (casually) Ah, welcome back.
CARLOTTA Your precious patron—where is he?!
VICOMTE What is it now?
CARLOTTA (to VICOMTE) I have your letter—
a letter which I rather resent!
FIRMIN (to VICOMTE) And did you send it?
VICOMTE Of course not!
ANDRE As if he would!
CARLOTTA You didn't send it?
VICOMTE Of course not!
FIRMIN What's going on?
CARLOTTA (to VICOMTE) You dare to tell me
that this is not the letter you sent?!
VICOMTE And what is it that I'm meant to have sent? (He takes the letter and reads it) "Your days at the Opera Populaire are numbered. Christine Daae will be singing on your behalf tonight. Be prepared for a great misfortune, should you attempt to take her place."
(The MANAGERS are beginning to tire of the intrigue, and sensing an impending explosion, attempt to head off CARLOTTA’s temper)
ANDRE/FIRMIN Far too many notes for my taste—and most of them about Christine!
All we've heard since we came is Miss Daae's name—
(They walk straight into MME GIRY, accompanied by an anxious MEG)
GIRY Miss Daae has returned.
FIRMIN (drily) I trust her midnight oil is well and truly burned.
ANDRE Where precisely is she now?
GIRY I thought it best she was alone.
MEG She needed rest.
VICOMTE May we see her?
GIRY No, monsieur, she will see no-one.
CARLOTTA/PIANGI Will she sing? Will she sing?
GIRY (Holding up another of the PHANTOM’s messages) Here, I have a note.
VICOMTE/CARLOTTA/ANDRE Let me see it!
FIRMIN (snatching it) Please! (Opens the letter and reads. The PHANTOM'S voice gradually lakes over) "Do not fear for Miss Daae. The Angel of Music has her under his wing. Such company as she has kept of late would do wisely to remember his guardianship. Gentlemen, I have now sent you several notes of the most amiable nature, detailing how my theatre is to be run. You have not followed my instructions. I shall give you one last chance..."
PHANTOM'S VOICE (taking over)
Christine Daae has returned to you,
and I am anxious her career should progress
in the new production of "Il Muto".
You will therefore cast Carlotta as the Pageboy
and put Miss Daae in the role of Countess.
The role which Miss Daae plays calls for charm and appeal.
The role of the Pageboy is silent—which makes my casting, in a word...ideal.
I shall watch the performance from my normal seat in Box Five, which will be kept empty for me. Should these commands be ignored, a disaster beyond your imagination will occur.”
FIRMIN (taking over) "I remain, Gentlemen, Your obedient servant, O.G."
ANDRE Whatever next?
CARLOTTA It's all a ploy to help Christine!
FIRMIN This is insane.
CARLOTTA I know who sent this: (pointing an accusing finger) The Vicomte—her lover!
VICOMTE (ironical) Indeed! We’ve never spoken!
ANDRE (to CARLOTTA, in protest) Signora!
CARLOTTA (half to the MANAGERS, half to herself) O traditori!
FIRMIN (to CARLOTTA) This is a joke!
ANDRE This changes nothing!
CARLOTTA O mentitori!
(CARLOTTA moves around the upper floor of the foyer, throwing herself into hysterics as only a diva truly can. The rest chase after her, each one reacting to the recent events in his or her own way.)
ANDRE You are our star!
FIRMIN And always will be!
FIRMIN The man is mad!
ANDRE We don't take orders!
FIRMIN (announcing it to EVERYONE) Miss Daae will be playing the Pageboy! The silent role.
ANDRE/FIRMIN Carlotta will be playing the lead!
PIANGI You don’t deserve her!
CARLOTTA (having none of it, waxing melodramatic) It's useless trying to appease me!
FIRMIN Appease her!
CARLOTTA You're only saying this to please me!
FIRMIN Please her!
CARLOTTA/PIANGI Signori, Š vero? Non, non, non voglio udire!
Lasciatemi morire! O padre mio! Dio!
GIRY Who scorn his word, beware to those--
CARLOTTA (to MANAGERS) You have reviled me!
GIRY The angel sees, the angel knows.
CARLOTTA You have rebuked me!
ANDRE/FIRMIN Signora, pardon us.
CARLOTTA You have replaced me!
ANDRE/FIRMIN Please, Signora, we beseech you.
GIRY This hour shall see your darkest fears.
MEG I must see her.
CARLOTTA Abbandonata! Deseredata! O, sventurata!
GIRY The angel knows, the angel hears.
MEG Where did she go?
CARLOTTA Abbandonata! Disgraziata!
ANDRE/FIRMIN Signora, sing for us! Don't be a martyr!
GIRY/MEG What new surprises lie in store?
ANDRE/FIRMIN Our star!
CARLOTTA Non vo' cantar!
(In the height of the all the tumult, CARLOTTA suddenly collapses into despair, throwing herself into PIANGI’s arms. ALL look at CARLOTTA, as the MANAGERS approach her lovingly)
ANDRE Your public needs you!
FIRMIN We need you, too!
CARLOTTA (acidly) Would you not rather have your precious little ingenue?
ANDRE/FIRMIN Signora, no! The world wants you!
(The MANAGERS adopt their most persuasive attitudes)
ANDRE/FIRMIN Prima donna! First lady of the stage!
Your devotees are on their knees to implore you!
ANDRE Can you bow out when they're shouting your name?
FIRMIN Think of how they all adore you!
BOTH Prima donna, enchant us once again!
ANDRE Think of your muse.
FIRMIN And of the queues round the theatre!
BOTH Can you deny us the triumph in store? Sing, prima donna, once more!
(CARLOTTA registers her acceptance as the MANAGERS continue to cajole and the OTHERS reflect variously on the situation)
MEG Christine spoke of an angel...
CARLOTTA (to herself, in triumph) Prima donna your song shall live again!
ANDRE/FIRMIN/PIANGI (to CARLOTTA) Think of your public!
CARLOTTA You took a snub but there's a public who needs you!
GIRY (referring to CHRISTINE) She has heard the voice of the angel of music.
ANDRE/ FIRMIN (to CARLOTTA) Those who hear your voice liken you to an angel!
CARLOTTA Think of their cry of undying support!
(As the stage for “Il Muto” is being assembled, Andre and Firmin congratulate themselves on how everything seems to be working out:)
ANDRE (to FIRMlN) We get our opera.
FIRMIN (to ANDRE) She gets her limelight!
CARLOTTA Follow where the limelight leads you!
MEG Is this ghost an angel or a madman?
ANDRE/FIRMIN (aside) Leading ladies are a trial!
GIRY Heaven help you, those who doubt.
CARLOTTA You'll sing again, and to unending ovation!
PIANGI When she sings, we see heaven!
VICOMTE Orders! Warnings! Lunatic demands!
GIRY This miscasting will invite damnation.
ANDRE/FIRMIN Tears. oaths. Lunatic demands are regular occurrences!
MEG Bliss or damnation? Which has claimed her.?
CARLOTTA Think how you'll shine in that final encore! Sing, prima donna, once more!
GIRY Oh fools, to have flouted his warnings!
PIANGI Surely heads will roll
MEG Surely he'll strike back...
ANDRE/FIRMIN Surely there'll be further scenes—worse than this!
GIRY Think, before these demands are rejected!
VICOMTE I must see these demands are rejected!
PIANGI ...if her threats and demands are rejected!
MEG ...if his threats and demands are rejected!
ANDRE/FIRMIN Who'd believe a diva happy to relieve
a chorus girl, who's gone and slept with the patron?
A Vicomte and soubrette, entwined in love's duet!
Although he may demur, he must have been with her!
MEG Christine must be protected!
CARLOTTA O, fortunata! Non ancor abbandonata!
ANDRE/FIRMIN You'd never get away with all this in a play
but if it's loudly sung and in a foreign tongue
it's just the sort of story audiences adore,
in fact a perfect opera!
VICOMTE His game is over!
GIRY This is a game you cannot hope to win!
VICOMTE And in Box Five a new game will begin.
GIRY For, if his curse is on this opera...
MEG But if his curse is on this opera...
ANDRE/FIRMIN Prima donna the world is at your feet!
A nation waits, and how it hates to be cheated!
CARLOTTA/PIANGI The stress that falls upon a famous prima donna!
Terrible diseases, coughs and colds and sneezes!
Still, the dryest throat will reach the highest note,
in search of perfect opera!
MEG/GIRY ...then I fear the outcome...
GIRY ...should you dare to...
MEG ...when you once again...
ALL Light up the stage with that age old rapport! Sing, prima donna, once more!
Scene 9— INT. OPERA POPULAIRE – AUDITORIUM
A PERFORMANCE OF 'IL MUTO' BY ALBRIZZIO (During the overture VICOMTE, ANDRE and FIRMIN take their respective seats-VICOMTE in Box Five, the MANAGERS in a box opposite)
FIRMIN Monsieur, if you would care to take your seat?
VICOMTE I shall be sitting in Box Five.
ANDRE Do you really think that's wise, monsieur?
VICOMTE My dear Andre, there would appear to be no seats available other than Box Five.
(The front cloth rises to reveal an 18th Century salon, a canopied bed centre-stage. The COUNTESS is played by CARLOTTA. SERAFIMO, the page boy, is disguised as her maid and is played by CHRISTINE. At this point they are hidden behind the drapes of the bed, which are drawn.
In the room are TWO EPICENE MEN: one a HAIRDRESSER and one a JEWELLER. The JEWELLER is attended by MEG. There is also an OLDER WOMAN, the COUNTESS' confidante. All apart from MEG are gossiping with relish about the COUNTESS' current liaison with SERAFIMO)
CONFIDANTE They say that this youth has set my Lady's heart aflame!
1ST FOP His Lordship sure would die of shock!
2ND FOP His Lordship is a laughingstock!
CONFIDANTE Should he suspect her, God protect her!
ALL THREE Shame! Shame! Shame!
This faithless lady's bound for Hades!
Shame! Shame! Shame!
(The canopy drapes part and we see the COUNTESS kissing SERAFlMO passionately. As the recitative begins, the lights and music dim on stage, and our attention turns to the MANAGERS in their box)
IN THE BOX
ANDRE Nothing like the old operas!
FIRMIN Or the old scenery.
ANDRE The old singers.
FIRMIN The old audience.
ANDRE And every seat sold!
FIRMIN Hardly a disaster beyond all imagination!
(They chuckle and nod to the VICOMTE in the opposite box. He acknowledges them)
COUNTESS Serafimo—your disguise is perfect.
(A knock at the door)
Now who can this be?
DON ATTILIO Gentle wife, admit your loving husband.
(The COUNTESS admits DON ATTILIO. He is an old fool)
DON ATTILIO My love—I am called to England on affairs of State,
and must leave you with your new maid!
(Aside) Though I'd happily take the maid with me.
COUNTESS (aside) The old fool's leaving!
DON ATTILIO (aside) I suspect my young bride is untrue to me. I shall not leave, but shall hide over there to observe her!
DON ATTILIO (to COUNTESS) Addio!
BOTH (to each other) Addio!
(He goes, pretending to leave, then hides and watches the action)
COUNTESS (CARLOTTA) Serafimo—away with this pretense!
(She rips off SERAFIMO'S skirt to reveal his manly breeches)
You cannot speak, but kiss me in my husband's absence!
Poor fool, he makes me laugh! Haha, Haha! (etc.)
Time I tried to get a better better half!
COUNTESS AND CHORUS Poor fool, he doesn't know! Hoho, Hoho! (etc.)
If he knew the truth, he'd never, ever go!
(Suddenly from nowhere, we hear the voice of the PHANTOM)
PHANTOM'S VOICE Did I not instruct that Box Five was to be kept empty?
MEG (terrified) He's here--the Phantom of the Opera!
(General reaction of bewilderment. CHRISTINE looks fearfully about her)
CHRISTINE It's him. I know it. It's him.
CARLOTTA (Finding a scapegoat in CHRISTINE, hisses at her) Your part is silent, little toad!
(But the PHANTOM has heard her)
PHANTOM'S VOICE A toad, madame? Perhaps it is you who are the toad.
(Again general unease. CARLOTTA and the CONDUCTOR confer and pick up from the opening of the scene)
CARLOTTA (As the COUNTESS) Serafimo, away with this pretence!
You cannot speak, but kiss me in my croak!
(Instead of singing she emits a great croak like a toad. A stunned silence. CARLOTTA is as amazed as anyone but regains herself and continues. More perturbing, however, is a new sound: the PHANTOM is laughing—quietly at first, then more and more hysterically)
CARLOTTA (as the COUNTESS) Poor fool, he makes me laugh—Hahahahaha! Croak, croak, croak, croak, croak, croak, (etc.)
(CARLOTTA looks tearfully up at the MANAGERS ' box and shakes her head)
CARLOTTA Non posso pi—I cannot. I cannot go on.
PIANGI (rushing on) Cara, cara. I'm here. Is all right. Come. I'm here.
(ANDRE and FIRMIN hurry out of the box onto the stage. PIANGI ushers the now sobbing CARLOTTA offstage, while the MANAGERS tackle the audience)
FIRMIN Ladies and gentlemen, we apologize. The performance will continue in ten minutes' time, when the role of the Countess will be sung by Miss Christine Daae.
ANDRE (improvising) In the meantime, ladies and gentlemen, we shall be giving you the ballet from Act…(He forgets precisely where he’s going with it. He nervously flips through his program, trying to find the right section. He finally finds it) ...Three of tonight's opera. (to REYER, who looks like he’s about to have a heart attack as he flips through his score) Maestro—the—the ballet—now!
(The MANAGERS leave, the stage is cleared and music starts again. Andre disappears behind the curtain, which opens a few moments later. The set is only half-changed and cast and crew are rushing about; in short, it is chaos. As a sylvan glade flies in, the ballet girls attempt to begin the “Dance of the Country Nymphs.”
In the flies, a series of threatening shadows of the PHANTOM. MEG is aware of the shadow, and in her nervousness she dances out of step, attempting to sneak a look above her. Finally, in a crescendo in the music, The BODY OF JOSEPH BUQUET plummets down from above. He swings, grotesquely suspended.
Pandemonium breaks out. The audience and chorus shriek and scramble away, stagehands scatter. The BALLET GIRLS scream and flood around GIRY like frightened ducklings, clinging as she scans the flies and tries to calm them.)
CHRISTINE rushes through the chaos. MEG, coming from the opposite direction, looks for her)
MEG (calling out) Christine! Christine! (She sees her.)
(Christine lunges and grabs MEG by the wrist)
MEG (to CHRISTINE, gesturing toward her mother and the girls) Christine, come with us.
CHRISTINE No. We’re not safe here!
(CHRISTINE runs off, dragging MEG in her wake)
FIRMIN (Attempting to placate the audience as STAGE-HANDS and POLICEMEN crowd onto the stage) Ladies and gentlemen, please remain in your seats. Do not panic. It was an accident...simply an accident!
Scene 10 BACKSTAGE/THE ROOF OF THE OPERA HOUSE
(CHRISTINE and MEG rush through the opera house and up stairs)
MEG Why have you brought us here?
CHRISTINE Don't take me back there!
MEG We must return!
CHRISTINE He'll kill me!
His eyes will find us there!
MEG Christine, don't say that—
CHRISTINE Those eyes that burn!
MEG Don't even think it.
CHRlSTlNE And if he has to kill a thousand men—
MEG This is a waking nightmare!
CHRISTINE The Phantom of the Opera will kill—
MEG You’re not the Phantom’s target—I’m certain!
CHRISTINE —and kill again!
MEG But you’ve done nothing to offend him!
CHRISTINE My God, who is this man?
MEG My God, who is this man?
CHRISTINE ...who hunts to kill?
MEG ...this mask of death?
CHRISTINE I can't escape from him.
MEG Whose is this voice you hear...
CHRISTINE I never will!
MEG ...with every breath?
BOTH And in this labyrinth, where night is blind
the Phantom of the Opera is here: inside your/my mind!
(They finally burst out onto…)
ROOF OF THE OPERA HOUSE
(It is twilight. A panorama of stars, roofs, streetlamps and spires is visible in the distance. As the door opens light spills out from the stairwell. CHRISTINE rushes onto the roof in blind, incoherent terror; MEG, alarmed and worried, hesitates in the center of the roof as CHRISTINE flees almost to the other side.)
MEG: Are you this frightened of the Phantom…?
(CHRISTINE turns, eyes wide, breathing fast and terrified as she finally confesses her secret)
CHRISTINE Meg, I've been there, to his world of unending night.
To a world where the daylight dissolves into darkness. Darkness...
Meg, I've seen him!
(MEG visibly reacts, reaching out)
Can I ever forget that sight?
Can I ever escape from that face? So distorted, deformed, it was hardly a face,
in that darkness. Darkness...
(becoming more and more trancelike)
But his voice filled my spirit with a strange, sweet sound.
In that night there was music in my mind.
And through music my soul began to soar!
And I heard as I'd never heard before...
MEG You don’t have to be frightened anymore...
CHRISTINE Yet in his eyes all the sadness of the world.
Those pleading eyes, that both threatened and adored.
MEG (comforting, taking CHRISTINE’s hands between her own) Christine. Christine...
PHANTOM (unseen, a ghostly echo of MEG's words) Christine.
CHRISTINE What was that?
MEG Oh, Christine...
(A moment, as their eyes meet. The mood changes. MEG reaches up to tuck CHRISTINE’s hair behind one ear. CHRISTINE’s eyes close as her jerky, panicked breathing starts to calm. She dips her head to rest her forehead against MEG’s. MEG holds her, still and gentle, until CHRISTINE looks up. Neither of them move away.)
MEG (soft) No more talk of darkness.
Forget these wide-eyed fears.
I'm here, nothing can harm you.
My words will warm and calm you.
(She steps back, gently pulling CHRISTINE along with her so that she turns away from the opera house and into the cool night air.)
Let me be your freedom.
Let daylight dry your tears.
I'm here, with you, beside you,
to guard you and to guide you...
(The slightest pause. Then, almost hesitant at first: )
CHRISTINE Say you’ll love me every waking moment.
Turn my head with talk of summertime.
Say you need me with you, now and always.
Promise me that all you say is true.
That's all I ask of you.
(MEG smiles, drawing CHRISTINE closer.)
MEG Let me be your shelter,
let me be your light.
You're safe; no one will find you,
your fears are far behind you...
(CHRISTINE glances fearfully over her shoulder, tightening her grip on Meg’s hands.)
CHRISTINE All I want is freedom,
a world with no more night…
(She turns back to MEG and smiles)
...And you, always beside me,
to hold me and to hide me...
MEG (In a rush of impulsive courage)
Then say you'll share with me one love, one lifetime.
Let me lead you from your solitude.
Say you need me with you here, beside you.
Anywhere you go, let me go too!
(MEG is terrified, gripping CHRISTINE’s arms; but it’s been said, and she gazes into her face waiting for an answer.)
Christine...that's all I ask of you.
(CHRISTINE softens, placing a hand on MEG’s cheek.)
CHRISTINE Say you'll share with me one love, one lifetime.
Say the word and I will follow you.
BOTH Share each day with me, each night, each morning.
CHRISTINE Say you love me—
MEG You know I do...
(A pause. Slow smiles. An understanding and an affirmation, at last.)
BOTH Love me—that's all I ask of you.
(They drift closer together as if unable to look away from one another, and the line breaks off as they kiss. It’s tender and pure and so long in the coming, and MEG backs away after a moment, stunned. CHRISTINE, gently so as not to pressure her, winds fingers through MEG’s hair and guides her back in. This too is chaste at first, but quickly builds in passion until they break away, flushed and ecstatic.)
Anywhere you go let me go too!
Love me—that's all I ask of you.
(A clock chimes in the distance, causing CHRISTINE to start from her reverie)
CHRISTINE I must go—they'll wonder where I am. Come with me, Meg!
MEG Christine, I love you.
CHRISTINE Go and find your mother; she’s worried sick, I’m sure...
MEG And soon you'll be beside me!
CHRISTINE You'll guard me, and you'll guide me...
(They hurry off, fingers entwined, wrapped up in one another and drunk with happiness. The PHANTOM emerges from behind the statue and watches the rooftop exit close behind them. His voice is bitter and pained.)
PHANTOM I gave you my music. Made your song take wing...
And now, how you've repaid me: denied me and betrayed me.
She was bound to love you when she heard you sing—!
Say you'll share with me one love, one lifetime.
Say the word and I will follow you.
Share each day with me, each night, each morning...
(The Phantom’s face contorts in anger as he cries out to the dark sky, dangling treacherously from the statues)
PHANTOM You will curse the day you did not do
all that the Phantom asked of you!
I promise I did not forget the chandelier drop. It'll come.
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.
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.
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. Look—your 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 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)
(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)
(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.
(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.
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…
(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!
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?
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 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!
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.)
It's been 84 years...
I hope you guys aren't too mad at me about all the moving-around I did in the second act! This format let me hit the emotional beats better, and I'm always here for giving Mme Giry slightly more stage time, because she is perfect.
Hope you guys enjoyed this! You would not believe the workload involved, but I loved it. Thanks for taking the time to read this far!