In 1910, the mystery novelist Gaston Leroux, working from scraps of history, theatrical lore, and his own fertile imagination, created a masterpiece in Le fantôme de l’opéra , the story of a disfigured composer who lives in the labyrinthine depths of the Paris Opera. After the breathtaking debut of Christine Daaé, the whispers of an Opera ghost seem to become reality as the young singer vanishes. As the Phantom strikes again and again, targeting foes from a jealous diva to a romantic rival, Leroux spins a thriller of obsession and violence with, at its center, a tormented murderer who awakens our deepest fears and sympathies. The inspiration for Andrew Lloyd Webber’s long-running musical, Leroux’s novel is still more riveting than anything Broadway could produce.
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|Title of History eBook: The Phantom of the Opera|
|Release Date: 12-18-2007|
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|Publisher: Random House Publishing Group|
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The Phantom of the Opera
Is It the Ghost? It was the evening on which MM. Debienne and Poligny, the managers of the Opera, were giving a last gala performance to mark their retirement. Suddenly the dressing-room of La Sorelli, one of the principal dancers, was invaded by half-a-dozen young ladies of the ballet, who had come up from the stage after “dancing” Polyeucte. They rushed in amid great confusion, some giving vent to forced and unnatural laughter, others to cries of terror. Sorelli, who wished to be alone for a moment to “run through” the speech which she was to make to the resigning managers, looked around angrily at the mad and tumultuous crowd. It was little Jammes—the girl with the tip-tilted nose, the forget-me-not eyes, the rose-red cheeks and the lily-white neck and shoulders—who gave the explanation in a trembling voice:
“It’s the ghost!” And she locked the door.
Sorelli’s dressing-room was fitted up with official, commonplace elegance. A pier-glass, a sofa, a dressing-table and a cupboard or two provided the necessary furniture. On the walls hung a few engravings, relics of the mother, who had known the glories of the old Opera in the Rue le Peletier; portraits of Vestris, Gardel, Dupont, Bigottini. But the room seemed a palace to the brats of the corps de ballet, who were lodged in common dressing-rooms where they spent their time singing, quarreling, smacking the dressers and hair-dressers and buying one another glasses of cassis, beer, or even rhum, until the callboy’s bell rang.
Sorelli was very suspicious. She shuddered when she heard little Jammes speak of the ghost, called her a “silly