Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles Chapter 1: The dancers ‘Quick! Quick! Close the door! It’s him!’ Annie Sorelli ran into the dressing-room, her face white. One of the girls ran and closed the door, and then they all turned to Annie Sorelli. ‘Who? Where? What’s the matter?’ they cried. ‘It’s the ghost!’ Annie said. ‘In the passage. I saw him. He came through the wall in front of me! And... and I saw his face!’ Most of the girls were afraid, but one of them, a tall girl with black hair, laughed. ‘Pooh!’ she said. ‘Everybody says they see the Opera ghost, but there isn’t really a ghost. You saw a shadow on the wall.’ But she did not open the door, or look into the passage. ‘Lots of people see him,’ a second girl said. ‘Joseph Buquet saw him two days ago. Don’t you remember?’ Then all the girls began to talk at once. ‘Joseph says the ghost is tall and he wears a black evening coat.’ ‘He has the head of a dead man, with a yellow face and no nose...’ ‘... And no eyes - only black holes!’ Then little Meg Giry spoke for the first time. ‘Don’t talk about him. He doesn’t like it. My mother told me.’ ‘Your mother?’ the girl with black hair said. ‘What does your mother know about the ghost?’ ‘She says that Joseph Buquet is a fool. The ghost doesn’t like people talking about him, and one day Joseph Buquet is going to be sorry, very sorry.’ ‘But what does your mother know? Tell us, tell us!’ all the girls cried. ‘Oh dear!’ said Meg. ‘But please don’t say a word to anyone. You know my mother is the doorkeeper for some of the boxes in the Opera House. Well, Box 5 is the ghost’s box! He watches the operas from that box, and sometimes he leaves flowers for my mother!’ ‘The ghost has a box! And leaves flowers in it!’ ‘Oh, Meg, your mother’s telling you stories! How can the ghost have a box?’ ‘It’s true, it’s true, I tell you!’ Meg said. ‘Nobody buys tickets for Box 5, but the ghost always comes to it on opera nights.’ ‘So somebody does come there?’ ‘Why, no!... The ghost comes, but there is nobody there.’ The dancers looked at Meg. ‘But how does your mother know?’ one of them asked. ‘There’s no man in a black evening coat, with a yellow face. That’s all wrong. My mother never sees the ghost in Box 5, but she hears him! He talks to her, but there is nobody there! And he doesn’t like people talking about him!’ But that evening the dancers could not stop talking about the Opera ghost. They talked before the opera, all through the opera, and after the opera. But they talked very quietly, and they looked behind them before they spoke. When the opera finished, the girls went back to their dressing-room. Suddenly, they heard somebody in the passage, and Madame Giry, Meg’s mother, ran into the room. She was a fat, motherly woman, with a red, happy face. But tonight her face was white. ‘Oh girls.’ she cried. ‘Joseph Buquet is dead! You know he works a long way down, on the fourth floor under the stage. The other stage workers found his dead body there an hour ago - with a rope around his neck!’ ‘It’s the ghost!’ cried Meg Giry. ‘The ghost killed him!’ Chapter 2; The directors of the Opera House The Opera House was famous, and the directors of the Opera House were very important men. It was the first week of work for the two new directors, Monsieur Armand Moncharmin and Monsieur Firmin Richard. In the directors’ office the next day, the two men talked about Joseph Buquet. ‘It was an accident,’ Monsieur Armand said angrily. ‘Or Buquet killed himself.’ ‘An accident?... Killed himself?’ Monsieur Firmin said. ‘Which story do you want, my friend? Or do you want the story of the ghost?’ ‘Don’t talk to me about ghosts!’ Monsieur Armand said. ‘We have 1,500 people working for us in this Opera House, and everybody is talking about the ghost. They’re all mad! I don’t want to hear about the ghost, OK?’ Monsieur Firmin looked at a letter on the table next to him. ‘And what are we going to do about this letter, Armand?’ ‘Do?’ cried Monsieur Armand. ‘Why, do nothing, of course! What can we do?’ The two men read the letter again. It wasn’t very long. To the new directors. Because you are new in the Opera House, I am writing to tell you some important things. Never sell tickets for Box 5; that is my box for every opera night. Madame Giry, the doorkeeper, knows all about it. Also, I need money for my work in the Opera House. I am not expensive, and I am happy to take only 20,000 francs a month. That is all. But please remember, I can be a good friend, but a bad enemy. O.G. ‘Don’t sell tickets for Box 5! 20,000 francs a month!’ Monsieur Armand was very angry again. ‘That’s the best box in the Opera House, and we need the money, Firmin! And who is this O.G., eh? Tell me that!’ ‘Opera ghost, of course,’ Monsieur Firmin said. ‘But you’re right, Armand. We can do nothing about this letter. It’s a joke, a bad joke. Somebody thinks we are fools, because we are new here. There are no ghosts in the Opera House!’ The two men then talked about the opera for that night. It was Faust, and usually La Carlotta sang Margarita. La Carlotta was Spanish, and the best singer in Paris. But today, La Carlotta was ill. ‘Everybody in Paris is going to be at the opera tonight,’ said Monsieur Armand, ‘and our best singer is ill. Suddenly! She writes a letter to us just this morning - she is ill, she cannot sing tonight!’ ‘Don’t get angry again, Armand,’ Monsieur Firmin said quickly. ‘We have Christine Daae, that young singer from Norway. She can sing Margarita tonight. She has a good voice.’ ‘But she’s so young, and nobody knows her! Nobody wants to listen to a new singer.’ ‘Wait and see. Perhaps Daae can sing better than La Carlotta. Who knows?’ Chapter 3; Christine Daae Monsieur Firmin was right. All Paris talked about the new Margarita in Faust, the girl with the beautiful voice, the girl with the voice of an angel. People loved her. They laughed and cried and called for more. Daae was wonderful, the best singer in the world! Behind the stage Meg Giry looked at Annie Sorelli. ‘Christine Daae never sang like that before,’ she said to Annie. ‘Why was she so good tonight?’ ‘Perhaps she’s got a new music teacher,’ Annie said. The noise in the Opera House went on for a long time. In Box 14, Philippe, the Comte de Chagny, turned to his younger brother and smiled. ‘Well, Raoul, what did you think of Daae tonight?’ Raoul, the Vicomte de Chagny, was twenty-one years old. He had blue eyes and black hair, and a wonderful smile. The Chagny family was old and rich, and many girls in Paris were in love with the young Vicomte. But Raoul was not interested in them. He smiled back at his brother. ‘What can I say? Christine is an angel, that’s all. I’m going to her dressing-room to see her tonight.’ Philippe laughed. He was twenty years older than Raoul, and was more like a father than a brother. ‘Ah, I understand,’ he said. ‘You are in love! But this is your first night in Paris, your first visit to the opera. How do you know Christine Daae?’ ‘You remember four years ago, when I was on holiday by the sea, in Brittany?’ Raoul said. ‘Well, I met Christine there. I was in love with her then, and I’m still in love with her today!’ The Comte de Chagny looked at his brother. ‘Mmm, I see,’ he said slowly. ‘Well, Raoul, remember she is only an opera singer. We know nothing about her family.’ But Raoul did not listen. To him, good families were not important, and young men never listen to their older brothers. There were many people in Christine Daae’s dressing-room that night. But there was a doctor with Christine, and her beautiful face looked white and ill. Raoul went quickly across the room and took her hand. ‘Christine! What’s the matter? Are you ill?’ He went down on the floor by her chair. ‘Don’t you remember me - Raoul de Chagny, in Brittany?’ Christine looked at him, and her blue eyes were afraid. She took her hand away. ‘No, I don’t know you. Please go away. I’m not well.’ Raoul stood up, his face red. Before he could speak, the doctor said quickly, ‘Yes, yes, please go away. Everybody, please leave the room. Mademoiselle Daae needs to be quiet. She is very tired.’ He moved to the door, and soon everybody left the room. Christine Daae was alone in her dressing-room. Outside in the passage the young Vicomte was angry and unhappy. How could Christine forget him? How could she say that to him? He waited for some minutes, then, very quietly and carefully, he went back to the door of her dressing-room. But he did not open the door, because just then he heard a man’s voice in the room! ‘Christine, you must love me!’ the voice said. Then Raoul heard Christine’s voice. ‘How can you talk like that? When I sing only for you...? Tonight, I gave everything to you, everything. And now I’m so tired.’ Her voice was unhappy and afraid. ‘You sang like an angel,’ the man’s voice said. Raoul walked away. So that was the answer! Christine Daae had a lover. But why was her voice so unhappy? He waited in the shadows near her room. He wanted to see her lover - his enemy! After about ten minutes Christine came out of her room, alone, and walked away down the passage. Raoul waited, but no man came out after her. There was nobody in the passage, so Raoul went quickly up to the door of the dressing-room, opened it and went in. He closed the door quietly behind him, then called out ‘Where are you? I know you’re in here! Come out!’ There was no answer. Raoul looked everywhere - under the chairs, behind all the clothes, in all the dark corners of the room. There was nobody there. Chapter 4; The Phantom is angry That was Tuesday night. On Wednesday morning Monsieur Armand and Monsieur Firmin were happy men. Paris liked the new Margarita - everything in life was good. The next opera night was Friday. It was Faust again, but this time with La Carlotta singing Margarita. By Wednesday afternoon they were not so happy. A second letter arrived for them - from O.G. Why don’t you listen to me? I am getting angry. Leave Box 5 free for me. And where are my 20,000 francs? On Friday Daae must sing Margarita again. She is now the best singer in Paris. La Carlotta cannot sing - she has a very ugly voice, like a toad. Remember, I am a bad enemy. O. G. ‘So, Firmin, is this still a joke?’ Monsieur Armand shouted. ‘What are we going to do now, eh? Is O.G. the director here, or are we?’ ‘Don’t shout, Armand,’ said Monsieur Firmin tiredly. ‘I don’t know the answers. Let’s talk to Madame Giry, the doorkeeper of Box 5. Perhaps she can help us.’ But Madame Giry was not helpful. Madame Giry was not afraid of ghosts, and she was not afraid of directors of Opera Houses. ‘People say that you’re a friend of the Opera ghost, Madame Giry,’ Monsieur Armand began. ‘Tell us about him. Some people say he has no head.’ ‘And some people say he has no body,’ said Monsieur Firmin. ‘What do you say, Madame Giry?’ Madame Giry looked at the two men and laughed. ‘I say that the directors of the Opera House are fools!’ ‘What!’ Monsieur Armand shouted. He stood up, and his race was red and angry. ‘Listen to me, woman-’ Oh, sit down, Armand, and listen,’ said Monsieur Firmin. ‘Why do you say that, Madame Giry?’ Because, Monsieur, the Opera ghost is angry with you. When the ghost wants something, he must have it. He is clever and dangerous, this ghost. The old directors before you, they knew that, oh yes. At first they tried to stop him. Then there were many accidents in the Opera House, many strange accidents. And when did these accidents happen? When the ghost was angry! So, the old directors learnt very quickly. The ghost wants Box 5? He can have it every night. The ghost wants money? Let’s give the money to him at once. Oh yes, the old directors understood very well.’ ‘But we are the directors, not the Opera ghost!’ Monsieur Armand shouted. He turned to Monsieur Firmin. ‘This woman is mad. Why do we listen to her? On Friday night La Carlotta is going to sing Margarita. And you and I, Firmin, are going to watch the opera from Box 5.’ ‘Well, we can try that, Armand. But we don’t want any accidents.’ Madame Giry came nearer to the two men. ‘Listen to me,’ she said quietly. ‘Remember Joseph Buquet? I tell you, the Opera ghost is a good friend, but a bad enemy.’ The two men stared at her. ‘Those words,’ Monsieur Firmin said slowly, ‘why did you say those words, Madame Giry?’ ‘Because the ghost says them to me. I never see him, but I often hear him. He has a very nice voice - and he doesn’t shout at people.’ Chapter 5; A letter for Raoul That Wednesday a letter also arrived for the young Vicomte de Chagny. He opened the letter, saw the name at the bottom, and smiled for the first time that day. Dear Raoul. Of course I remember you! How could I forget you? Meet me on Thursday at three o’clock in the Tuileries Gardens. Don’t be angry with me, Raoul, please. Christine Daae. Raoul put the letter carefully into his pocket. Angry? How could he be angry with an angel? On Thursday he was in the Tuileries Gardens by two o’clock. At ten past three he began to feel unhappy. At half past three he wanted to die, or to kill somebody.