Susan Crosland

The Phantom of the Opera

The Phantom of the Opera

By

Naxos Audiobooks, 2 CDs £10.99 order from our bookshop
 

The original French thriller on which Andrew Lloyd Webber based his musical opens on a performance of Faust. Its star, Carlotta, sings the role of Margarita, and enraptures her adoring public until suddenly ‘HARRUCKKK’: a toad’s croak emerges from her mouth like a monumental belch. ‘It’s the ghost,’ mutters one of the managers resentfully. The prima donna flees the stage and is replaced by the lovely Christine, who sings as never before. In a box sits Raoul, the Vicomte de Chagny; at once he is smitten by Christine and begins a fateful courtship, despite overhearing the ghost’s beautiful voice say: ‘Christine, you must love me,’ and her reply: ‘I sing only for you.’ Box 5 is the ghost’s private box, never to be used by another. In rebellion, the managers decide to occupy the box, one shouting to the other: ‘I’m sick of him! SICK OF HIM!’, whereupon a colossal chandelier crashes onto the audience. Christine makes a tragic mistake: she snatches off the ghost’s mask and discovers a hideous man, Erik. He kidnaps her, and Raoul’s search of the Paris Opera House’s underground world commences. The magnificent readers make the story spectacularly exciting.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter