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The Phantom of the Opera

Chapter 1

               The Angel of Music
The place was the coast of Brittany, in northern France. The time was a summer evening in 1880. Two people were sitting by the sea. They were sitting on a sandy beach, near an old church. They were a young girl and an old man. The girl was singing and the old man was playing a violin.
The young girl's name was Christine. The old man was her father. Christine and her father were travelling musicians. They travelled through all the countries of Europe. Sometimes, they performed music in hotels. Sometimes, they performed in the streets. Christine had a beautiful voice. In every country, people loved Christine's voice.
On that evening in 1880, Christine was looking at the sea. She was singing a sad song. It was a song about the sea, and about love. A man and a young boy were walking on the beach. They stopped near Christine and her father. They listened to the music.
The boy's name was Raoul. He was eleven years old. The man was Raoul's brother, Philippe. Philippe was much older than Raoul. He was thirty-one.
The two brothers stood near Christine and her father. Christine sang and her father played his violin. Raoul and Philippe listened to the music.
Christine was wearing a long blue scarf. Suddenly,the wind blew the scarf from Christine's neck. The wind blew the scarf into the sea.
'I'll get your scarf,' said the young boy. 'Stay there. I'll bring it to you.'
'No, Raoul, No!' said Philippe. 'Don't go into the sea.'

But Raoul did not listen to his brother. He ran into the sea. He took the blue scarf from the water. He ran back to the beach and he gave the scarf to the young girl.

'Thank you,' said Christine. 'Thank you. I will always remember you.'

chapter 2-
                         A Party at the Opera House

The Opera House in Paris is a huge building. There are hundreds of rooms. There are many corridors. And there are many cellars, deep under the stage.
One evening in 1890, the manager of the Opera House had a party. The party was in a very large room behind the stage of the Opera House.
Hundreds of people worked at the Opera House. Some people were singers and some people were dancers. Some people played musical instruments in the orchestra. Some people took care of the costumes. Some people took care of the lights. Some people moved the scenery on the stage. And some people sold tickets for the performances.
All these people went to the manager's party. The dancers and the singers were excited. They were talk­ing together in one part of the room. But they were not 'But you haven't seen him! You don't know about his clothes!' said the singer.
talking about the party. They were talking about the ghost in the Opera House.
A few of the singers and dancers had seen a strange man in the Opera House. The man always wore a black cloak. And he always wore a white mask over his face. He never spoke to anybody. The singers and dancers named him, 'The Phantom of the Opera'.
'Have you seen him?' a young dancer asked one of the singers.
'Yes, I saw him last week,' the singer replied.
'Tell me about him,' said the dancer.
'He was tall and thin,' said the pretty singer. 'He was wearing a black cloak.'
'Was he ugly or was he handsome?' asked the dancer.
'I don't know,' the singer said. 'He was wearing a white mask over his face. There were two holes in the mask, but I couldn't see his eyes.'
'Were you frightened?' asked the dancer.
'Yes, I was very frightened!' said the singer quickly. Her eyes were shining. She was excited.
'Have many people seen the ghost?' her friend asked.
'Madame Richard knows about him,' the singer said
'Madame Richard told me about him. She said, "Every evening, the Phantom sits in Box Number 5. He watches the opera. I give him a programme and he pays me for it - he gives me 20 francs." She isn't frightened!'
At that moment, Madame Richard came into the room. Madame Richard was a ticket-seller. Every evening, she sold tickets for the performance at the Opera House. And she sold programmes to the people in the audience. Madame Richard was a very large woman with a loud voice. All the singers and dancers were frightened of her.
'Are you talking about the ghost again?' Madame Richard asked.
'Yes, yes!' said the young dancer. 'Please tell us about him. Does he always sit in Box Number 5?'
'I don't sell any tickets for Box Number 5,' said Madame Richard. 'But somebody sits in Box Number 5. He doesn't go into the box through the door. And nobody sees him. He's a ghost - a phantom!'
'Do you sell a programme to him?' asked the dancer.
'Yes, he always wants a programme,' said Madame Richard. 'Every evening, I put a programme on a chair in Box Number 5. Every evening, the programme dis­appears. And after the performance there is always 20 francs on the chair.'
'Oh! Does the Phantom of the Opera have money?' asked one of the other singers. 'Is he a rich phantom?'
'Yes, Yes! He is rich, said Madame Richard. 'The Phantom is a gentleman. He wears fine clothes.'
Suddenly, somebody knocked on the door of the room. The dancer opened the door. A tall, thin man stood in the corridor. He was wearing beautiful black clothes. The dancer screamed.
'The Phantom!' she shouted. 'It's the Phantom!'
Her friends laughed. 'That's not the Phantom,' one of them said. 'That's the Persian.'
The tall, thin man looked at the dancer. 'Where is Carlotta?' he asked quietly. 'Is she here?'
The dancer pointed along the corridor. She pointed to another door. 'Carlotta is in her dressing-room,' she said. 'Carlotta is very tired this evening. She will not come to the party.'
'Thank you,' said the thin man.
The dancer closed the door quickly. 'Who is that man?' she asked her friends.
'He is the Persian,' one of the singers said. 'He is a friend of the Phantom!'
Everybody laughed.
Chapter 3- Raoul Goes to the Opera
In 1890, Raoul was twenty-one. He was a handsome and intelligent young man. In the spring, he went to Paris. He was going to live there with his brother, Philippe.
Philippe was forty-one. He was a rich and important man. He knew many important people in Paris. He knew the manager of the Opera House. And he knew many famous singers.
One evening, Philippe spoke to his brother.
'We will go to the Opera House tonight, Raoul,' he said. 'My favourite singer is going to sing tonight. She is very famous. Her name is Carlotta.'
'Everybody knows about Carlotta,' said Raoul. 'She is a very famous singer. I want to hear her voice.'
'You will hear her tonight,' said Philippe. 'And you will meet Carlotta tonight,' said Philippe. 'I will take you to her dressing-room. I often visit the singers after the performance. I often go to their dressing-rooms.'
The two brothers went to the Opera House. But they did not hear Carlotta that evening. Carlotta did not sing. She was ill. That evening, a different singer performed. This singer was a very young woman. She had fair hair and blue eyes. She was very beautiful. And she sang very beautifully.
The people in the audience were excited. They clapped their hands. They cheered loudly.
'Who is that singer?' asked Philippe. 'She has a wonderful voice.'
Raoul looked at the young woman on the stage.
'I know her,' he said. 'And you know her too, Philippe! Do you remember the girl on the beach - the girl in Brittany? She sang for me. She was on the beach with her father. I took her scarf from the sea. My clothes were wet and you were angry with me.'
'Yes, I remember,' said Philippe. 'The girl's father played the violin on the beach. And the girl sang. But I have not heard her sing here, at the Opera House. She's a very good singer!'

All the people in the audience liked the young singer very much. At the end of the performance, they clapped their hands and they cheered again.
After the performance, Raoul and Philippe met the manager of the Opera House.
'What is that young singer's name?' Philippe asked.
'Her name is Christine,' said the manager. 'She has a wonderful voice. One day, I heard Christine singing in the street. She sang very well. I brought her to the Opera House. She has a very good teacher. She is a very good singer. Soon, she will be famous. Tonight, Carlotta was ill. 1 said, "Christine will sing in the per­formance tonight." And she has sung beautifully.'
'I want to meet Christine,' Raoul said to Philippe. 'Please take me to her dressing-room.'
Philippe took Raoul to a corridor behind the stage. They were many doors in this corridor. They were the doors of the singers' dressing-rooms.
Many people were outside Christine's dressing-room. Everybody wanted to go into the room. Every­body wanted to speak to Christine.
The door of the dressing-room was open. But a man was standing in front of the door.
'I am a doctor,' he said to the people. 'You must not go into Christine's room. She must rest. She is very, very tired. Please go away.'
The other people went away. But Philippe knew the doctor. He spoke to the man. Then Philippe and his brother looked into the dressing-room. Raoul saw Christine. She was sitting on a chair. He smiled at her.
Suddenly, Christine saw Raoul. She stood up and she walked to the open door.
'Christine,' said the young man. 'My name is Raoul. I have seen you before. 1 saw you ten years ago. I saw you on a beach in Brittany. 1 took your scarf from the sea.'
'Yes, 1 remember that evening,' said Christine. 'I was ten years old. You ran into the sea. Your clothes were very wet. Your brother was angry!'
'Yes,' said Philippe. '1 was angry.' He smiled.
'You sang a song for me that evening,' said Raoul. 'And your father played his violin. Is your father well, Christine?'
'My father died last year,' Christine said sadly.
'I have often thought about you, Christine,' said Raoul. 'I want to meet you again.'
'1 am very tired tonight,' said Christine. 'Please come another day.'
'I'll come tomorrow,' said Raoul.
'Please leave now,' said the doctor. 'Christine must rest!
The doctor closed the door of the dressing-room.
A few minutes later, the two brothers were leaving the Opera House. They saw the manager again. He was standing outside the building. He was looking up at the stars in the dark sky.
'What is wrong with Carlotta?' Philippe asked him. 'Is she very ill?'
'No, she is not ill,' said the manager. 'But she is very worried. And she is very frightened. Now, she will not sing- She has seen the Phantom.'
'The Phantom? Do you believe that?' said Philippe.
'No! No! 1 don't believe it!' said the manager. 'But she saw somebody or something. Somebody or some­thing frightened her.'
Philippe and Raoul said goodnight to the manager.
'Is there a ghost in the Opera House?' Raoul asked his brother.
'People like frightening stories,' said Philippe. 'And people tell foolish stories to each other. They talk about the Phantom of the Opera.'