(Desk, chairs, papers. FIRMIN is scornfully eyeing a
newspaper article)


FIRMIN
"Mystery
after gala night,"
if says, "Mystery
of soprano's flight!"


"Mystified
baffled Surete 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 . . .


Diva tenders
resignation!
Cover does a
moonlight flit!
Half your cast disappears,
but the crowd still cheers!
Opera!
To hell with Gluck and Handel -
Have a scandal and
you're sure to have a hit!
(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 (immediately realizing)
Opera ghost!


FIRMIN (unamused)
It's really not amusing!


ANDRE
He's abusing
our position!


FIRMIN
In addition
he wants money!


ANDRE
He's a funny
sort of spectre . . .


BOTH
. . . to expect a
large retainer!
Nothing plainer -
he is clearly quite insane!


(They are interrupted by the arrival of RAOUL, who
brandishes another of the PHANTOM'S notes)


RAOUL
Where is she?


ANDRE
You mean Carlotta?


RAOUL
I mean Miss Daae -
where is she?


FIRMIN
Well, how should we know?


RAOUL
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!


RAOUL
She's not with you, then?


FIRMIN
Of course not!


ANDRE
We're in the dark . . .


RAOUL
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)


Written !
(RAOUL hands the note to ANDRE, who reads it)


ANDRE
"Do not fear for Miss Daae.
The Angel of Music
has her under his wing.
Make no attempt to see her again."


(The MANAGERS look mystified)


RAOUL
If you didn't write it, who did?


(CARLOTTA bursts in. She too has a letter, which has
cheered her no more than the others)


CARLOTTA
Where is he?


ANDRE
Ah, welcome back!


CARLOTTA
Your precious patron -
where is he?


RAOUL
What is it now?














CARLOTTA (to RAOUL)
I have your letter -
a letter which I
rather resent!


FIRMIN (to RAOUL)
And did you send it?


RAOUL
Of course not!


ANDRE
As if he would!


CARLOTTA
You didn't send it?


RAOUL
Of course not!


FIRMIN
What's going on . . .?


CARLOTTA (to RAOUL)
You dare to tell me,
that this is not the
letter you sent ? !


RAOUL
And what is it that I'm
meant to have sent?


(RAOUL 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 lo tire of the intrigue)


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 . . .


(GIRY suddenly appears, accompanied by MEG)


GIRY
Miss Daae has returned.


FIRMIN (drily)
In which case, I think our meeting is adjourned!


ANDRE
Where precisely is she now?


GIRY
I thought it best
that she went home . . .


MEG
She needed rest.


RAOUL
May I see her?


GIRY
No, monsieur,
she will see no-one.


CARLOTTA
Will she sing?
Will she sing?


GIRY
Here, I have a note . . .


RAOUL/CARLOTTA/ANDRE
Let me see it!


FIRMIN (snatching it)
Please!


FIRMIN (Opens the letter and reads. The PHANTOM'S
voice gradually lakes over)
"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."


MEG
Christine, Christine....


CARLOTTA
Christine!


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!


RAOUL (ironical)
Indeed?
(to the OTHERS)
Can you believe this?


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!


FIRMIN
Signora!


ANDRE
You are our star!


FIRMIN
And always will be!


ANDRE
Signora . . .


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 (waxing melodramatic)
It's useless trying to
appease me!
You're only saying this
to please me!
Signori, e 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 . . .


RAOUL
Why did Christine
fly from my arms . . .?


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/RAOUL
I must see her . . .


CARLOTTA
Abbandonata!
Deseredata!
0, sventurata!


GIRY
The angel knows,
the angel hears . . .


RAOUL
Where did she go . . .?


CARLOTTA
Abbandonata!
Disgraziata!


ANDRE/FIRMIN
Signora, sing for us!
Don't be a martyr . . .


RAOUL/GIRY/MEG
What new surprises
lie in store . . .?


ANDRE/FIRMIN
Our star . . .!


CARLOTTA
Non vo' cantar!




PRIMA DONNA


(ALL look at CARLOTTA, as the MANAGERS approach
her lovingly)


ANDRE
Your public needs you!


FIRMIN
We need you, too!


CARLOTTA (unassuaged)
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)


RAOUL
Christine spoke of an angel . . .


CARLOTTA (to herself, in triumph)
Prima donna
your song shall live again!


ANDRE/FIRMIN (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 !


RAOUL
Is this her angel of music . . .?


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 . . .?


RAOUL
Angel or 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!


RAOUL
Orders! Warnings!
Lunatic demands!


GIRY
This miscasting
will invite damnation . . .


ANDRE/FIRMIN
Tears . . . oaths . . .
Iunatic 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!


RAOUL
Surely, for her sake . . .


MEG
Surely he'll strike back . . .


ANDRE/FIRMIN
Surely there'll be further scenes -
worse than this!


GIRY
Think, before
these demands are rejected!


RAOUL
. . .I must see
these 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?
Raoul and the soubrette,
entwined in love's duet!
Although he may demur,
he must have been with her!


MEG/RAOUL
Christine must be protected!


CARLOTTA
0, 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!


RAOUL
His game is over!


GIRY
This is a game
you cannot hope to win!


RAOUL
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
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 . . .


RAOUL
Christine plays the Pageboy,
Carlotta plays the Countess . . .


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!


PHANTOM'S VOICE
So, it is to be war between us! If these demands are not
met, a disaster beyond your imagination will occur!


ALL
Once more!

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