Angel of Music

Christine Daae is thrown into the spotlight when opera diva La Carlotta storms out. After the opening gala she catches the attention of the opera's patron Raoul Vicomte de Chagne but he is not the only powerful man to be awed by the young soprano. This haunted tale sets the stage for this dramatic opera.


2. Hannibal

Carlotta made he entrance grandly. Carrying a served head and wearing one of her many flamboyant costumes singing.
"This trophy from our saviours, from the 
enslaving force of Rome!"
A stage hand carries a ladder across the 
stage. Others are seen still constructing parts of the scenery. Chorus girls preform ballet. Each dressed as slaves they join in with the song.
"With feasting and dancing and song, 
tonight in celebration 
we greet the victorious throng, 
returned to bring salvation!"
The males chorus march in as soldiers. 
"The trumpets of Carthage resound ! 
Hear, Romans, now and tremble! 
Hark to our step on the ground!
Hear the drums - Hannibal comes!"
Piangi is brought on stage via a chariot. He is dressed as the leading role of Hannibal
"Sad to return to find the land we love 
threatened once more by Roma's far-reaching 
"No! No! No! Signor . . . if you please: "Rome". We say 
"Rome' not "Roma"" Monsieur Reyer the director interrupts.
"Si, si, Rome, not Roma. Is very hard for me.
Rome . . . Rome."
"Once again, then, if you please, Signor: "Sad to 
return . . .""

"This way, gentlemen, this way. Rehearsals, as you see, are under way, for a new production of 
Chalumeau's "Hannibal"." Monsieur LeFèrvre guides Monsieur André and Firmin onto the stage having just sold the opera house to them. Noticin the referrals he tries to attract attention.
"Ladies and gentlemen, some of you may already, perhaps, have met Monsieur. Andre and Monsieur. Firmin ..."
André and Firmin bow politely.
"I'm sorry, Monsieur. Lefevre, we are rehearsing. If you wouldn't mind waiting a moment?" Reyer interupted.
"My apologies, Monsieur. Reyer. Proceed, proceed ..."
"Thank you, monsieur. "Sad to return..." Signor ..."

"Monsieur Reyer, our chief repetiteur. Rather a tyrant, I'm afraid."
The rehearsals continue and Piangi takes centre stage to preform.
"Sad to return to find the land we love 
threatened once more by 
Rome's far-reaching grasp.
Tomorrow we shall break 
the chains of Rome.
Tonight, rejoice - your army has come home."
The ballet girls begin their dance as the men stand centr-stage watching the ballet and getting in the way.

"Signor Piangi, our principal tenor. He does play so opposite La Carlotta"
Madame Giry bangs her cane to get their attention.
"Gentlemen, please! If you would kindly move to one side?"
"My apologies, Madame. Giry. Madame. Giry, our ballet mistress. I don't mind confessing, Monsieur Firmin, I shan't be sorry to be rid of the whole blessed business."
Firmin was obviously confused.
"I keep asking you, monsieur, why exactly are you retiring?"
LeFerve says nothing but laughs the question off. He quickly changes the subject.
"We take a particular pride here in the excellence of our ballets."
As the dancers move arround Meg Giry becomes the most noticeable. André is the first to speak up.
"Who's that girl, Lefevre?"
"Her? Meg Giry, Madame Giry's daughter. Promising dancer, Monsieur. Andre, most promising."
Christine Daae now is in full view and a bit out of time.. Madame Giry notices with hawk eyes and slams down her cane.
"You! Christine Daae! Concentrate, girl!"

"Christine . . . What's the matter?" Meg whispers.

"Daae? Curious name"
"Any relation to the violinist?"
"His daughter, I believe. Always has her head in the 
clouds, I'm afraid."
The ballet continues to its climax and ends and the chorus resumes.

"Bid welcome to Hannibal's guests -
the elephants of Carthage! 
As guides on our conquering quests, 
Dido sends 
Hannibal's friends!"

An elephant, a life-sized mechanical replica, is brought on stage.Piangi is lifted, in triumph, onto its back Carlotta takes back the stage.
"Once more to my 
welcoming arms
my love returns 
in splendour!"

"Once more to those
sweetest of charms
my heart and soul

"The trumpeting elephants sound 
hear, Romans, now and tremble! 
Hark to their step on the ground 
hear the drums! 
Hannibal comes!"

LeFervre claps his hands and orders silence. The elephant is lead of stage revealing two stage hands operating it from within.

"Ladies and gentlemen - Madame Giry, thank you - may I have your attention, please? 
As you know, for some weeks there have been rumours of my Imminent retirement. I can now tell you that these were all true and it is my pleasure to introduce to you the two gentlemen who now own the Opera Populaire, Monsieur. Richard Firmin and Monsieur. Gilles Andre.

There is a polite applause and Carlotta makes her presece felt.

"Gentlemen, Signora Carlotta Giudicelli, our leading soprano for five seasons now."
"Of course, of course. I have experienced all your greatest roles, Signora."
"And Signor Ubaldo Piangi."
"An honour, Signor. If I remember rightly, Elissa has a rather 
fine aria in Act Three of "Hannibal". I wonder, Signora, if, as a personal favour, you would oblige us with a private rendition? Unless, of course, Monsieur. Reyer objects . . ."
"My manager commands . . . M. Reyer?"
"My diva commands. Will two bars be sufficient introduction?"
"Two bars will be quite sufficient"
The introduction is played on the piano. Carlotta takes a deep breath and sings.
"Think of me,
think of me fondly,
when we've said
Remember me
once in a while -
please promise me
you'll try.

When you find
that, once
again, you long
to take your heart . . ."
Carlotta is thrown to the ground as the backdrop falls on her. Cutting her off from her song. Whispers are heard arround the rest of the chorus.
"He's here:
the Phantom of the Opera . . .
He is with us . . .
It's the ghost . . ."
Piangi looks up furiously.
"You idiots!" he rushes over to Carlotta "Cara! Cara! Are you hurt?"
"Signora! Are you all right? Buquet! Where is Buquet ?"
"Is no one concerned for our prima donna?"
"Get that man down here ! Chief of the flies. He's responsible for this."
The drop is raised high enough and reveals upstage an old stagehand, named Joseph Buqet holding a length of rope, which looks almost like a noose.
"Buquet! For God's sake, man, what's going on up there?"
"Please monsieur don't look at me: as God's my witness, I was not at my post. Please monsieur there's no one there: and if there is, well then, it must be a ghost . . ."
Little Meg Giry looks up to see if there is a ghost.
"He's there; the Phantom of the Opera ..."
"Good heavens! Will you show a little courtesy?"
"Mademoiselle, please!"
"These things do happen."
"Si! These things do happen! Well, until you stop these 
things happening, this thing does not happen! Ubaldo! Andiamo!"
"Amateurs !" mocks Piangi.

"I don't think there's much more to assist you,gentlemen. Good luck. If you need me, I shall be in 
Frankfurt .
As he leaves he looks anxiously at the new managers.

"La Carlotta will be back." André declares.
"You think so, messieurs? I have a message, sir, from the Opera Ghost."
The ballet girls huddle in fear.
"God in Heaven, you're all obsessed!"
"He merely welcomes you to his opera house and commands you to continue to leave Box Five empty for his use and reminds you that his salary is due."
"His salary?"
"Monsieur Lefevre paid him twenty thousand francs a month. Perhaps you can afford more, with the Vicomte de Chagny as your patron?"
The ballet girls giggle with excitement.
"Madame, I had hoped to have made that announcement myself"
"Will the Vicomte be at the performance tonight, monsieur?"
"In our box."
"Madame, who is the understudy for this role?"
"There is no understudy, monsieur - the production is new." Monetiur Reyer breaks in.

"Christine Daae could sing it, sir."

"The chorus girl ?"
"She's been taking lessons from a great teacher"
"From whom ?"
"I don't know, sir . . ."
"Oh, not you as well! Can you believe it? A full house - and we have to cancel !"
"Let her sing for you, monsieur. She has been well taught."

Before Christine has chance to object she is thrown centre stage.
"From the beginning of the aria then, mam'selle."
She inhales deeply. Swallowing her nerves.
"Think of me
think of me fondly,
when we've said goodbye.
Remember me
once in a while -
please promise me
you'll try."

"Andre, this is doing nothing for my nerves."
"Don't fret, Firmin"

"When you find
that, once
again, you long
to take your heart back
and be free -
if you
ever find 
a moment,
spare a thought
for me"

The gala was in full swing and Christine continues her song in place of La Carlotta wearing full costume she resumes.

"We never said
our love
was evergreen,
or as unchanging
as the sea -
but if
you can still
stop and think
of me . . .

Think of all the things
we've shared and seen -
don't think about the things
which might have been . . .

Think of me,
think of me waking,
silent and

Imagine me,
trying too hard
to put you
from my mind.

Recall those days
look back
on all those times,
think of the things
we'll never do -
there will
never be
a day, when
I won't think
of you . ."

The audience burst into applause and bravos the most prominent among the bravos, those of a young Raoul.
"Can it be?
Can it be Christine?
What a change!
You're really 
not a bit
the gawkish girl
that once you were.
She may
not remember
me, but
I remember
"We never said
our love
was evergreen,
or as unchanging
as the sea -
but please
promise me,
that sometimes
you will think
of me!"
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