Music to the Phantom of the Opera

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


A look at the history and making of the iconic music of the Phantom of the Opera.

The History of the Phantom of the Opera

The original Phantom of the Opera was written by Gaston Leroux and first published in 1909. The novel has been adapted into numerous films, tv shows, and stage productions. The most popular adaptation of the novel is the 1986 Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, which has been running continuously on Broadway since 1988. The musical has been translated into over 20 languages and has been seen by over 140 million people worldwide.

The original novel by Gaston Leroux

The Phantom of the Opera is a novel by French author Gaston Leroux. It was first published as a serialization in Le Gaulois from September 23, 1909, to January 8, 1910. It was published in volume form in late March 1910 by Pierre Lafitte. It is partially based on historical facts and real people. It tells the story of a beautiful soprano, Christine DaaĆ©, who becomes the obsession of a mysterious, disfigured musical genius known as “The Phantom” who haunts the catacombs beneath the Paris Opera House.

The novel was inspired by an article that Leroux had read about the Palace of Versailles and an episode involving Louis XIV and his court musicians. The novel has been translated into English numerous times and has been adapted into various stage productions, films, television series, ballet and opera.

The first stage adaptation by Andrew Lloyd Webber

The first stage adaptation of Phantom of the Opera was by Andrew Lloyd Webber and opened in London’s West End in 1986. The original cast included Michael Crawford as the Phantom and Sarah Brightman as Christine. The production was a huge success and went on to tour internationally. A film adaptation starring Gerard Butler and Emmy Rossum was released in 2004.

The Music of the Phantom of the Opera

The Phantom of the Opera tells the story of a musical genius who is hidden away in the bowels of the Paris Opera House. He takes the young soprano, Christine, under his wing and teaches her to sing. The two of them fall in love, but the Phantom’s deformity frightens Christine and she ultimately rejects him. The Phantom is so heartbroken that he exacts revenge by bringing the Opera House to ruin.

The songs from the musical

The Phantom of the Opera is a musical with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Charles Hart with additions from Richard Stilgoe. Lloyd Webber and Stilgoe also wrote the book together. The musical opened in London’s West End in 1986, and on Broadway in 1988. It won the 1986 Olivier Award and the 1988 Tony Award for Best Musical.

The Phantom of the Opera has been staged in many different venues around the world. In 2004, it became the first musical to be screened live in cinemas, when it was broadcast to more than 500 movie theatres in 58 countries around the world. The piece has been filmed three times: first as a 1925 silent film starring Lon Chaney, Sr., second as a 1943 technicolor film starring Claude Rains, and most recently in 2004 as a musical starring Gerard Butler and Emmy Rossum.

The music of The Phantom of the Opera consists of an overture followed by an entr’acte which leads into a set of eighteen songs totaling around forty minutes, followed by a reprise of the overture. Most of these numbers are sung by Christine DaaĆ© or the Phantom. Three other characters also have solo numbers: Madame Giry sings “Mother Tell Me a Story”, Piangi sings “Prima Donna”, and Meg Giry sings “Little Lotte”. In addition, there are two duets: “Phantom of the Opera” and “Point of No Return”.

The score of the musical

The score of the musical consists of an overture followed by fourteen songs, all written by ASMA. It was orchestrated by Harold Prince and Michael Boddicker. First published in 1986, the musical’s score debuted on Broadway ten years later and has been played continuously ever since. The original cast recording, which became the best-selling cast album of all time, was recorded three months after the musical opened on Broadway and released in early 1987. It won the 1988 Grammy Award for Best Cast Album. In 2004, it was re-mastered and released as a Special Edition during the musical’s twentieth anniversary. A recording of a performance from the 2010 UK tour is also available.

The 2004 film adaptation

The 2004 film adaptation of The Phantom of the Opera was met with mixed reviews. Critics praised the film’s visuals and sets, but they criticized its pacing and structure. The performances of stars Gerard Butler and Emmy Rossum were also praised.

The video games based on the musical

The musical has been adapted into two video games: one based on the musical itself, and one released to coincide with the 2004 film.

The first, simply titled The Phantom of the Opera, was a point-and-click adventure game released in 1989 by Coktel Vision. It was available for Amiga, Atari ST, Commodore 64, and MS-DOS, and received mixed reviews.

The second video game adaptation was based on the 2004 film. It was released for Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS, PlayStation 2, and Microsoft Windows. The game generally received negative reviews.

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