"The Phantom of the Opera" (originally called Le Fantôme de l'Opéra) was first published in Edmond Tarbe and Henri de Pene's daily newspaper Le Gaulois by french writer Gaston Leroux in 1909, until 1910. The story consists of many different genres, such as mystery, romance, thriller and gothic novel. The most notable of either onstage or film adaptations were: The 1925 film depiction,
Ken Hill's 1976 musical at the
Theatre Royal Stratford East followed ten years later by Andrew Lloyd Webber's 1986 musical, and Webber's and Joel Schumacher's 2004 film.
"The Phantom of the Opera" story takes place in 1905 Paris. Leroux opens the novel with a prologue claiming that the Phantom was a real, living breathing person, which would be hard to believe.
It then introduces and talks about Christine Daaé and her father, who was a famous Swedish violinist. Her father always told Christine stories about an "Angel of Music" that has touched her voice and gave her her infamous ability to "sing like an angel". when Christine's father becomes ill, he claims that when he is sent to heaven, he will have an angel descend to Christine's aid and protect her as the Angel of Music. While Christine sings and enjoys her stay at the famous Opera Populaire, Christine starts hearing a strange voice calling out to her. It is later revealed this voice is the infamous Phantom of the opera, or Erik (his real name) who quickly falls in love with Christine, and also starts a strong conflict with Christine's childhood sweetheart Raoul, Vicomte de Chagny.
When "The Phantom of the Opera" was first released, it gained little to no popularity whatsoever until the twentieth century (most likely because of the lovable film and stage productions of the book)
The book really gained it's popularity when English composer and impresario Andrew Lloyd Webber wrote and released his live onstage musical of "The Phantom of the Opera" in 1986. He had also created a film adaptation of the musical in 2004 with director Joel Schumacher (starring Gerard Butler and Emmy Rossum). Webber managed to produce amazingly beautiful songs in his musical such as "Angel of Music", "Point of No Return" and "Down Once More".
During his years since he was born in Paris, Gaston Leroux has written a total of over forty novels, including
Adventures of Joseph Rouletabille series (1907 to 1922). Leroux died at the age of 58 on April 15th, 1927.
The book can be purchased not only online, but also at your local Chapters book stores, and most likely thrift stores and some local books stores around the world!