From theater to movie adaptation, The Phantom of the Opera is a world-class musical phenomenon that has given its audience the surreal experience of love, music, and thrills, all in one performance. Erik, the main character in the story, who is more commonly known as the Opera Ghost or the Phantom, is a personality to be unraveled.
The Phantom is more than just a disfigured character: he has layers and layers of secrets hiding within the walls of the Paris Opera House. Here are 10 things most fans don’t know about the Opera Ghost.
10 He Helped Build The Opera House
Erik was an architect in his earlier days. This is also the reason why he is familiar with the construction of the building and its inner structure. He knows where all the trap-doors are located, the secret passages that lead to the cellar, as well as the underground maze beneath it, where he currently resides.
The Phantom undoubtedly has control over the previous management that handled the opera house. He had a lot of design input and even to this day, he has the upper-hand on how the program will go.
9 He Was Good Friends With The Persian
The Phantom and The Persian are secretly friends and Erik is indebted to him for saving his life years ago. The film did not introduce the character of the Persian, instead, they gave the background story to another character.
Erik worked for someone in the past who wanted him dead after rendering his service. He was able to escape because The Persian made it look like he was the corpse found by the Caspian Sea. Since then, Erik never went back and hasn’t spoken with The Persian in public.
8 He Knows The Trick Of The Siren
In one of the narrations of The Persian, he said that Erik was able to survive the water because he learned the trick of the siren from the Tonkin pirates, which was how to breathe underwater for a long time.
This is also probably the reason why the Phantom lives near a lake. He uses it to his advantage so no one can enter his dominion without crossing it. And when one does, they have to deal with the sirens or the other creatures living in it.
7 He Is Also Known As The Red Death
In the masked ballroom scene, The Phantom crashes the party in his bright red suit and cloak and calls himself The Red Death. Armed with a sword, which is actually nonexistent in the novel, he threatens everyone and picks a fight with Raoul.
In the same scene in the novel, he abducts Christine and brings her to his hideout. The costume symbolizes Erik’s greed and jealousy, as he finally finds out that Christine and Raoul are secretly engaged. It was also the first time he wore it in the movie.
6 He Keeps A Dead Wife
The Phantom is known to have an unhealthy obsession with his protégé, Christine Daaé, so when she kissed him for the first time, it was heaven-sent for him. In one account, Erik narrated this scene to The Persian.
He said he is dying of love and for the first time, he kissed a woman — particularly, he kissed Christine alive. In the movie, we see the Phantom with a mannequin of Christine dressed in a bridal gown, in his cave. This must explain what he meant when he said he kissed her alive.
5 He Always Stays Underground
In the scene where Christine and Raoul went upstairs to confess their love for each other, they ran and played with Apollo and the other statues of the gods looking down upon them. They were like children at play, without having any cares, for once, about The Opera Ghost.
Raoul, suddenly worried that Erik might catch them, told Christine that they might get into trouble when he finds out about their relationship. The young lady said that The Phantom never goes anywhere in the building above ground. The whole underground, however, and everything in it, belongs to him.
4 He Receives 20,000 Francs Monthly
After the old managers left their positions, they also passed on to the new ones the responsibility of complying with the Opera Ghost’s demands, although these new managers are quite stubborn and choose to resist Erik’s orders.
In their manifesto or book which contains the rules of the opera house, an order written in red ink (some say blood), states that the management must pay the Opera Ghost 20,000 francs a month. They also have to keep Box Five reserved only for him, even though he never appears.
3 He Composes His Own Songs
Aside from being Christine Daaé’s music teacher, The Phantom sings and composes his own songs, as well. He has created several musical compositions, but his most favorite is Don Juan Triumphant, which he dedicates to when Christine decides whether she wants to marry him or not.
Erik’s music has had a huge impact on Christine’s singing career. In one of the songs in the movie, it was said that what people usually hear when the prima donna sings is the voice of The Phantom and that the young lady is just a mask.
2 He Was Called “The Living Corpse” In A Fair
Everyone knows that The Phantom has unspeakably hideous features that drive people away from him. He ran away from home as a kid because he did not have a good relationship with his parents and was found and brought to a fair where he was displayed in a sideshow as a living corpse.
This made him a staple personality in the carnival. In the film, he was shown as being caged as a child and people surrounding him, calling him the devil’s child. Madame Giry, then a young girl, helped Erik escape.
1 He Took Part In Political Assassinations
When Erik was hired by the Sultan of Asia Minor, he became a part of several political assassinations. He was a skilled fighter and as an employee of the sultan, he did most of his dirty work.
This could be the reason why he is well-versed in different methods of killing, particularly the use of ropes. Both in the film and novel, the Phantom was seen using ropes and nooses to hang men and catch his enemies by the neck unguarded. This is why both in the movie and novel, Viscount Raoul was always told to put his hand up.
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