Any additional info would be appreciated:-)
The Phantom of the Opera was created by Gaston Leroux in 1911 when his novel Le Fantome de l'Opera was published. Leroux, a writer of crowd-pleasing mysteries and adventures, never would have expected this, one of ?? of his books, to become so long-lived, or so popular.
The story, for those unfamiliar with it, goes like this. Erik, born with a hideously deformed face, has been shunned and hated by every person he meets, and he now resides in solitude beneath the Paris Opera House. One day, he hears Christine Daae, a chorus girl, sing, and her voice is so lovely he falls in love with her at once. He gives voice lessons to the girl under the guise of the Angel of Music, who was a character in the stories Christine's father told her when she was a child. Her father is dead now, and the supposedly heavenly instruction helps to distract her from her grief. At the same time, a childhood friend, Raoul le Vicomte de Chagny, has found out that Christine is at the Opera House, and he tries to see her with the interest of renewing their old friendship. This friendship quickly becomes love on both their parts. The Phantom, unaware of this, takes Christine to his house across the lake beneath the Opera House, where she rips off his mask and sees his face, to both their horrors. She does not leave him, however, and she still seems to love him. She also still loves Raoul, though, and when Erik learns of this, he is enraged. He kidnaps Christine as she is singing (what opera?) and takes her once again to his underground lair. Roul follows them with the help of the Persian, a one-time acquaintance of Erik, with the intent of rescuing Christine. They instead fall into Erik's torture chamber, a hexagonal room of mirrors and heat which he designed to drive its captives mad, culminating in their suicide. He gives Christine a choice: either marry him, and he would let Raoul go free, or not, and he would explode the opera house, killing hundreds of people. Christine consents to be Erik's wife and kisses him, and he is so astonished that he lets her, Raoul, and the Persian go free, flooding the dynamite in the cellar so the Opera House cannot be blown up. Erik dies a few weeks later, and Christine returns to the cellars to bury him.
Three or four movies have been made of The Phantom of the Opera, and consensus seems to be that the best was the silent starring Lon Chaney, and that the rest of them sucked. For the Lon Chaney version,there were reports of women fainting in the theaters when the Phantom was unmasked! The story was very popular for about a decade, but faded out until ????, when a young composer named Andrew Lloyd Webber decided that Phantom would make a great musical.