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Phantom of the Opera, The

About the Story

Phantom of the Opera, The

French journalist and author Gaston Leroux (1868-1927) first published The Phantom of the Opera as a serial in 1901 and then as a novel in 1911. The Phantom of the Opera has been adapted into several movies and is the source of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical. Leroux based the setting of his novel on the Palais Garnier, home of the Paris Opera. The building features a large marble staircase that divides into two flights of stairs that lead to the grand foyer. An iconic 7-ton bronze chandelier hangs inside the Palais Garnier’s auditorium. On May 20, 1896, the chandelier fell and killed an audience member. This incident inspired Leroux to write one of the most famous scenes in The Phantom of the Opera in which the chandelier falls during a performance of Faust. Though Leroux is best known for The Phantom of the Opera, he is considered the master of French mystery novels, most notably The Mystery of the Yellow Room.