3) JENNIFER BASSETT - The Phantom of the Opera

3 Christine Daae

Monsieur Firmin was right. All Paris talked about the new
Margarita in Faust, the girl with the beautiful voice, the girl
with the voice of an angel. People loved her. They laughed and
cried and called for more. Daae was wonderful, the best singer
in the world!
Behind the stage Meg Giry looked at Annie Sorelli. 'Christine
Daae never sang like thar before,' she said to Annie. 'Why was
she so good tonight?'
'Perhaps she's got a new music teacher,' Annie said.
The noise in the Opera House went on for a long time. In
Box 14, Philippe, the Comte de Chagny, turned to his younger
brother and smiled.
'Well, Raoul, what did you think of Daae tonight?'
Raoul, the Vicomte de Chagny, was twenty-one years old.
He had blue eyes and black hair, and a wonderful smile. The
Chagny family was old and rich, and many girls in Paris were in
love with the young Vicomte. But Raoul was not interested in
them.
He smiled back at his brother. 'What can I say? Christine is
an angel, that's all. I'm going to her dressing-room to see her
tonight.'
Philippe laughed. He was twenty years older than Raoul, and
was more like a father than a brother.
'Ah, I understand,' he said. 'You are in love! But this is your
first night in Paris, your first visit to the opera. How do you
know Christine Daae?'
'You remember four years ago, when I was on holiday by the
sea, in Brittany?' Raoul said. 'Well, I met Christine there. 1 was
in love with her then, and I'm still in love with her today!'
The Comte de Chagny looked at his brother. 'Mmm, I see,'
he said slowly. 'Well, Raoul, remember she is only an opera
singer. We know nothing about her family.'
But Raoul did not listen. To him, good families were not
important, and young men never listen to their older brothers.
There were many people in Christine Daae's dressing-room
that night. But there was a doctor with Christine, and her
beautiful face looked white and ill. Raoul went quickly across
the room and took her hand.
'Christine! What's the matter? Are you ill?' He went down on
the floor by her chair. 'Don't you remember me - Raoul de
Chagny, in Brittany?'
Christine looked at him, and her blue eyes were afraid. She
took her hand away. 'No, I don't know you. Please go away.
I'm not well.'
Raoul stood up, his face red. Before he could speak, rhc
doctor said quickly, 'Yes, yes, please go away. Everybody,
please leave the room. Mademoiselle Daae needs to be quiet.
She is very tired.'
He moved to the door, and soon everybody left the room.
Christine Daae was alone in her dressing-room.
Outside in the passage the young Vicomte was angry and
unhappy. How could Christine forget him? How could she say
that to him? He waited for some minutes, then, very quietly and
carefully, he went back to the door of her dressing-room. But he
did not open the door, because just then he heard a man's voice
in the room!
'Christine, you must love me!' the voice said.
Then Raoul heard Christine's voice. 'How can you talk like
that? When I sing only for you ...? Tonight, I gave everything to
you, everything. And now I'm so tired.' Her voice was unhappy
and afraid.
'You sang like an angel,' the man's voice said.
Raoul walked away. So that was the answer! Christine Daae
had a lover. But why was her voice so unhappy? He waited in
the shadows near her room. He wanted to see her lover - his
enemy!
After about ten minutes Christine came out of her room,
alone, and walked away down the passage. Raoul waited, but
no man came out after her. There was nobody in the passage,
so Raoul went quickly up to the door of the dressing-room,
opened it and went in. He closed the door quietly behind him,
then called out:
'Where are you? I know you're in here! Come out!'
There was no answer. Raoul looked everywhere - under the
chairs, behind all the clothes, in all the dark corners of the
room. There was nobody there.