The Phantom of the Opera is a French story (Le Fantôme de l’Opéra) written by Gaston Leroux, first published in 1911.
In a nutshell, The Phantom of the Opera is the story of a man named Erik who was born deformed, causing him to live in the sewers located under the Paris Opera House. He falls in love with Christine, a chorus singer. When Christine falls in love with Raoul, who she has known since childhood, The Phantom begins to terrorize the Opera singers and proceeds to kidnap Christine, forcing her to live with him underneath the Opera House.
Like many of the world’s most successful stories, the novel did not sell many copies and even went out of publication several times over the course of the twentieth century.
The story has since then been globally translated, published, and crossed over into several media formats.
The Phantom of the Opera has been featured and referenced countless times in popular media such as Married with Children, The Simpsons, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, SpongeBob Square Pants, Sex and the City, The Muffet Show, and Dr Who.
Musicians Iron Maiden, Iced Earth, American Idol singer David Cook, and Bob Dylan have all produced, sang, and/or channelled The Phantom of the Opera story in their music.
Several forms of merchandise have been produced based on The Phantom of the Opera story including computer games, toys, board games, t-shirts, i-pad cases, coffee cups, jewelry, musical boxes, figurines, and key chains.
“The Phantom of the Opera” has crossed over into several media properties. It is a perfect example of how the book is just the beginning for any blockbuster story.
Here are just a few crossover examples:
1976 – musical by Ken Hill at the Theatre Royal Stratford East.
1986 – musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber. It first opened in London’s West End with Michael Crawford and Sarah Brightman as Christine Daae.
1991 – musical called “Phantom” by Maury Yeston and Arthur Kopit had well over 1,000 productions.
2006 – musical called Phantom: The Las Vagas Spectacularwhich was reconceived by Andrew Lloyd Webber.
2006 – the Atlantic Ballet Theatre of Canada produced The Phantom of the Opera Ballet.
2009 – A musical sequel named Love Never Dies, written by Andrew Lloyd Webber.
2010 – musical called “Phantom of The Opera A New Musical” by Michael Sgouros opened at The Players Theatre in New York City.
1925 – A silent film version was produced starring Lon Chaney.
1974 – A rock musical version called Phantom of the Paradise, directed by Brian De Palma.
2004 – Andrew Lloyd Webber’s 1986 musical was adapted for the big screen starring Gerard Butler as the Phantom and Emmy Rossum as Christine Daae.
1978 – KISS meets the Phantom of the Park, was produced for NBC, and then got re-edited and released for theatres in foreign markets.
1983 – TV movie starring Maximilian Schell and Jane Seymour.
1990 –An NBC Miniseries starring Charles Dance and Teri Polo.
1961 – Woody Woodpecker’s Phantom of the Horse Opera.
1991 – The Chipmunks – Phantom Of The Rock Opera
2000 – Disney’s The Phantom of the Megaplex.
1965 – The Phantom of Notre Duck by Donald Duck cartoonist Carl Barks.
1973 – The Phantom Stranger published by DC Comics.
1997 – Batman Masque written by Mike Grell and published by DC Comics.
2005 – Black Nostalgia: The Phantom of the Opera, based on the original novel by Gaston Leroux.