THE STAGE OF THE PARIS OPERA, 1905
(The contents of the opera house is being auctioned off.
An AUCTIONEER, PORTERS, BIDDERS,
and RAOUL, seventy now, but still bright of eye.
The action commences with a blow from the AUCTlONEER's gavel)
(spoken) Sold. Your number, sir? Thank you.
(spoken) Lot 663, then, ladies and gentlemen:
a poster for this house's production of "Hannibal" by Chalumeau.
(spoken) Showing here.
(spoken) Do I have ten francs? Five then. Five I am bid.
Six, seven. Against you, sir, seven. Eight.
Eight once. Selling twice. Sold, to Raoul, Vicomte de Chagny.
Lot 664: a wooden pistol and three human skulls
from the 1831 production of "Robert le Diable" by Meyerbeer.
Ten francs for this. Ten, thank you.
Ten francs still. Fifteen, thank you, sir Fifteen I am bid.
Going at fifteen. Your number, sir?
(spoken) 665, ladies and gentlemen: a papier-mache musical box,
in the shape of a barrel-organ.
Attached, the figure of a monkey in Persian robes playing the cymbals.
This item, discovered in the vaults of the theatre, still in working order.
PORTER (holding it up)
(spoken) Showing here. (He sets it in motion)
(spoken) May I start at twenty francs? Fifteen, then? Fifteen I am bid.
(The bidding continues. RAOUL. eventually buys the box for thirty francs)
(spoken) Sold, for thirty francs to the Vicomte de Chagny. Thank you, sir.
(The box is handed across to RAOUL.
He studies it, as attention focuses on him for a moment)
RAOUL (quietly, half to himself, half to the box)
A collector's piece indeed . .
every detail exactly as she said . . .
She often spoke of you, my friend ....
Your velvet lining, and your figurine of lead...
Will you still play, when all the rest of us are dead?
(Attention returns to the AUCTIONEER, as he resumes)
(spoken) Lot 666, then: a chandelier in pieces.
Some of you may recall the strange affair of the Phantom of the Opera:
a mystery never fully explained.
We are told ladies and gentlemen,
that this is the very chandelier which figures in the famous disaster.
Our workshops have restored it
and fitted up parts of it with wiring for the new electric light,
so that we may get a hint of what it may look like when re- assembled.
Perhaps we may frighten away the ghost of
so many years ago with a little illumination, gentlemen?
(The AUCTIONEER switches on the chandelier.
There is an enormous flash, and the OVERTURE begins.
During the overture the opera house is restored to its earlier grandeur.
The chandelier immense and glittering, rises magically fromthe stage,
finally hovering high above the stalls)