phantom of the opera musical vs book

Phantom Opera Musical Cast in Different Stagings and Film

A case study regarding “The Phantom of the Opera: Musical vs Book” in unavoidable. Some hit musicals are based on classic best sellers like this. Usually it starts as a play adapted from the book which in turn gets adapted into a musical. In this case though, the version that used less music was the 1990 adaptation written by Arthur Kopit. But Andrew Lloyd Webber took straight from the book and into his 1986 musical version. Minor tweaks are inevitable.

phantom of the opera musical vs bookThe few that didn’t like the 1986 version of POTO were mostly purists – bookworms that already read the novel written by Gaston Leroux that really went dark and horrifying in portraying the unfortunate character. Let us enumerate the differences between the musical and the book then.

In the musical: The closest character to a Persian found here is the monkey sitting on the music box holding the cymbals wearing Persian robes while playing “Masquerade”.

In the book: OG’s lackey and partner-in-crime wore the robes and was only referred to  as “The Persian”.

In the musical: OG’s origins are not much discussed. The only person who knew about it, Madame Giry, was even too scared to go into details other than OG’s stint as a freak show attraction.

In the book: OG’s origins are narrated from the chaotic youth, due to his disfigured face, to how he became a renowned torture chamber designer. The Paris Opera House ended up becoming his “retirement home”.

phantom of the opera musical vs bookIn the musical: While OG’s threats to Carlotta were unspecified, she lost her voice in the middle of a performance of “Il Muto”, making her croak like a toad. OG then used this to blame the chandelier’s fall on Carlotta’s deteriorated voice.

In the book: Threats are unspecified but still Carlotta lost her voice, this time in the middle of a performance in Gounod’s “Faust”. The chandelier falls and OG pinned the blame on Carlotta’s deteriorated voice.

In the musical: OG abducts Christine in the middle of his own opera “Don Juan Triumphant”.

In the book: OG abducts Christine in the middle of Gounod’s opera “Faust”.

phantom of the opera musical vs bookIn the musical: After the first time that she replaced Carlotta, Christine demanded from OG that he show himself as proof that he existed. He showed himself by opening a mirror and Christine went with him to his lair.

In the book: Christine fainted after the first time she replaced Carlotta. She then woke up in OG’s house, implying that he abducted her while unconscious.

In the musical: OG has set up a lair underneath the Paris Opera House where she took Christine.

In the book: OG built a house, not a lair, underneath the Paris Opera House.

In the musical: Raoul found an opportunity to face OG twice – first when OG took away Christine in the middle of “Don Juan Triumphant”; second when he went to OG’s lair to save Christine.

In the book: Raoul never faced OG since he almost died in the torture chamber that the latter has set up for him.

In case you plan to read the book solely-based on what you have seen from the 1986 musical and write your own case study about “The Phantom of the Opera: Musical vs Book”, you’re in to be pleasantly surprised. And when you just can’t get enough of discussions regarding your favorite musicals, all you have to do is to like our official Facebook page,, and follow us on Twitter @musicalsnews. Thanks for reading.