The Phantom of the Opera Book?

The book says that its based on a true story but how much of it is true?

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Gaston Leroux was an investigative reporter and if you read the novel, he seems to back up the idea the phantom actually existed with all sorts of evidence. The question is how much of that is true and how much of it was clever writing on the part of Leroux to make his readers think it was true. The debate has followers on either side, but here's some interesting bits:

    The Paris Opera House is really flooded on it's lower levels. This came about when the opera was built and water was struck. The builders managed to route the water into an underground "lake" that could be used to power hydraulic set pieces. The lower levels were used as dungeon during the Franco-Prussian war. Leroux visited them and was impressed by their gloom.

    One of the chandelier counterweights fell into the audience in 1896.

    Carlotta was most likely based on singer Mlle. Carvalho, while Christine may have been inspired by Christine Nilsson. There was also a real deChagny family, used fictitiously.

    Lastly, Leroux covered the retrial of Alfred Dreyfus, a French officer who was sent to Devils Island for supposedly dealing with the Germans. Dreyfus is described as skeletal and emaciated on his return from prison, much like the phantom is in the novel.

    Source(s): "The Complete Phantom of the Opera" by George Perry
  • Sol
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    Much of the story is based around true events that happened at the old Paris Opera House. Gaston Leroux, who wrote the book, based it around conversations with the police inspector.

    There really are tunnels under the old opera house, which you can go visit and see. The chandelier really did fall during a performance. And the characters were likely based around actual people, and other actual events.

    Whether there really was a "phantom" is debatable, but it makes for an interesting story.

  • 1 decade ago

    I am guessing that there was a wealthy patron who enjoyed womanizing and terrorizing people at an opera house and, being rich, could get away with it. As authors tend to do, I'm sure it is VERY exaggerated. Or it could be a bored crew member took it upon themselves to start a series of pranks on the opera-goers and thus spurred a great story!

  • 1 decade ago

    I couldn't say how much of it is true.

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  • 1 decade ago

    all of it?

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