[[quoteright:280:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/maskerade-cover_7327.jpg]]
->''Ahahahahahahah!\\
Ahahahahahahah!\\
AHAHAHAHAHAHAH!\\
'''BEWARE!!!!!'''''
-->''Yrs, the Opera Ghost''

The 18th Literature/{{Discworld}} novel, and the fourth or fifth in the 'witches' theme. Its purpose within the theme is to bridge ''Discworld/LordsAndLadies'' and ''Discworld/CarpeJugulum'', which it does by means of an [[TwiceToldTale extended parody]] of Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical version of ''ThePhantomOfTheOpera''.

With the loss of Magrat to her royal calling, Nanny Ogg and Granny Weatherwax find themselves with a coven of two. Their eye falls on the expansive Agnes Nitt, who prefers calling herself [[AwesomeMcCoolname Perdita X Dream]] (or, as the women of Lancre say, "that girl who calls herself Perditax"). Agnes, though, has no interest in witches, and wants to be an opera singer. Stealing away to Ankh-Morpork, she soon finds herself (and her amazing voice) as a vocal understudy to the skinnier but much dumber and less melodious Christine.

As it turns out, opera is much less about singing and more about superstition, mysterious strangers coming out of mirrors, vicious murders, and catty sniping. Oh, and losing buckets of money, much to the chagrin of the opera's owner. As it just so happens, Nanny and Granny have their own business in Ankh-Morpork, and are not above giving young Agnes a hand, regardless of whether she wants it or not.

Preceded by ''Discworld/InterestingTimes'', followed by ''Discworld/FeetOfClay''. Preceded in the Witches series by ''Discworld/LordsAndLadies'', followed by ''Discworld/CarpeJugulum''.
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!!Contains examples of:
* {{Adorkable}}: Walter Plinge
* AlanSmithee: "Walter Plinge" is used as a pseudonym in the playbill for actors playing multiple parts in a show. The real-life Walter Plinge was said to be a pub owner in London who a group of actors honored by using his name in this manner.
* AndThatWouldBeWrong: Granny spends a few paragraphs explaining in loving detail the CoolAndUnusualPunishment she could give the villain...''if she was bad''.
* ArbitrarySkepticism: Throughout the book, Granny criticizes people for ''not'' being this, assuming that she uses magic to [[spoiler: block a sword]] when she may well have had a bit of metal in her palm. As it happens, she ''did'' use magic (though she only used magic to delay it; the sword still hurt her, but not at such a critical time, both practically and for appearances), but that's not the point. Another example is a man assuming she used magic to know it was him at the door (which in fact she had) when she had a window.
* ArcWords: Granny asking people the question "If your house was on fire, what would you take out?" She finds out that [[spoiler:Walter Plinge]] thinks in an unusual, but not evil, manner when he replies: "[[spoiler:The fire!]]"
* AscendedExtra: Agnes briefly appeared in ''Discworld/LordsAndLadies'', and goes on to have a prominent role in ''Discworld/CarpeJugulum''.
* AsymmetricDilemma: Done brilliantly by Nanny Ogg.
--> "Has anyone got an opener for a bottle of beer? ... Has anyone got something to drink a bottle of beer out of? ... Good. Now, has anyone got a bottle of beer?"
* AwesomeMcCoolname: Perdita X. Dream, the name Agnes gives to herself. The "X" just stands for "Someone who has a cool and exciting middle initial", and the earthy folk of Lancre just don't get it, calling her "That girl who calls herself Perditax".
* BalancingDeathsBooks: While the witches are staying with a farming family, both their son and one of their cows fall ill. Destiny says the child should die and the cow should live, but Granny plays Death at poker for the chance to make it the other way around.
* [[spoiler: BarehandedBladeBlock]]: Granny pulls this at the very end [[spoiler: when she blocks Salzella's sword, but it carries a price--she has to allow the hand to become injured afterward]].
* BatmanGambit: The scene where Granny Weatherwax decides to go to Ankh-Morpork (which involves, among other things, misdelivered letters, Granny berating Nanny Ogg, Nanny being cheated out of five thousand dollars, a humorous cookbook, Nanny being repentant and embarrassed for pretty much the entire conversation, and Granny being her usual take charge self) has its entire impact changed by the last line:
-->''In the scullery, [[ManipulativeBastard Nanny Ogg]] smiled to herself.''
* BewareTheNiceOnes: Nanny Ogg, "a mind like a buzzsaw behind a face like an elderly apple". Sharp remarks from her are described like 'being bitten by a friendly dog'.
** Unsurprisingly, Granny Weatherwax. She stitches up the injuries of the muggers who ''tried'' to attack her. What she needed was a sharp, fresh needle and some alcohol, but sadly, all she has is a rusty, blunt one and some ditchwater.
--> '''Granny''' ''(holding up the needle, while a mugger stares at it, whimpering)'': Now... ''let's do some good.''
* BigEater: ''Henry Slugg''.
* BilingualBonus: The swan's line from ''Lohenshaak'''s "Pedlar's Song" translates as "I'm cutting my own throat", which is both a Dibbler reference and an accurate description of what the swan does by singing it.
** Henry Slugg, singing in the bathtub, segues between English and Italian versions of "Show Me The Way To Go Home".
* BornInTheWrongCentury: It's said that Agnes was born 20 years too late, rather than back when your voice mattered more than your looks and everyone had a build like her; indeed, every one of the greats had names that were puns for how fat they were.
** To drive this home, there is more than one scene where characters who truly love the music lament that now a woman has to look like Christine to star in opera and the music has to be slipped in somehow.
* BrainlessBeauty: Christine.
* BrickJoke: From [[Discworld/LordsAndLadies four books ago]]. In preparation for his wedding to Magrat, Verence tried to get a book on "[[TheTalk marital arts]]", but ended up with one on ''martial'' arts instead. Apparently he has since succeeded, since Nanny found such a book in the castle and spent a few minutes drawing mustaches on all the illustrations.
* ChandelierSwing: When Greebo is chasing the Opera Ghost around the Opera House.
* ChessWithDeath: As usual Death dislikes the traditional game, so Granny challenges him to a hand of poker instead for a boy's life. She wins, though it's implied that Death let her, because he's ''on our side''. Death had four ones--an ace can either be counted as below the deuce or above the king. She also fixes his arm for him with her chiropractic know-how.
** Although there is also the implication that he was simply scared of her. [[spoiler: She admits that, if she had lost, the first thing she would have done would be to [[DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu break his arm]].]]
* ContestWinnerCameo: Colette.
* ContinuityNod: Obscure, but Mr. Bucket's remark about "a dreadful bend in the road" might be referring to Dead Man's Curve, where Susan's parents and [[spoiler: Mr. Clete]] were killed in road accidents in ''Discworld/SoulMusic''.
** Also, several to ''Discworld/LordsAndLadies'', such as the brief mention of another Carter son named after a vice, Deviousness Carter.
** The happy greetings Granny Weatherwax receives when she and Nanny Ogg show up at Mrs. Palm's looking for a place to stay while in the city, due to all the witching she did for them back in ''Discworld/EqualRites''. (Much to Nanny's astonishment, who assumes Granny doesn't realize the place is a brothel.)
** There's a mention of how the show went on even when a dragon was roosting on the roof of the opera house, which happened in ''Discworld/GuardsGuards''.
** At least one of the girls who Nanny dismisses as no longer qualified to replace Magrat was one of Lucy 'Diamonda' Tokley's friends in the previous book. (She appears in the next, too, if you remember her from this mention.)
* ContrivedCoincidence: Played for laughs when someone's long-lost love shows up at the very end, with no real impact on the plot. Hey, that's how opera works.
* {{Corpsing}}: A blink-and-you'll-miss-it subversion towards the end, when [[spoiler: Andre, the Cable Street Particular who'd been investigating the goings-on at the opera house, mentions that Salzella's cooling body needs to be dealt with]].
* DeadlyDodging: The Ghost uses this tactic against some muggers threatening Granny Weatherwax and Mrs. Plinge, dodging and weaving so much the muggers end up stabbing each other.
* DeadpanSnarker: Salzella. He takes it so far he almost becomes the MetaGuy who subsists on BlackComedy.
* {{Defictionalization}}: ''The Joye of Snacks'' inspired a Roundworld sequel, ''Discworld/NannyOggsCookbook''.
* TheDitz: Christine
* DoesNotLikeSpam: Basilica has gotten incredibly sick of pasta, but he can't tell anyone he hates it because it's part of his makeover as a singer from Brindisi.
* DoingItForTheArt: InUniverse example: Salzella tells Mr. Bucket this is the reason why anyone produces opera, as it makes no money. [[spoiler:It turns out he's lying through his teeth, as he's stealing all the profits and actually ''hates'' opera with a passion.]]
* DontFearTheReaper: Granny plays poker with Death for child's life. She gets four queens, he gets four aces... but decides to declare "[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: I lose, all I have is four ones ]]
" with a wink.
* DudeNotFunny: In-universe example. Salzella makes several jokes about people who have just been murdered; Mr. Bucket finds them distasteful.
* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness: [[spoiler:Andre]] being a secret policeman becomes this after ''Discworld/NightWatch''. The idea that Vimes would EVER create a secret police division named the 'Cable Street Particulars' after the reveal of what the [[SecretPolice original Particulars were like]] makes about as much sense as MahatmaGandhi advocating the foundation of a Fourth Reich.
* EstrogenBrigadeBait and AllGirlsWantBadBoys: Greebo's human form.
* EvenBadMenLoveTheirMamas: Mrs. Plinge tries to invoke this when she and Granny are attacked by thieves: "Oh, please don't hurt us, kind sirs, we are harmless old ladies! Haven't you got mothers?" One of them responds: "I 'ad a mother once. Only I think I must of et 'er..."
* EverythingSoundsSexierInFrench: Or Brindisian in this case.
* ExactWords: The "Departure" aria Agnes sings at one point is described as being about how hard it is for a character to leave the man she loves. It turns out the lyrics literally translate into a complaint about a stuck door.
* {{Fainting}}: Christine is a master of feminine fainting.
** Not just Christine--at one point, it's noted that some of the ballerinas faint "carefully, so as not to get their clothes dirty."
* FallingChandelierOfDoom: {{Subverted}}, and in fact {{defied}}. Everyone says that the chandelier is an accident waiting to happen. But despite the villain's best efforts (and thanks to the intervention of Nanny Ogg), it doesn't happen.
* FantasyCounterpartCulture: Brindisi (the name of a real city, and also an operatic term for a drinking song) for Italy.
* {{Fauxreigner}}: Brindisian tenor Enrico Basilica--once known as Henry Slugg of Ankh-Morpork, because you can't sing opera with a name like "Henry Slugg".
* {{Flynning}}: Shown and mentioned between the two ghosts, until it becomes deadly real.
** Except, in true Discworld fashion, they're ''still just Flynning''.
* {{Foreshadowing}}: Henry Slugg from Ankh-Morpork becomes Enrico Basilica from Brindisi, because "the trick is to make sure that everywhere you go, you are from somewhere else." Later, Andre claims that he "...used to teach music to the Seriph's children in Klatch" indicating he isn't who he claims to be.
* FunWithForeignLanguages: The Italian... er, Brindisian aria in the opera is about [[TrainStationGoodbye how hard it is for the heroine to leave her beloved]]. In fact, it quite literally is:
---> "This damn door sticks, this damn door sticks
---> it sticks no matter what the hell I do
---> It is marked 'pull' and indeed I am pulling
---> Perhaps it should be marked 'push'?"
** There's also a fragment from a song in German, "''Schneide meinen eigenen Hals''" - [[BilingualBonus not translated in the text]], but means "cut my own throat". Fans won't be surprised, because the song is called "The [[CMOTDibbler Pedlar's Song]]".
* GoodIsNotDumb: Agnes.
* HeadTiltinglyKinky: Nanny Ogg's book, ''The Joy of Snackes.''
* HumanityEnsues: The human-form Greebo the cat from ''Discworld/WitchesAbroad'' reappears, pressed into service as Granny's fake paramour and bodyguard.
* HurricaneOfPuns: In the grand tradition of Discworld/MovingPictures and Discworld/SoulMusic, [[spoiler: Walter's]] opera titles are all puns on popular musicals.
* HypocriticalHumor: The villain gives a long FinalSpeech about how ridiculous opera conventions like the long FinalSpeech are. This comes not long after he claims to be the OnlySaneMan, using multiple exclamation marks (a sure sign of madness).
* IJustWantToBeNormal: Agnes.
** Or at least, she wants to be able to ''choose'' what she wants to stand out ''for''.
* IllNeverTellYouWhatImTellingYou: Death and the swan.
* {{Inversion}}: Black Aliss went so mad that she turned people into gingerbread and had a house made out of frogs.
* ItsAllAboutMe: Christine, [[SelfishGood not because she's a bad person]] but because [[LawfulStupidChaoticStupid she can't really comprehend anything more complex than her own immediate interests]]. This leads to a strange dichotomy with her being able to pick up stage-tricks like conveniently learning to faint in a dramatic pose whenever something "operatic" happens, but limits her ability to realize that Agnes is pretending to be her voice:
--> '''Christine''' (to Agnes): Perdita, dear? It did seem to me you were signing the ''teensiest'' bit loud, dear! I'm sure it must have been a little difficult for everyone to hear me.
* TheJoyOfX: Nanny Ogg's book of rather suggestive recipes. ("Suggestive" in the form of yelling through a megaphone, mind.)
* LampshadeHanging: Plenty, of course, but the stand-out is the end of [[spoiler:Salzella's]] death rant:
-->"... and the ''worst'' thing about opera is the way everyone takes... such[[SanitySlippage !!!]] ... a[[SanitySlippage !!!!]] long[[SanitySlippage !!!!!]] time!!!!! ... to!!!!! ...argh...argh...argh...." ''(dies)''
* LargeHam: Christine is this. She has all the qualities of a modern-day prima donna. Modern as in she looks good, is overly dramatic and can faint on cue. As opposed to a traditional prima donna who merely had to have an amazing voice.
* LiveMinkCoat: Nanny wears her cat around her neck at the opera. Someone later complains that her fur stole is eating their chocolates.
* MagicMusic: ''Technically'' defied on Discworld, according to Nanny Ogg:
--> Music and magic had a lot in common. They were only two letters apart, for one. And you couldn't do both.
* MakeMeWannaShout: Frustrated and finally sick of the hypocrisy of the opera house, Agnes lets out a scream so high she breaks glass, splinters wood, distorts metal and just generally does a good deal of damage to the building.
* MasqueradingAsTheUnseen: As Granny is quick to lampshade, the only reason people recognize the Ghost is because he wears a mask.
-->You can recognize him because he's got a mask on? You recognize him because you ''don't'' know who he is?
* MommasBoy: Walter Plinge.
* MotiveRant
* MuggingTheMonster: Subverted; Granny and Mrs. Plinge are threatened by some muggers, but before Granny can open up a can of whup-ass on them, the Ghost does it for her.
* MundaneUtility: Borrowing is one of Granny's greatest skills in witchcraft, the ability to ride in another being's consciousness, see what it sees, and hear what it hears. At one point, she borrows Nanny Ogg...so she can see herself as she puts her hat back on and adjusts it. Nanny then questions why she doesn't just use a mirror.
* NotListeningToMeAreYou: Agnes does it with Christine:
-->"Do tell me about yourself!!"\\
"I'm from somewhere up in the mountains you've probably never heard of..."\\
She stopped. A light had gone off in Christine's head, and Agnes realized that the question had been asked not because Christine in any way wanted to know the answer but for something to say. She went on: "...and my father is the Emperor of Klatch and my mother is a small tray of raspberry puddings."\\
"That's interesting!" said Christine, who was looking at the mirror. "Do you think my hair looks right?!"
* ObfuscatingStupidity: Commander Vimes does this off-screen. He sends Detritus and Corporal Nobbs to act as "undercover officers" in the last act of the book. The attention on them leaves the ''real'' undercover officer, [[spoiler:André]], free to get on with things.
* OnlySaneMan: Agnes seems to be the only one thinking sensibly about things at the opera house, which only helps her feel alienated at first.
** [[spoiler: Salzella]] believed himself to be this: "You don't know what it has been like, I assure you, being the only sane man in this madhouse!!"
* PaintingTheMedium: Christine's dialogue always ends in either "!?" or "!!" because she's just that excited about everything. In all other dialogue, multiple exclamation marks are a sign of SanitySlippage.
* PimpedOutDress: One specially made for the dowager duchess of Quirm, that fits Granny perfectly.
* RedHerring: [[spoiler:André]]'s suspicious behaviour rouses in the reader the suspicion that he might be the Ghost, [[spoiler:until it's revealed that he is a policeman]].
* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech: Well, the reason opera sucks, anyway.
* {{Retcon}}: This is the only Discworld book that runs on the rule that (ordinary) iron cannot be magicked (there are many examples of it being magicked in other books, and in ''Witches Abroad'' Nanny specifically notes that they can't magic a lock open because it's ''oct''iron).
** There is a mention in Wyrd Sisters as well; Nanny can't magic the torture implements that are made of iron.
* SelfMadeMan: Mr. Bucket is described as "a self-made man who is proud of his handiwork."
* ShoutOut:
** "Walter Plinge" is a real-life pseudonym used by actors who don't want to be associated with early minor parts (similar to "A.N. Other") and the character's description clearly evokes Frank Spencer from ''SomeMothersDoAveEm'' (Michael Crawford, the first actor who played the musical version's Phantom, was once best known for that role).
** The troll name for Granny Weatherwax ("She Who Must Be Avoided") is a reference to the Creator/HRiderHaggard novel ''Literature/{{She}}'' and the eponymous character "She Who Must Be Obeyed".
** Granny [[Film/{{Predator}} ain't got time to bleed]], or at least, not until later.
** Also, all the opera names. ''La Triviata'' for ''LaTraviata'', ''The Ring of the Nibelungingung'' for ''[[Creator/RichardWagner The Ring of the Nibelung]]'', ''Il Truccatore'' for ''Il Trovatore'' and so on.
** Later, [[spoiler:Walter]] invents the modern musical and Nanny sees some of his ideas, such as [[{{Cats}} an opera about cats]], ''[[Theatre/LesMiserables Miserable Les]]'' and ''[[Film/SevenBridesForSevenBrothers Seven Dwarfs For Seven Other Dwarfs]]''.
* StealthPun: When Agnes finishes one last yell, going from one side of the audible spectrum to the other, Nanny Ogg remarks "''Now'' it's over". [[DontExplainTheJoke Agnes is very large, and they're in an opera.]]
** After [[spoiler:Salzella's]] demise, Death comes to collect him. However, unlike his other appearances, he is bedecked much like the Phantom of the Opera in the masquerade scene of the musical: head to toe red evening dress. It also includes a cartoonishly unnecessary paper mask of a skull. But one must suppose you have to put a [[EdgarAllanPoe Masque on a Red Death.]]
* ThisIsMyNameOnForeign: Henry Slugg becomes Enrico Basilica.
* ThisIsReality: When it's revealed near the end that [[spoiler: Henry Slugg's old flame is in the audience (and he's the father of her son)]], Agnes complains loudly that that sort of thing does ''not'' happen in real life. The rather more GenreSavvy Nanny Ogg replies "Happens all the time in opera."
* TrueBeautyIsOnTheInside: ''Painfully'' subverted. In the end, despite the fact that Christine is just [[BrainlessBeauty very pretty]], [[GiftedlyBad has no singing voice, or indeed any talent whatsoever]], [[SoBeautifulItsACurse everyone in the opera still fawns over her]] and chooses ''her'' over Agnes, who is [[MagicMusic incredibly talented]] and who has been singing Christine's songs the entire time (something that is made very clear by the end that everyone knows).
--> '''André''': It'd be terrible if anything happened to [Christine] ''(in the aftermath of her 'fainting' again)'', everyone says she shows such promise.
--> '''Agnes''': Yes, but... ''you'' know it was me doing the signing.
--> '''André''': Oh, yes... yes, of course... but... well... this is opera... you know...
--> '''Agnes''' ''(to [[spoiler: Walter]])'': But it was ''me'' you taught!
--> '''[[spoiler: Walter]]''': Then you were ''very'' good. I suspect she will never be quite that good, even with many months of my tuition. But, Perdita, have you ever heard of the words "star quality"?
--> '''Agnes''': Is it the same as ''talent''?
--> '''[[spoiler: Walter]]''': It is rarer.
* {{Tuckerization}}: Colette, of the "fascinatin' earrings" is based on BigNameFan and convention organizer Colette Reap, who once wore a pair of Clairecraft [[http://www.anorankh.demon.co.uk/afp/anorankh.html Anorankh]] pins as earrings to a signing.
* UndercoverCopReveal
* WantonCrueltyToTheCommonComma: Played with incessantly. An earlier statement in ''Discworld/ReaperMan'' that "five exclamation marks are the sure sign of a diseased mind" is expanded on here, to the point where a character's ongoing descent into madness is marked by the [[PaintingTheMedium number of exclamation marks after his statements]]. When he hits five, he's gone over the edge.
* WhamLine: Granny's [[spoiler:"Who's to say there's only one Ghost?"]]
** And shortly before that, André's [[TheReveal reveal]]:
--> '''André:''' I... go poking around in the dark, looking for trouble.
--> '''Granny:''' Really? There's a word for people like that.
--> '''André:''' Yes. [[spoiler:It's "policeman"]].
* TheWorstSeatInTheHouse: Spoofed, when Nanny and Granny trade in tickets for the Stalls for ones up in the Gods due to the name. Though the truly worst seat is probably the one next to Nanny Ogg.
* XMakesAnythingCool: Apparently the X in [[AwesomeMcCoolName Perdita X. Dream]] stands for "Someone who has a cool and exciting middle initial".

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