The Phantom of the Opera was originally a novel by French author Gaston Leroux, published in serialized form in 1909 and 1910. Leroux tells what he insists is the true story of a young soprano, Christine, who believes she is being tutored by the "Angel of Music", sent to her from Heaven from her deceased father. Originally considered nothing special, especially compared to her rival and the opera's resident diva, Carlotta, after three months under the Angel's tutelage, Christine shines. The managers quickly realize the depth of her talent... and so does Christine's childhood best friend, Raoul, who sees her in all her newfound glory and realizes that She Is All Grown Up.After a show, Raoul is eager to be reacquainted with Christine, but she is kidnapped by the Angel (really the titular Phantom) and taken to his lair. There, the Phantom puts her under his spell with his music and tells her that he wants her for his bride. However, when Christine takes off his mask to reveal his disfigurement, the Phantom throws her out in shame.Shortly afterwards, Raoul and Christine become engaged. The Phantom overhears them, and decides to win Christine's love, once and for all... or, failing that, punish them both for their arrogance.Leroux's novel has been adapted for film and television many times.
The first was a Russian production, which has since been lost.
The second and most faithful screen adaptation was the famous 1925 silent film with Lon Chaney as Erik (which has since fallen in the public domain and may be watched here and here. And on Netflix, if you have it). This film depicts the Phantom as tragic, but also murderous and criminally insane.
Robert "Freddy Krueger" Englund starred in a loosely adapted and quite gory 1989 film.
An American television version starring Charles Dance aired in 1990. So yes, the same man played the Phantom of the Opera and Tywin Lannister.
Dario Argento directed a 1998 film version in which the Phantom isn't even disfigured.
Lon Chaney as Erik in the 1925 film.
But no doubt the most well-known adaptation is Andrew Lloyd Webber's wildly successful musical. The musical premiered in London in 1986 and Broadway in 1988 and has been running in both locations ever since. The musical was itself made into a movie in 2004 after years in Development Hell, starring Emmy Rossum as Christine and Gerard Butler as Erik, the Phantom. In 2011, London's Royal Albert Hall hosted a 25th anniversary staging that was released on video the following year.Phantom is an absolute juggernaut of a musical; if it's not the most iconic musical in the world, it is superseded in that regard only by Les Misérables, another Cameron Mackintosh production (and coincidentally also based on a French novel), which began its run a year earlier. Les Mis remains the longest-running musical theatre production in the world, having been going in the West End continuously since 1985, but with the close of Les Mis on Broadway in 2003, The Phantom of the Opera — which is still running on Broadway and in London — holds the crown as the longest-running Broadway musical in history. It has been called the single most financially successful entertainment venture of all time, and it may well be.There are also multiple musical adaptations apart from Andrew Lloyd Webber's. The one most frequently performed — developed at around the same time as the Lloyd Webber show but unstaged until several years after it — was written by Maury Yeston (Nine) and Arthur Kopit and is simply called Phantom. The story is also spoofed in the Discworld novel Maskerade.Love Never Dies is the sequel to the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical and has its own page; for the Frederick Forsyth novel derived from early plans for it, see The Phantom of Manhattan.For the 1990 novel by Susan Kay, see Phantom.
Blackmail: The Phantom demands 240,000 francs a year and exclusive use of First Tier Box 5 or else he'll drop chandeliers on people. One has to wonder what he does with all that money, although one possibility springs to mind.
The Batman reference is perfectly appropriate because the answer is:
He describes exactly what he intends to use the money for: he wants to live what he considers to be normal life, and no longer hide from the world. He needs funds for that. He's even described using a false nose and moustache, which allow him to appear simply strange and ugly rather than outright monstrous, to move in public and do his shopping.
Cassandra Truth: After Christine is abducted from on-stage, Raoul quickly gains a solid reputation as a madman when he begs anyone who will listen to believe that she's been kidnapped by the phantom of the opera who lives in the cellars under the building.
Dead Guy On Display: The final line of the novel is a plea for giving Erik's body this treatment. Oddly enough, it seems to be a Type 1, where the person was an honored figure (despite the fact that Erik was a Psychotic Manchild unrepentant killer), and his body would be preserved as a relic/object of reverence:
And, now, what do they mean to do with that skeleton? Surely they will not bury it in the common grave! ... I say that the place of the skeleton of the Opera ghost is in the archives of the National Academy of Music. It is no ordinary skeleton.
Death Trap: The Phantom installed one as the first room beyond the back entrance to his lair to intercept trespassers. When Raoul and the Persian fall into it, it starts as a Sauna of Death and ends as a Drowning Pit, although its' greatest torture is psychological.
Decoy Protagonist: La Sorelli seems to be set up to be the female lead in the first chapter.
Deceptively Human Robots: Erik "also invented those automata, dressed like the Sultan and resembling the Sultan in all respects, which made people believe that the Commander of the Faithful was awake at one place, when, in reality, he was asleep elsewhere." for Mehemet Alí Bey.
Fainting: When Raoul first comes face to face with Erik unmasked in the Perros graveyard, he faints. Fits both the monster reveal and emotional type faints, since Erik had already been trying to freak him out by playing the ghost and throwing skulls at him.
Falling Chandelier of Doom: Probably not the Trope Maker, but definitely the Trope Codifier and still one of the most famous examples of the breed. Based on a real-life accident when one of the counterweights of the Opera House's grand chandelier fell into the auditorium and killed a woman.
Fate Worse Than Death: Christine tries to kill herself before the Phantom can force her to "marry" him in the climax.
It's worth noting, though, that Erik seems to have an almost humorously non-sexual view of marriage- his chief goal in having a pretty wife, as described to Christine herself, is to buy her nice things and take her for walks in the park on Sundays, while he wears a mask that (he thinks) sufficiently makes him look "like anyone else".
From a modern perspective, the threat of Christine being unable to be with the man she loves (and actually wants to marry) and in a forced state of virginity thanks to a sexless marriage with a repulsive man who treats her like a living doll could be seen as a Fate Worse Than Death in itself.
For all his talk about the happily married life they're going to have, Erik seems to be dead-set on a double-suicide with his new wife, once they've been married; he explains in the end that he only began seeing her as his living wife once she kissed him out of pity, and this prompted him to let her go. It has to be remembered that Erik is extremely unhinged and has a morbid obsession with death which doesn't let him go even when he's trying to become "normal".
Foregone Conclusion: Anyone who reads the prologue knows that the Persian survives to tell his story to the narrator, Christine and Raoul disappear from Parisian society never to be seen again, and Erik and Philippe both die.
He Who Must Not Be Named: Half the dancers and employees of the Paris Opera constantly try to tell the other half never to speak of "the ghost." The Persian refers to him as "He" around Raoul and orders Raoul not to say his name.
In Chapter XX, Raoul and the Persian come across a mysterious appearance while on the trail of the phantom. When asked by Raoul if this is another member of the theater police, the Persian responds "It's some one much worse than that!", the authors note attached to it further more states how the author "can give no further explanation touching the apparition of this shade", saying the reader must have to try and guess for himself. The nature of this mysterious person is then dropped, never to be mentioned again.
Hilarious in Hindsight: The narrator refers to Christine's first abduction (the one where she disappeared for two weeks) as "not the infamous abduction" which everyone has heard of. In context, this refers to how famous her second abduction became in the news in-universe, but the story is so famous now through Pop Cultural Osmosis that this clarification seems to be Leaning on the Fourth Wall.
Interrupted Suicide: The Persian only just manages to stop Raoul from shooting himself in the torture chamber.
In the Blood: Christine is following in her father's footsteps with her career in music.
It's All About Me: Arguably, everyone except Christine, the Persian and Madam Valerious:
Raoul: After Christine murmurs: “Poor Erik!”
At first, he thought he must be mistaken. To begin with, he was persuaded that, if any one was to be pitied, it was he, Raoul. It would have been quite natural if she had said, "Poor Raoul," after what had happened between them. But, shaking her head, she repeated: "Poor Erik!" What had this Erik to do with Christine's sighs and why was she pitying Erik when Raoul was so unhappy?
Erik: After his Love Redeems scene, meets the Daroga, who asks him (repeatedly) about the murder of Count Philippe:
"Daroga, don't talk to me ... about Count Philippe ... " … "I have not come here ... to talk about Count Philippe ... but to tell you that ... I am going ... to die..."
"Mme. Giry. You know me well enough, sir; I'm the mother of little Giry, little Meg, what!"
Moncharmin: Excerpt from the (exceptionally long) "Memories of a Manager":
"A grievous accident spoiled the little party which MM. Debienne and Poligny gave to celebrate their retirement. I was in the manager's office, when Mercier, the acting-manager, suddenly came darting in. He seemed half mad and told me that the body of a scene-shifter had been found hanging in the third cellar under the stage, between a farm-house and a scene from the Roi de Lahore. I shouted: " 'Come and cut him down!'
I Was Just Joking: Raoul wonders aloud how Erik knows how to work all the trap doors and navigate the secret passages. What, did he build them? The Persian explains, yes, he did.
Killed Off for Real: The Phantom kills 3 people that we know of by name — Josef Buquet, the chief stagehand, for accidentally discovering the back entrance to his lair; the new concierge because the new managers didn't comply with his demands; and Raoul's brother, although he insists to the Persian that the Count just fell in the lake and drowned.
The Kindnapper: Erik. He kidnaps Christine multiple times with the intention of romancing her and making her his wife so that he can buy her nice things and take her out on Sundays. He keeps her in a luxurious bedroom as well. Despite his becoming increasingly controlling and aggressive towards Christine, she develops a case of Stockholm Syndrome so bad that she even asks Raoul to take her far away from the Phantom No Matter How Much I Beg. Not that Raoul has a chance to follow up on that...
Lemony Narrator: Gaston Leroux, which Lowell Bair, at least, mostly preserves.
On the other hand, she could be this trope until the end of the novel, but then we discover that any normal woman would have Gone Mad From The Revelation or be Driven to Suicide rather than marry with Erik. Only Christine could have really agreed to marry him without trying suicide, and Erick is so shocked that he quits his plan to Kill Them All.
Lost Wedding Ring: Erik gives Christine a plain wedding ring and says that she is protected so long as she wears it, although Raoul doesn't like it since he wants to marry Christine himself. Christine is thoroughly distressed when she loses the ring, because she doesn't know what will happen.
In the final scenes, Erik is revealed to have found the ring, and he gives it to Christine when she promises to marry him.
Murder the Hypotenuse: According to the narrator, the figure Raoul shot on his balcony was Erik coming to attempt this. Erik then gets another chance when Raoul and the Persian come to rescue Christine, and is only prevented from doing so when Christine swears to marry him.
No Celebrities Were Harmed: Many of the characters in the original novel, including some of the main cast, are thinly veiled versions of real people who lived in Paris around the time Leroux wrote the story, and a few references to real events are also made. Some scholarly fans have even suggested that apart from the parts which involve the Phantom, the book was essentially a true story, although this is almost certainly heavy exaggeration.
Justified Trope: The Phantom can move through the hatches on the Opera, and some rooms were designed by Erik where you could not utter a word but it was overheard or repeated by an echo.
Parental Substitute: Mama Valerius for Christine. Count Philippe is also 20 years older than his brother Raoul and has raised him since their father died when the latter was 12.
Plucky Girl: Christine is a Swedish peasant girl trying to make her way in the world and a name for herself with her singing, not to mention all the physical, mental, and emotional torture she has to endure, mostly on her own unless she's trying to protect her boyfriend as well.
Pointy-Haired Boss: Deconstructed with Opera managers Richard and Moncharmin: Everybody knows they get their jobs thanks to their connections, that they don’t know a lot about music or how to run the Opera. Nobody really respects them and are accustomed to cruel pranks and jokes, and that is the cause they never take seriously the Phantom’s menaces until the Falling Chandelier of Doom incident.
Retired Monster: Erik, after his From Nobody to Nightmare phase, survives the assassination attempts from his employers because He Knows Too Much. Then, tired of his adventurous, formidable and monstrous life, he longed to be some one "like everybody else." And he became a contractor, like any ordinary contractor, building ordinary houses with ordinary bricks. He tendered for part of the foundations in the Opera. His estimate was accepted.
Robotic Torture Device: The aptly named "torture chamber" is completely automated: when the victim falls in the room, it activates and gives him the illusion of a tropical forrest. When the victim cannot endure more, there is also a rope to hang himself. The Phantom uses it as a defense against curious people. The first victim of the book was already dead when the Phantom found him.
Scarpia Ultimatum: The Phantom threatens to blow up the Opera, killing everyone inside, if Christine doesn't "marry" him.
Scooby-Doo Hoax: Erik is pretending to be a ghost haunting the opera house.
Scrapbook Story: We hear the story from the Narrator based on his research (which contains several flashbacks narrated by Christine to Raoul and by Madame Giry to the new managers), memories of one of the new Opera managers Moncharmin, and the Persian.
Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: Deconstructed in the original book, which shows the consequences of a society that embraces this principle: Richard and Moncharmin know how to play politics better than to manage an opera house, and Carlotta knows it's easier being The Prima Donna than to sing better. This means that everyone is a Pointy-Haired Boss who doesn’t know how to do their job. What's more, every employee knows this as well, so the managers are Properly Paranoid about being pranked by them because nobody respects them. They're also the ideal victims for a Blackmailer, and that’s how Erik could convince them into letting him do whatever he pleases.
Screw This, I'm Outta Here: The departure of Opera co-managers Poligny and Debienne, at the very start of the book - once a Phantom starts skulking around their Opera and delivering Blackmail demands, they waste no time passing the buck and getting out of the Opera business as fast as they can.
Also Raoul de Chagny and Christine Daae (with Mama Valerious) flee from Paris to "the northern railway station of the world." Even when Raoul is a victim of the Malicious Slandering that accuses him of his brother’s death, they never look back.
She Is All Grown Up: Before their reunion at the Paris Opera, Raoul and Christine were childhood friends and last met on the verge of adolescence and strange new feelings that they couldn't understand.
Shoot The Builder: After Erik built his palace in Mazendaran, the Shah-in-Shah tried to do this to Erik. It didn't work.
Stockholm Syndrome: Christine — she herself lampshades it in everything but name, and Raoul is saddened but not at all surprised or confused to see how much she evidently truly loves her psychotic, jealous, possessive stalker while fearing him at the same time.
Technician Versus Performer: Explanation for the difference between Carlotta and Christine. Carlotta is technically perfect but has no soul to her singing, which is why her croaking on stage is such a big deal as it had never happened before. On the other hand, Christine sings with incredible passion when she is on top of her game, but she is a very erratic performer and the narrator points out quite a few moments when she is not singing well.
Tempting Fate: A near-epidemic among the characters. Sure, Christine, it's perfectly safe to discuss your Ax-Crazy voice teacher on the roof of the very building he's been living in for years. That eerie disembodied voice you hear echoing your words is just the wind, really...
This was Erik's real plan all along. Erik really never believed that Christine could marry him without being Driven to Suicide. When Christine convinces him she will not attempt suicide and kiss him, Erik is so shocked she let her go.
What the Hell, Hero?: Christine and her guardian both chew out Raoul for too quickly assuming the rights of a husband or lover with his love interest and meddling in Christine's private affairs. He knows they're right, but Love Makes You Crazy.
Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Leroux's original Erik — he murders at least three people over the course of the plot and is definitely not the sanest person on the block, but Leroux expresses pity for him in the epilogue.
Arguably, he's this the entire time due simply to his appearance; at the time, Beauty Equals Goodness was commonly enough believed to be Truth in Television. Imagine what people who believe that are going to think of somebody like Erik—no matter what he does...
Tropes specific to the musical and the 2004 film of the musical
Ac CENT Upon The Wrong Syl LA Ble: There seems to be no consensus as to whether the female lead's name is pronounced "ChrisTINE" or "CHRIStine". Similarly, is it pronounced "OP-rah" or "o-PER-a?" The version varies according to which pronunciation best fits the rhythm of the lyrics at a given moment.
Age Cut: Raoul, Mdme. Giry, and both The Phantom and Christine in the 2004 movie.
Anachronism Stew: Musically speaking - the electric guitar that duels with the organ during the tag of the titular song.
Angry Mob Song: "Track Down This Murderer", a reprise of the title song that's part of the lengthy climax.
Ascended Extra: A lot of understudies and alternates for the three major roles often ended up playing the role in this or other adapations. (Ex. Rebecca Caine was an alternate Christine in the debut London production before being the main Christine in the Toronto production. Additionally, a lot of Raouls have ended up as Phantoms.
Auction: The prologue of the musical is set at a 1911 auction of the opera house's odds and ends.
Big Damn Kiss: In the movie adaptation of the musical, Christine and The Phantom's kiss seems to go on for about five minutes. Good thing it's beautiful.
Canon Discontinuity: It would be impossible to make a film adaptation of Love Never Dies without breaking continuity with the 2004 movie, since it had established that Christine dies in 1918, with the implication that it was because of the flu pandemic.
Cash Cow Franchise: The London and New York productions have been up and running since 1986 and 1988 respectively. Tours and foreign productions are similarly popular, and a lot of merchandise follows in their wake. In Vegas, there was a special condensed 95-minute version that retained most of the songs.
Cut Song: "Magical Lasso" in the Las Vegas Re Cut, though, since its melody reappears elsewhere in many other songs, it's not surprising that the advertising claimed that all the songs appeared.
Dark Reprise: Several turn up in Act Two as part of longer pieces (particularly the appearances of the "Angel of Music" melody), but the Act One closing, the Phantom's reprise of "All I Ask Of You," is the best known.
The final words of the musical are the Phantom's despairing reprise of "The Music of the Night."
Dawson Casting: While most actresses to play Christine in the stage show are in their early twenties, a handful have been in their thirties or even nearing forty. The book establishes that both Christine and Raoul are in their early twenties.
Foreshadowing: The Il Muto scene and its song "Poor Fool, He Makes Me Laugh". When the Phantom interrupts it, the Countess is with her lover, cheerfully singing about how she's cuckolding her husband, not knowing that he's hiding nearby. After Buquet's murder, Christine — about to take over the role of the Countess — and Raoul head to the roof to hide from the Phantom, share their first kiss together and declare their love...and the Phantom is privy to this all along. Is it any surprise that it's when Christine's taking her bow that night that the Phantom chooses to crash the chandelier?
Not to mention "Think of Me". The entire song. ''"...Though it was always clear, that this was never meant to be..."'
Gambit Pileup: At the beginning of the stage musical — the change of the opera house's ownership means that everyone who wants things to change is trying to get a word in first. The Phantom's own machinations go unnoticed for some time because the new owners assume it's Raoul or one of the lesser players trying to stir up trouble.
Grief Song: Both Christine ("Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again") and The Phantom ("All I Ask of You" Reprise).
Hall of Mirrors: A straight version of the trope appears when Raoul follows the Phantom down a trapdoor after "Masquerade" and finds himself trapped in a mirror maze.
Even more so in the movie version, largely due to the choice to hire younger, prettier actors than are usually cast in the stage show (Gerard Butler especially). Emmy Rossum being only sixteen to Butler's thirty-five makes Point of No Return kind of ...uncomfortable. Also, most of the stage actresses are only in their twenties, and are very◊ sexy◊ indeed◊
I Am Becoming Song: "Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again", Christine recognizes how hard she's been trying to hold on the past and tries to move on.
Insistent Terminology: In the movie version of the musical, Gilles André would like to point out that he is in the business of scrap metal, not junk. And lets not forget that the phantom calls racketeering his "salary".
Ironic Echo: The final lyrics of "Music Of The Night" are the Phantom's passionate declaration of love for Christine. But when they are sung again at the end of the show, he is now expressing despair at having lost her forever.
Irrelevant Act Opener: "Masquerade". (Though, they do manage to tie the song itself back into an emotional moment with the Phantom near the end of the show.)
Although even at the beginning of Act 2 it could be seen as a metaphor for the Phantom's situation.
Large Ham: Minnie Driver's Carlotta steals a lot of her scenes.
Long Runners: Since 1986 in London and 1988 in New York City; it's the longest-running Broadway show in the latter. (Les Misérables has got it licked by a year in London, and would have it similarly licked on Broadway had the Broadway version, which opened in 1987, a year before Phantom did, not closed in 2003.)
Lyrical Dissonance: "Masquerade" is a grand celebration...of concealing your identity "so the world will never find you!" A Dark Reprise appears at the end.
Manly Tears: Gerard Butler skillfully looks manly whilst simultaneously crying and wearing a frilly shirt.
No Name Given: Andrew Lloyd Webber doesn't call the Phantom "Erik".
Nostalgic Musicbox: It has the image of a monkey sitting atop a barrel organ, and plays what is later revealed to be the "Masquerade" melody.
Not Even Bothering with the Accent: Everyone in the 2004 movie save for Miranda Richardson as Madame Giry, who is apparently the only person in France with a French accent.
Number of the Beast: One has to wonder what jackass decided to tempt fate by putting the cursed chandlier with the bloody past into the musical's auction as Lot 666.
Obsession Song: The reprise of "All I Ask of You" at the end of Act One.
Oedipus Complex: Electra Complex. Part of Christine's attraction to the Phantom is that he reminds her of her father. (Note how most of the lyrics in "Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again" could just as easily apply to the Phantom.) Word of God said that in the movie, M. Daaé was deliberately cast to look like Gerard Butler.
Made better by the Retroactive Recognition of M. Daaé being played in the film by Ramin Karimloo, who played the Phantom in Love Never Dies and the 25th Anniversary Concert (and is quite well-known in the Phantom fandom for being the apex of sexy stage Phantoms). Karimloo is the only actor to play all three of the men Christine has loved.
Patter Song: ALW's version has "Notes" in the first act, which is a patter song with an increasing number of people all singing angrily at each other until the Phantom shuts them up.
Product Placement: In the movie version, the "hero" version of the chandelier was sponsored by Swarovski Crystals. There's a scene with a Swarovski store window, which depicts the Swarovski swan logo. However, the logo at the time would have been a flower.
Road Trip Across The Street: In the film version of the musical, the Phantom places Christine on the back of a horse and uses it to carry her the length of a short corridor before abandoning it again.
Shout-Out: In the movie, when Carlotta is on the verge of walking out (for the first time) and the new managers appeal to Lefevre on how to convince her to remain, his response, right down to tone and inflection, is very familiar from another ALW production: "Grovel--grovel, grovel!"
Lloyd Webber has admitted to being inspired by the 1925 film version, and there are a couple of clear shout outs. Most obvious is the angry mob going after the Phantom near the end, but the flower hoops held by the Sylphides in the "Il Muto" ballet also match those used in one of the film ballets.
Stylistic Suck: The three fictional operas performed in the course of the story (Hannibal, a parody of the grand late classical operas from the like of Meyerbeer and Gluck, Il Muto, an obvious parody of Mozart — or one of that crowd — and Don Juan Triumphant, Sir Andrew's spoof on serialism in modern opera, overwrought with dissonance, and bathing in clichés.
Tenor Boy: Raoul fits this trope, but note that the Phantom is also a tenor. Starting with the original London cast, in which Steve Barton (Raoul) was also Michael Crawford's (The Phantom's) understudy, it's common for Raoul's actor to understudy the Phantom's role, sometimes taking it over later.
This Is Reality: You'd never get away with all this in a play But if it's loudly sung and in a foreign tongue It's just the sort of story audiences adore In fact, a perfect opera!"
Whole Costume Reference: In the 2004 film, Emmy Rossum's costume in "Think Of Me" is practically an exact copy of that worn by Empress Elisabeth of Austria (Sissi) in the famous portrait by Franz Winterhalter◊, right down to the hairstyle and the diamond stars in it. It doesn't hurt that Rossum is a dead ringer for the empress to begin with.
Gerard Butler's Phantom in the film version is rather less ugly than his stage counterparts, to the point that film critic Richard Roeper quipped "He's the Fashionably-Scarred Stud of the Opera."
Peter Jöback◊ who plays the part on West End between March and September of 2012 originally auditioned to play the Phantom on Broadway but was rejected because he was considered too good looking for the part. He was offered the part of Raoul instead, turned it down and was then contacted by Andrew Lloyd Webber who asked him to come play the role in London.
The Dario Argento version has a masked Phantom, weeping blood, on the VHS and DVD cover,; as has already been mentioned, the Phantom in this film has no facial deformity at all, and thus no need to wear a mask.
Dramatic Unmask: The silent film has the most dramatic version (see below).
The TV miniseries has Christine pleading with Erik to let her see his face, insisting that she can handle it. It turns out to be so horrifying (though the audience never sees it) that she faints. Later, at the end of the film, as he's dying, she removes the mask herself, so that she can kiss him goodbye, showing that she loves him no matter what she looks like.
Evil Laugh: In the stage version, the Phantom breaks out in mad laughter first when he ruins Carlotta's performance and later when he crashes the chandelier. In the silent film, Lon Chaney proves you don't even need sound to let loose with an Evil Laugh.
In Maskerade, the Phantom (one of them, at least)writes down an Evil Laugh. With five exclamation marks, nonetheless!!!!! This lampshaded by one of the characters. (Opera will do that to a man.)
Fatal Flaw: The Phantom's...craziness. Christine's naïveté.
Flanderization: The Phantom has always been something of a Tragic Monster and may sometimes even be a sympathetic figure, but the Schumacher film (to the point of Villain Decay) and the stage musical (to a lesser extent than it's often accused of, especially considering the large amount of free reign the actor's given within certain boundaries) tend to exaggerate this aspect while simultaneously making everyone else unlikeable and downplaying the fact that, whatever else Erik may be, he is also a deeply disturbed and homicidal person.
This has also happened to Carlotta over the years. Originally she was part of a Technician Versus Performer comparison, with Carlotta having a marvelous instrument but no soul in her singing as opposed to the more passionate (if rather more erratic) Christine. Over the years this has been simplified to Carlotta's voice being awful (or at least past its prime), to the point where the Schumacher movie depicts opera staff stuffing cotton in their ears when she prepares to sing (thus leading to Informed Flaw, as Margaret Preece's voice is one of the better ones in the film).
In fact a few swings in the stage show can cover both Carlotta and Christine. Also Carlotta is always played by someone who's been classically trained.
The Ingenue: Christine is the epitome of this, except in the 1943 film, where she's a well-adjusted, career-minded girl.
Carlotta even lampshades Christine's ingenue status in the musical right before "Prima Donna":
Carlotta: (to Andre and Firmin) Would you not rather have your precious little ingenue?
Signora, no, the world wants YOU!!!
In Name Only: Subverted with the 1989 slasher reimagining starring Robert Englund as the title character. Many often mistake it for this given its nature as a gory slasher — but in actuality, it is much closer to the original novel than the famous musical (which itself at times borders on the trope), maintaining the sadism of Leroux's Erik which many adaptations tend to downplay.
The Dario Argento version is very much an example of being The Phantom of the Opera in name only, starting with how The Phantom is not deformed and was raised by rats.
Lighter and Softer: If you're talking about the Lloyd Webber version as opposed to Leroux, there's always the TheaterWorks USA adaptation, which was expressly written to out-Light-and-Softness the Lloyd Webber version itself. (And in all honesty, the Lloyd Webber version comes off far, far darker onstage than it does in the film version.) The Theaterworks version does away with the love triangle altogether, makes Erik into Madame Giry's long-lost son who was burned in a fire in the opera house a few years previously, and has Christine coax him in the end into using his gift to open a music school in order to relieve his bitterness at being unable to perform. All of the denizens of the opera happily approve, and it ends with a song about accepting people who may look different from you. I wish I were making this up.
In the meantime the Lloyd Webber version, while very dark and gothic, is still lighter than the book: Erik, instead of looking like a living corpse, has a smaller (though still nasty) deformity, and in contrast to the kill count of the book only Buquet and Piangi die in the show. (Then again, Erik does possibly try to cause the chandelier to fall on Christine, so there you go.)
The Hammer Horror version is so light and soft that the Phantom doesn't even kill anybody! Instead, a homicidal little person who's friends with the Phantom does all the killing, so the Phantom's hands are technically clean throughout the whole movie. Also, the Phantom has no romantic interest in Christine, just wants to hear his music performed, and performs a Heroic Sacrifice in the end.
Love Triangle: Depending on the version and/or the actors, this can be Triang Relations 4 or 7. In the 1943 version, oddly enough, it's not Raoul and Erik competing over Christine, but Raoul and a baritone Christine often stars opposite onstage. (The Phantom figure is Christine's father in this case, who wants her back after leaving her in her childhood.) In the end, Christine chooses her career over both of them.
Mr. Fanservice: The various actors who have played Erik and Raoul. (But not Lon Chaney!)
Pretty in Mink: Carlotta wears a fur or two in about every other adaptation.
Progressively Prettier: The various movie adaptations provide the image for this trope. Lon Chaney has a freakishly deformed skull-head. Claude Rains has one side of his face badly scarred. Gerard Butler looks like he fell asleep in a tanning booth with the right side of his face up.
Race Lift: Robert Guillame was cast as the Phantom during the first national tour. To this date, he is the only African-American actor to play the role.
Rage Against the Reflection: Movie version only. Implied in the TV miniseries, where Erik claims that his eyes "are the only part of my face I can look at in a mirror without wanting to break the glass".
Satan: The Angel of Music is another name for The Devil. The Phantom is Milton-esque figure who lives underground in a freezing lake (a la Dante) coming up to enchant and abduct beautiful innocent maidens. He is an Expy for Lucifer.
Scarpia Ultimatum: "His life is now the prize that you must earn. So, do you end your days with me, or do you send him to his grave?" Raoul throws this back in the Phantom's face with "Why make her lie to you to save me?"
The sets and special effects of the play (most infamously the chandelier) were groundbreaking for their time and still impress today. They may be flashy and overwrought, but they're done spectacularly well.
The Opera House set built for the 1925 film was an extraordinarily elaborate set for its day. It still exists today, and was used for, believe it or not, The Muppets.
Setting Update: Over the years, plays and films have been written that reset the story in other venues. Probably the best-known of these is Brian De Palma's 1974 film Phantom of the Paradise, which is set in the rock music industry and pastiches several horror/fantasy stories in addition to Phantom.
Only in the musical, though. In the novel it's once mentioned to be black, and never mentioned again. The mask used during the masquerade ball was naturally red.
The classic white mask, interestingly, is a case of Older Than They Think—it dates back to the 1943 film, not the musical.
Tropes specific to the 1925 film
Brandishment Bluff: When Erik is cornered by the mob, he appears to hold something in the air and brandishes it to hold them back, even turning to make those behind him retreat, then he laughs and shows an empty hand, prompting the mob to move in for the kill.
Captain Obvious: A weirdo in a mask and cape lures Christine to his underground lair. He plays her creepy organ music and shows her the coffin he sleeps in. After taking all this in Christine says "You—you are the Phantom!"
Dramatic Unmask: OK, it isn't really specific to the 1925 film, but this version's take of the Phantom's unmasking is probably the most dramatic one, and one of the best ever examples of this trope. According to the IMDB, "The sight was said to have caused some patrons at the premiere to faint."
Robert Bloch wrote about having seen this movie as a child. He didn't follow the plot much, and didn't get why the Phantom was wearing a mask. Then came the dramatic unmasking scene, and he slept the next ten years with lights on.
The Film of the Book: This version revises the ending but is otherwise the most faithful adaptation of the novel. It includes Raoul's brother, who is usually Adapted Out. It also originally included the Persian—he is shown wearing a fez—but in post-production he was turned into a French police detective. Since it was a silent movie, all they had to do was change the title cards. Chaney's deformed head resembles the "death's head" the book describes, and is a deformity from birth as in the book, unlike most later adaptations in which it is an injury.
Focus Group Ending: Chaney was a strong supporter of being faithful to the novel, including using the original ending where Erik is redeemed and dies. When test audiences reacted negatively to the original cut of the film, many scenes were reshot, and the ending was revised to the mob chase scene. Other book accurate scenes were also cut out.
Impairment Shot: Erik's face goes out of focus as he uses his hypnotic power (or whatever he's using, the film is vague) to get Christine to follow him to the boat.
Informed Attribute: In the 1925 film, Joseph Buquet describes the Phantom as having a huge hole in his face where the nose should be, but when the Phantom finally appears, he clearly does have a nose, albeit a horribly deformed one. Of course, Buquet may be exaggerating.
Re Cut: A sound version of this film was made in 1929 and released in 1930, with Mary Philbin (Christine) and Norman Kerry (Raoul) reprising their roles in talking scenes, and with other scenes being re-shot. Lon Chaney was under contract to MGM so his scenes were re-used with some voiceover added. The dialogue scenes have since been lost, but the silent version of this 1929-30 recut still survives. The original 1925 edition only exists in an inferior 16mm version, so most home video and presentations use the silent 1929-30 version, which, among other differences, has a different actress playing Carlotta (Virginia Peterson in 1925, Mary Fabian in 1929).
Slipping a Mickey: The Phantom drugs the security guards before snatching Christine from the opera stage.
Splash of Color: Most of the movie is in black and white, except for the masked ball scene, which is presented in early Technicolor.