The Opéra really is a magical place, outside and inside. It is so amazingly beautiful. Even though it hasn’t been here very long, most people could not imagine it ever not being there. A lot of people that live in this building cannot remember anything but the Opéra. Some people even say that the Opéra is haunted by a ghost. That quite scares me, I am rather afraid of ghosts.
Though on the other hand, strangely, I love to hear stories about them, I love stories. My dear late father used to tell me a lot of stories. The one I remember best is the story of the Angel of Music that my father used to promise me would visit me one day …
But, I don’t want to think of that now, it will only make me sad again, I wanted to talk about what happened today.
While walking through the beautiful corridor, I could not resist taking a peek in the dressing room of the corps de ballet, hoping to catch a glimpse of Meg. I wanted to talk more about the rumours I had heard about the Phantom that is supposedly haunting this building. Meg is such a great story teller, even though she can over exaggerate, but that is what makes it so great.
Even though I am a chorus girl, I love nothing better than huddling with the ballet just to hear Meg’s story telling.
I love it how she stands there, in her little ballet dress, sometimes hipping about on pointe to act out the drama’s she claims to have seen.
She’s my best friend, always has been, since the day I came to the Opéra.
Meg claims that she has always lived here, that in fact she was born here actually, in a box her mother was tending to. I really must look up the dates one day to see if that is in fact possible.
Next thing she tells me she was born in Box number 5 and that the Phantom helped deliver her. That would be funny …
But it is true that she has been here longer then most of us and knows all the secrets of this grand place.
She is the leader of her ballet troupe. I think this is because she is just very talented, but she is adamant that it is because the Phantom demanded the management to notice her talent. Which way ever, she deserves it, and her mother is so proud of her.
I hope that one day I can make my father proud by singing the leading role in an Opéra. I would also love to make my guardian M other Valerius proud, she has always been so kind to us …The way she took care of me after my fathers death …I could cry just thinking about it …
But I should not, I should think about working, working hard, to make them proud!!
Though I do not think that day will ever come …My voice has lost a lot of it’s strength since loosing my father.
They say that taking extra one on one lessons would help solve that problem … But I do not think I can afford more, nor do I think I could work closely with a new teacher. My father always taught me …And though I tried learning more with a scholarship, no-one can ever replace the way he taught me …
Oh … but I digress, I still have not talked about what happened today …
It was loneliness that drove me to become a ghost ...
All my life I've been dismissed, rejected … tortured, abused … Still it took me longer than it should have to realise: people don't want me near them.
On the other hand maybe I have known this all my life and simply didn’t want to admit this to myself as it was too painful.
Then, after forty years of trying, hoping, wishing … longing … I decided I did not want them around me either. I decided that the only one who cares about Erik … is Erik, and even he hates Erik …
I finally got my chance to leave humanity behind when I worked as a contractor on the Opéra. At night, when the builders had left I begun to build my world in secret. Bit by bit I created my underground paradise to be away from the world, all the company I truly needed was music. Or so I thought.
Oh, how wrong I was. Yes, there are days, weeks that I can be consumed by music and I write score after score. But there are times that music eludes me and these days they are longer than I would like to admit.
During those times each day is the same, a long and lonely void of time stretching out into infinity. Were it not for the clock on my mantelpiece I would not be able to tell whether it is day or night in the darkness that is my home. The lack of light is oppressive and adds to the sadness that fills me more often than not.
Then there is my mind, I never expected it to torture me so much. With no-one for company it has free reign to haunt me with memories, thoughts, self hatred.
The only respite from the maddening boredom … the sheer painful loneliness is forcing myself to go up to the world above to watch a rehearsal or a performance.
I listen to the chattering of the singers and musicians on the stage, hear the discussions about music and singing and wish I could be amongst them. How I want to take part in a conversation about a subject that I care about, but know I never could. Why, after all the rejection do I keep yearning for what I can not have: someone, anyone to talk to, to connect with? Why do I still hope to find someone who would understand me? It is too late.
My only form of human contact is talking to Madame Giry ... through a wall. I have been stretching our conversations to the point of it being ridicules. Lately I have found myself discussing the most mundane details about her life and Meg's. What self respecting ghost would do this? I should really limit my contact with that woman. But if I didn't speak to her I would very likely forget the sound of my own speaking voice.
Or … maybe not, as I have found myself starting to talk to myself more and more. I talk to myself in the third person now. I think I might very well have gone truly insane.
Seeing each rehearsal my notes of complaints and suggestions to the managers and the director have become longer and longer. I might as well be the manager and director of this place by myself by now. I have noticed that the actual managers seem to have all but given up. Well, so they should: they never cared about the art, they didn’t know anything about music, they only took the job for the money and it showed. I have put their lack of musical and artistic knowledge to good use, and now they simply rely on me for every decision. I think this is better for everyone involved. I never expected that I would actually earn my 20.000 Francs instead of having to blackmail them for it and it actually feels a lot more satisfying.
That doesn’t mean I am completely above pranking them once in a while, though. Sometimes I write complaints just to wind those two up. Seeing them squirm or argue is rather enjoyable to watch and is something that calms the mind.
Last night Madame Giry asked me if I would answer to the request of her daughter to listen to one of the chorus girls, to see if she were suitable for the part of Siebel in Faust. Now I do not usually do request numbers, but the Giry’s have always been kind to me, so I have condoned her request. I did add that I do not take auditions as a rule and that this girl will be the first and the last.
As this has not been a great season I am a bit bored and seeing someone new might be a distraction. I have asked Meg to let the girl sing on stage in the auditorium at about twelve in the afternoon tomorrow.
For years I have only heard mediocre singers, nothing special has touched my ears for such a long time. I am beginning to feel indifferent to the music that I once adored. I used to live for music, but my soul has to be retouched. I hope this girl that Meg wants me to hear has something that will make me feel alive again. I am looking forward and ... if she is bad I will have at least killed some time.
Please don’t disappoint the Opera Ghost, Christine Daaé ...