Christine Daaé travels with her father, a famous fiddler, throughout Europe and plays folk and religious music. When Christine was six years old, her mother died and her father was taken to rural France by a patron,
While Christine was a child her father told her many stories about the "Angel of Music," who is the personification of musical inspiration. Christine meets and befriends the young Raoul, Viscount of Chagny. One of
Christine and Raoul's favourite stories is one of Little Lotte, a girl who is visited by the Angel of Music and possesses a heavenly voice.
Christine now lives with 'Mamma' Valerius, the elderly widow of her father's benefactor. She eventually is given a position in the chorus at the Paris Opera House (Palais Garnier). She begins hearing a beautiful, unearthly
voice which sings to her and speaks to her. She believes this must be the Angel of Music and asks him if he is. The Voice agrees and offers to teach her "a little bit of heaven's music." The Voice, however, belongs to Erik, a
physically deformed and mentally disturbed musical genius who was one of the architects who took part in the construction of the opera house. He is in love with Christine.
Christine triumphs at the gala on the night of the old managers' retirement. Her old childhood friend, Raoul, hears her sing and recalls his love for Christine. He then hears the "Angel of Music" speaking to Christine. Some
time after the gala, the Paris Opera performs Faust, with the prima donna Carlotta playing the lead, against Erik's wishes. In response to a refused surrender of Box Five to the Opera Ghost, Carlotta loses her voice and the
grand chandelier plummets into the audience.
After the accident, Erik kidnaps Christine, takes her to his home (the cellars) and reveals his true identity. He plans to keep her there for a few days, hoping she will come to love him. Christine begins to find herself
attracted to her abductor. But she causes Erik to change his plans when she unmasks him and, to the horror of both, beholds his face, which according to the book, resembles the face of a rotting corpse. Erik goes into a
frenzy, stating she probably thinks his face is another mask, and whilst digging her fingers in to show it was really his face he shouts, "I am Don Juan Triumphant!" before crawling away, crying. Fearing that she will leave
him, he decides to keep her with him forever, but when Christine requests release after two weeks, he agrees on condition that she wear his ring and be faithful to him.
On the roof of the opera house, Christine tells Raoul that Erik abducted her. Raoul promises to take Christine away to a place where Erik can never find her. Raoul tells Christine he shall act on his promise the next day, to
which Christine agrees. She, however, has pity for Erik and will not go until she has sung a song for him one last time. Christine then realises the ring has slipped off her finger and has fallen into the street somewhere.
She begins to panic, but neither is aware that Erik has been listening to their conversation and that he has become extremely jealous.