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Tales From the Opera House 巴黎歌剧院传奇








Attempt to Assassinate the Emperor Fails  刺杀君王未遂               Paris, France: Jan. 15, 1858


Last night, an attempt to assassinate Napoleon as he rode in his carriage to the Paris Opera House killed at least eighty people and wounded scores more, The Emperor and his wife escaped without incident. The Emperor has announced he is now hosting a competition to design an opera house where elite guests can enter secretly. Two hundred architects are expected to submit plans.




Charles Garnier, an unknown architect then, won the competition with his monumental neo-baroque design. His opera house stands seven stories high, covers three acres of land, and can seat two thousand people. Upper floors are noted for their opulence and classical grace: underground floors for a labyrinth of rooms and tunnels. Oddly, there is also a lake lying at the very bottom.




In 1869, the writer Gaston Leroux was watching a performance in the house when a sandbag, used as a counterweight for a huge chandelier, suddenly fell and killed another audience member. The horrific event became the inspiration for The Phantom of the Opera.




In the story, a mysterious phantom living in the bowels of the house falls in love with a talented young singer. He grows so obsessed with the girl that he kills anyone who crossed her. While researching his story, Leroux was given special access to the opera house and his book, as a result, is extremely accurate in its details of the building. Does this mean he really saw a phantom hidden somewhere in the dark tunnels?




by Murray Walker



score [skor]二十,二十人,二十个 the number 20; (scores of=many)

incident: [ˋɪnsədnt] 事件;事变 a distinct or definite occurrence; event

architect [ˋɑrkə͵tɛkt] n. 建筑师;设计师

submit: [səbˋmɪt] v. 提交  to offer as a proposition or contention

monumental: [͵mɑnjəˋmɛnt!] adj. 不朽的; 伟大的 astounding

horrific [hɔˋrɪfɪk] adj. 可怕的


More Information

assassinate [əˋsæsɪn͵et] v. 暗杀,对……行刺

elite: [ɪˋlit] n. 精英;优秀分子  a group or class of persons or a member of such a group or class, enjoying superior intellectual, social, or economic status

noted: [ˋnotɪd] adj. 有名的 well-known; celebrated; famous; renowned

opulence: [ˋɑpjələns] n. 富裕,华丽 luxuriousness, sumptuousness

labyrinth [ˋlæbə͵rɪnθ] n. 迷宫 an intricate structure of interconnecting passages through which it is difficult to find one's way; a maze

counterweight [ˋkaʊntɚ͵wet] n. 砝码;平衡锤

chandelier [͵ʃænd!ˋɪr] n. 枝形吊灯

phantom: [ˋfæntəm] n. 幽灵 a ghostly appearing figure

bowel: [ˋbaʊəl] n. 内部,深处 the interior of something

obsessed [əbˋsɛst] adj. 着迷的 having or showing excessive or compulsive concern with something

cross: [krɔs] vt. 反对;妨碍 Informal to interfere with; thwart or obstruct



Paris Opera House



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