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Notes / Prima Donna

This song is by Andrew Lloyd Webber and appears on the musical soundtrack The Phantom of the Opera (1986).

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Firmin:
"Mystery after gala night"
It says "Mystery of soprano's flight"
"Mystified", baffled Sûreté say
"We are mystified, we suspect foul play"

Bad news on soprano scene
First Carlotta, now Christine
Still, at least the seats get sold
Gossip's worth its weight in gold

What a way to run a business
Spare me these unending trials
Half your cast disappears but the crowd still cheers

Opera!
To hell with Gluck and Handel
It's a scandal that'll pack them in the aisles!

Andre:
Damnable!
Will they all walk out?
This is damnable!

Firmin:
Andre, please don't shout
It's publicity, and the take is vast
Free publicity

Andre:
But we have no cast!

Firmin:
But Andre, have you seen the queue?
Oh, it seems as though you've got one, too

Andre:
"Dear Andre, what a charming gala
Christine enjoyed a great success
We were hardly bereft when Carlotta left
Otherwise, the chorus was entrancing
But the dancing was a lamentable mess"

Firmin:
"Dear Firmin, just a brief reminder
My salary has not been paid
Send it care of the Ghost by return of post, P.T.O.
No one likes a debtor
So it's better if my orders are obeyed"

Andre/firmin:
Who would have the gall to send this?
Someone with a puerile brain
These are both signed "O.G."

Andre:
Who the hell is he?

Andre/firmin:
Opera Ghost!

Andre:
It's really not amusing

Firmin:
He's abusing our position

Andre:
In addition, he wants money

Firmin:
He's a funny sort of spectre

Andre/firmin:
To expect a large retainer
Nothing plainer, he is clearly quite insane

Raoul:
Where is she?

Andre:
You mean Carlotta?

Raoul:
I mean Miss Daae. Where is she?

Firmin:
Well, how should we know?

Raoul
I want an answer
I take it that you sent me this note?

Firmin:
What's all this nonsense?

Andre:
Of course not!

Firmin:
Don't look at us

Raoul:
She's not with you, then?

Andre:
Of course not!

Firmin:
We're in the dark

Raoul:
Monsieur, don't argue
Isn't this the letter you wrote?

Firmin:
And what is it that we're meant to have wrote?
Written

Andre:
"Do not fear for Miss Daae
The Angel of Music has her under his wing
Make no attempt to see her again"

Raoul:
If you didn't write it, who did?

Carlotta:
Where is he?

Andre:
Ah, welcome back!

Carlotta:
Your precious patron
Where is he?

Raoul:
What is it now?

Carlotta:
I have your letter
A letter which I rather resent

Andre:
And did you send it?

Raoul:
Of course not!

Firmin:
As if he would!

Carlotta:
You didn't send it?

Raoul
Of course not!

Andre:
What's going on?

Carlotta:
You dare to tell me
That this is not the letter you sent?

Raoul:
And what is it
That I'm meant to have sent?

"Your days at the Opera Populaire are numbered
Christine Daae will be singing on your behalf tonight
Be prepared for a great misfortune
Should you attempt to take her place"

Andre/firmin:
Far too many notes for my taste
And most of them about Christine
All we've heard since we came is Miss Daae's name

GIRY:
Miss Daae has returned

Andre:
I trust her midnight oil
Is well and truly burned?

Firmin:
Where precisely is she now?

GIRY:
I thought it best if she went home

MEG:
She needed rest

Raoul:
May I see her?

GIRY:
No, monsieur, she will see no one

Carlotta:
Will she sing?
Will she sing?

GIRY:
Here, I have a note

Andre/firmin/raoul/carlotta:
Let me see it!

Firmin:
Please!
"Gentlemen, I have now sent you several notes of the most amiable nature, detailing how my theater is be to run. You have not followed my instructions."

Firmin/the phantom:
"I shall give you one last chance..."

The phantom:
Christine Daae has returned to you
And I am anxious her career should progress
In the new production of "Il Muto"
You will therefore cast Carlotta as the pageboy
And put Miss Daae in the role of countess

The role which Miss Daae plays
Calls for charm and appeal
The role of the pageboy is silent
Which makes my casting in a word, ideal

(I shall watch the performance from my normal seat in Box Five, which will be kept empty for me. Should these commands be ignored, a disaster beyond your imagination will occur.)

Firmin:
"I remain, gentlemen, your obedient servant. O.G."

Carlotta:
Christine!

Firmin:
Whatever next?

Carlotta:
It's all a ploy to help Christine

Firmin:
This is insane

Carlotta:
I know who sent this
The Vicomte, her lover

Raoul:
(Scoffing)
Indeed!
Can you believe this?

Andre:
Signora!
This is a joke
This changes nothing

Firmin:
Signora! You are our star!

Andre:
And always will be!

Firmin:
Signora, the man is mad!

Andre:
We don't take orders

Firmin:
Miss Daae will be playing the pageboy!
The silent role

Andre/firmin:
Carlotta will be playing the lead!

Carlotta:
It's useless trying to appease me
You're only saying this to please me


Andre:
Your public needs you!

Firmin:
We need you, too!

Carlotta:
(Unassuaged) Would you not
Rather have your
Precious little
Ingenue?

Andre/firmin:
Signora, no!
The world wants you!

(The MANAGERS adopt their most persuasive attitudes)
Andre/firmin:
Prima donna
First lady of the stage!
Your devotees
Are on their knees
To implore you!

Andre:
Can you bow out
When they're shouting
Your name?

Firmin:
Think of how they all
Adore you!

BOTH:
Prima donna,
Enchant us once again!

Andre:
Think of your muse...

Firmin:
And of the queues
Round the theatre!

BOTH:
Can you deny us the triumph
In store?
Sing, prima donna, once more!

(CARLOTTA registers her acceptance as the MANAGERS continue to cajole and the OTHERS reflect variously on the situation)
Raoul:
Christine spoke of an angel...

Carlotta:
(To herself, in triumph)
Prima donna
Your song shall live again!

Andre/firmin:
(To CARLOTTA)
Think of your public!

Carlotta:
You took a snub
But there's a public
Who needs you!

GIRY:
(Referring to CHRISTINE)
She has heard the voice
Of the angel of music...

Andre/firmin:
(To CARLOTTA)
Those who hear your voice
Liken you to an angel!

Carlotta:
Think of their cry
Of undying
Support!

Raoul:
Is this her angel of music...?

Andre:
(To FIRMlN)
We get our opera...

Firmin:
(To ANDRE)
She gets her limelight!

Carlotta:
Follow where the limelight
Leads you!

MEG:
Is this ghost
An angel or a madman...?

Raoul:
Angel or madman...?

Andre/firmin:
(Aside) Leading ladies are a trial!

GIRY:
Heaven help you,
Those who doubt...

Carlotta:
You'll sing again,
And to unending
Ovation!

Raoul:
Orders! Warnings!
Lunatic demands!

GIRY:
This miscasting
Will invite damnation...

Andre/firmin:
Tears... oaths...
Iunatic demands
Are regular occurrences!

MEG:
Bliss or damnation?
Which has claimed her...?

Carlotta:
Think how you'll shine
In that final encore!
Sing, prima donna,
Once more!

GIRY:
Oh fools, to have flouted his warnings!

Raoul:
Surely, for her sake...

MEG:
Surely he'll strike back...

Andre/firmin:
Surely there'll be further scenes -
Worse than this!

GIRY:
Think, before
These demands are rejected!

Raoul:
...I must see
These demands are rejected!

MEG:
...If his threats
And demands are rejected!

Andre/firmin:
Who'd believe a diva
Happy to relieve a chorus girl,
Who's gone and slept with the patron?
Raoul and the soubrette,
Entwined in love's duet!
Although he may demur,
He must have been with her!

Meg/raoul:
Christine must be protected!

Carlotta:
O, fortunata!
Non ancor
Abbandonata!

Andre/firmin:
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!

Raoul:
His game is over!

GIRY:
This is a game
You cannot hope to win!

Raoul:
And in Box Five
A new game will begin...

GIRY:
For, if his curse is on this opera...

MEG:
But if his curse is on this opera...

Andre/firmin:
Prima donna
The world is at your feet!
A nation waits,
And how it hates
To be cheated!

Carlotta:
The stress that falls upon a
Famous prima donna!
Terrible diseases,
Coughs and colds and sneezes!
Still, the dryest throat
Will reach the highest note,
In search of perfect
Opera!

Meg/giry:
...Then I fear the outcome...

Raoul:
Christine plays the Pageboy,
Carlotta plays the Countess...

GIRY:
...Should you dare to...

MEG:
...When you once again...

ALL:
Light up the stage
With that age old
Rapport!
Sing, prima donna,
Once more!

Phantom's voice:
So, it is to be war between us! If these demands are not
Met, a disaster beyond your imagination will occur!

ALL:
Once more!

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