The Phantom of the Opera (Addendum)

These kinds of articles are always a bit awkward, so I’ll try to keep this one short.

I have made my opinion on the movie adaptation of the Phantom of the Opera clear already, and nitpicked both it and the original version on previous occasions.

However, I have discovered, embarrassingly late, that I have made a huge mistake when I wrote the first article on the subject.

And of course, the reason I’m writing this is the same as when I wrote similar addendum articles, for example about Die Another Day.

And that reason is this: I know that I have my faults. I can be condescending, arrogant, opinionated and get obsessively hung up on small, seemingly unimportant details.

I know that I’m not a writer. I am not a movie maker, I am not an expert in any aspect of creating a movie or a game or anything else I write about.

Bottom line is that I cannot make any claims of objectivity. I can, however, do my best to be honest. For all my faults, I am not a liar. I will not lie or knowingly spread information that I know to be incorrect.

It harms the point I’m trying to make and diminishes my credibility.

It’s true that I could, very easily, just go in and edit the mistake out of the article, and nobody would ever know.

But I think it’s important that, when I find that I am blatantly, obviously wrong, I should admit it and set the record straight.

Which brings me to the subject of this addendum.

(Spoiler: it has nothing at all to do with what I said about Gerard Butler. Sorry if you’re disappointed by this.)

I mentioned that I have an issue with the idea that the Phantom keeps a pipe organ in his secret hideout. And I stated that since this takes place in 1870, that means there was no electricity to supply power to the bellows of the organ. In other words, the Phantom would need someone else to work the bellows.

And as you probably figured out by now… that’s actually a load of crap. By the 1870’s, there were many different methods for working bellows in pipe organs, such as steam or water power.

And while I may have been right that electricity wasn’t an option (which I’m not completely certain about), my claim that the absence of an electric motor means you’d need another person is not accurate at all.

Now, this mistake would be bad enough, but the real annoyance for me is the fact that a simple google search would have told me this, and it would only have taken me about three minutes, if I had bothered to look.

But I didn’t, so I made a big, obvious, stupid mistake, and I apologize.

That said, that detail does not change the fact that the Phantom keeping a pipe organ in his lair is still very stupid and impractical, when compared to having a piano or harpsichord. Even when you play your hardest on a piano, it’s likely to be more quiet than a pipe organ. It’s also far better suited for composing and easier to maintain.

So, as awkward as writing this has been, I can at least take solace in the fact that while the detail was wrong, the main point is still valid.


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