A great attraction of the evening inaugurating the organ in the NFM Main Hall will be the screening of the horror film The Phantom of the Opera, made in 1925, which belongs to the classic cinematography. It will be accompanied by an improvisation performed by French organist Thierry Escaich.
The literary prototype of the film was a novel by Gaston Leroux, published in episodes in “Le Gaulois” magazine between 1909 and 1910. The film from the 1920s was the first of eight adaptations of this work, which also inspired two musical directors, including Andrew Lloyd Webber. The title character played by Lon Chaney is a disfigured artist named Eric. He lives in the basement of the Paris Opera House, and his favourite pastime is scaring the artists performing on the stage of opera house. During one of the performances, a disliked and moody diva is replaced by the young Christine Daaé (Mary Philbin). She captivates both the whole audience gathered that evening and the phantom who decides to strive for her favours, regardless of the costs. His competitor is the Viscount Raoul de Chagny (Norman Kerry), a friend of the phantom from his childhood.
Performing an improvised accompaniment to silent films on the organ or piano is one of Thierry Escaich’s passions. In 1999, he created the soundtrack to Frank Borzage’s film The Seventh Sky from 1927. The Phantom of the Opera will be on the one hand a great opportunity to listen to the performance of a great artist, and on the other hand it will allow the audience to experience how silent films were presented in the past.