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Il Muto Ballet is a fictional opera by Albrizzio, within the musical The Phantom of the Opera, just as Hannibal and Don Juan Triumphant are operas inside the show. Il Muto is Italian for "The Mute." It is featured in the scene in which the Phantom hangs Joseph Buquet.
Plot of Il Muto Ballet
In the Phantom of the Opera musical and in the film's plot (AKA Act I)
The scene which we see is set in a salon. A wealthy Countess (played by Carlotta Giudicelli) is having an affair with a mute pageboy (servant) named Serafimo (played by Christine Daae). To avoid her husband's wrath she makes Serafimo disguise as one of her maids while one of the maids assumes the role of Serafimo (played by Meg). However, her husband, Don Attillo (played by Ubaldo Piangi in the movie, and played by a chorus member in the stage show due to Piangi being in the previous scene in a different costume), senses the deception; he pretends to leave the country, but instead conceals himself behind a screen in his wife's room. The Countess, believing her husband to be far away, removes Serafimo's disguise and kisses him (or her since Christine is playing a male role), laughing about the apparent success of her deception. This aria, Poor Fool, He Makes Me Laugh, with its musical simulation of laughter, shares some similarities with "Mein Herr Marquis" from Die Fledermaus. There is a momentary interruption when the Phantom tries to express his anger that the managers forgot to leave Box Five empty. After the interruption from the Phantom, Carlotta and the other characters on the stage then start singing the aria again. But while the Countess and the other characters sing it, Carlotta's voice turns into croaking, like that of a toad, (followed by the Phantom laughing and saying her singing will bring down the chandelier) and has to be taken off stage. However, the managers announce that they will let the performance continue in 10 minutes with Christine as the Countess, but in the mean time just sit back and watch the ballet performance from Act Three (the Phantom's voice has now gone away, and the flickering lights of the chandelier have returned to normal). The rest of the salon scene is not seen because of these interruptions.
Although most of the plot of this act is unknown, it features a ballet entitled "Dance of the Country Nymphs". It is seen after Carlotta loses her voice. At the end of it, a backdrop lifts to reveal the corpse of Joseph Buquet hanging from the Punjab lasso. Buquet had spoken of the Phantom's disfigured face, and the Phantom had murdered him for it.
Cast of Characters
- The Countess (Donna Bianca): Having an affair with Serafimo. Played by Carlotta Giudicelli.
- Serafimo, A Page-boy: Having an affair with the countess. A mute. Played by Christine.
- Don Attilio, a Count: Married to the Countess.
- Two Epicene men
- Two Fops
- A Maid (played by Meg)
- Shepherds & Shepherdesses
- Perry, George. The Complete Phantom of the Opera. New York: n.p., 1987. 153. Print.