The Phantom of the Opera is a musical with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Charles Hart and Richard Stilgoe. Lloyd Webber and Stilgoe also wrote the musical's book together. Based on the French novel Le Fantôme de l'Opéra by Gaston Leroux, its central plot revolves around a beautiful soprano, Christine Daaé, who becomes the obsession of a mysterious, disfigured musical genius living in the subterranean labyrinth beneath the Opera Garnier.
The musical opened in London's West End in 1986, and on Broadway in 1988. It won the 1986 Olivier Award and the 1988 Tony Award for Best Musical, and Michael Crawford (in the title role) won the Olivier and Tony Awards for Best Actor in a Musical. It is the longest running show in Broadway history by a wide margin, and celebrated its 10,000th Broadway performance on 11 February 2012, the first production ever to do so. It is the second longest-running West End musical, after Les Misérables, and the third longest-running West End show overall, after The Mousetrap.
With total estimated worldwide gross receipts of over $5.6 billion and total Broadway gross of $845 million, Phantom was the most financially successful entertainment event until The Lion King passed it in 2014. By 2011, it had been seen by over 130 million people in 145 cities across 27 countries, and continues to play in London and New York.