There are rumors that the opera house is haunted by a phantom who makes himself known by sending letters to the managers and by causing disturbances. On the retirement gala for the old opera managers, opera singer Christine attracts the attention of her childhood sweetheart, Raoul.One night during a performance of Faust, with the resident prima donna, Carlotta, playing the female lead, the Phantom causes Carlotta to lose her voice and the chandelier to fall into the audience.
Christine is kidnapped by the masked phantom; he tells her his name is Erik and reveals her love for her. When Christine unmasks the phantom out of curiosity, his ugliness shocks her. The phantom decides to keep Christine prisoner for the rest of her life, but then he allows her to leave after she promises to wear his ring and remain faithful to him. Christine later tells Raoul that she was kidnapped; Raoul promises to run away with her, both unaware that Erik has been listening to their conversation.