Dear Andre what a splendid party!
The prologue to a bright new year!
Quite a night! I'm impressed!
Well, one does one's best . . .
(raising their glasses) Here's to us!
I must say, all the same, that it's a shame that 'Phantom' fellow isn't here!
(The gauze lifts fully to reveal the staircase of the opera house. The opera ball begins. Among the
are four carrying strange percussion instruments: a monkey with cymbals, a toy soldier with a drum, a triangle, bells. Together they play weirdly throughout)
Masquerade! Paper faces on parade . . .
Masquerade! Hide your face, so the world will never find you!
Masquerade! Every face a different shade . . .
Masquerade! Look around - there's another mask behind you!
Flash of mauve . . .
Splash of puce . . .
Fool and king . . .
Ghoul and goose . . .
Green and black . . .
Queen and priest . . .
Trace of rouge . . .
Face of beast . . .
Faces . . .
Take your turn, take a ride on the merry-go-round . . .
in an inhuman race . . .
Eye of gold . . .
Thigh of blue . . .
True is false . . .
Who is who . . .? Curl of lip . . .
Swirl of gown . . .
Ace of hearts . . .
Face of clown . . .
Faces . . .
Drink it in, drink it up, till you've drowned in the light . . .
in the sound . . .
But who can name the face . . .?
Masquerade! Grinning yellows, spinning reds . . .
Masquerade! Take your fill - let the spectacle astound you!
Masquerade! Burning glances, turning heads . . .
Masquerade! Stop and stare at the sea of smiles around you!
Masquerade! Seething shadows breathing lies . . .
Masquerade! You can fool any friend who ever knew you!
Masquerade! Leering satyrs, peering eyes . . .
Masquerade! Run and hide - but a face will still pursue you!
(The ENSEMBLE activity becomes background, as ANDRE, FIRMIN, MEG, GIRY, PIANGI and CARLOTTA come to the fore, glasses in hand)
What a night
What a crowd!
Makes you glad!
Makes you proud! All the creme de la creme!
Watching us watching them!
And all our fears are in the past!
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