Gaston Leroux's novel The Phantom of the Opera, first published in 1910, remained a perennial favorite throughout the twentieth century and into the millenium. It was adapted to several popular motion pictures and into one of the most successful stage musicals of all time. Its main character, Erik, is a romantic figure and sensitive soul whose appeal reaches across different cultures and times. He is an accomplished composer and musician whose great unfinished work, Don Juan Triumphant, is described as breathtakingly beautiful by the one person he allows to hear it. Erik is an object of pity, whose face has been disfigured from birth, causing him to hide behind a silk mask; and he is hopelessly in love with a young woman. He can never seriously hope she will love him back.