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Top 11 Best Musical Performances of Christine Daaes
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s 1986 musical version of Gaston Leroux’s, The Phantom of the Opera, has showcased the talents of dozens and dozens of ladies who have played the role of ingenue Christine Daae. Of the 200 and counting, actresses who have played Christine who is the best?
That is an impossible question to answer as it’s based on opinion. Some people prefer Christine with a rich full voice while some prefer Christine with a light and clear voice. Despite people’s personal preferences, there are some actresses whose names are thrown around as people’s favorite more often than others.
How Was This List Compiled?
This list isn’t my personal opinion—it’s simply "The Top 11 Most Notable Christine Daaes" from Webber’s musical. This list is more of a survey of Christine Daae's actresses whose names get used more than others. If anything it's more about popularity and noteworthy actresses who have played the role, not based on skill and acting alone.
Below, they are ranked in order of apparent popularity from low to high. Again, not my own opinions or my own rubric for what makes a great Christine Daae. The ranking was done in survey-style of YouTube comments on various videos from a few years ago. This is not an end-all-be-all list, nor did it use precise methods to achieve a strict ranking. This is meant to be fun.
A Few Notes to Consider
- Please don’t be too disappointed if your favorite Christine isn’t on this list or ranked differently than your own opinion. We all have valid opinions, no list is perfect.
- Also, these are all English language singers. I love foreign language versions of Phantom but unfortunately, none are featured here on this list.
- The list is subject to change.
11. Elizabeth Southard
- Background: Elizabeth Southard played Christine on Broadway, US National Tour (2005–2006), and in the Vancouver Production. She also has the distinction that her husband, Gary Mauer, played opposite to her as the Phantom.
- Vocal Quality: Her voice is a nice combination of clear and full.
- Other Credits: Southard has been in Showboat, The Sound of Music, Swamp Gas and Shallow Feeling, Three Penny Opera, Nine, and in the Yeston/Kopit Phantom of the Opera as Christine.
10. Samantha Hill
- Background: Samantha Hill is originally from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, She played Christine on Broadway in 2012 as the alternate and became the principal from March 4th, 2013 to July 29th, 2013.
- Vocal Quality: Hill's voice is clear and strong.
- Other Credits: She has been in Les Miserables, Annie, Chicago, Spring Awakening, and Light in the Piazza. She also sang "Phantom of the Opera" with Peter Joback during 67th Tony Awards.
9. Trista Moldovan
- Background: Trista Moldovan is originally from Cleveland, Ohio. She played Christine on Broadway (2011–2012), and on a US National Tour (2008). She has the distinction of playing Christine as part of the closing company in Los Angeles in October 2010.
- Vocal Quality: Moldovan has a very tender rich voice.
- Other Credits: She has been in White Christmas, Me and My Girl, Paul Revere, Faces of War, Sense and Sensibility 1776, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Laramie: Epilogue, Guys and Dolls, Gyspy, Hair West Side Story, Simeon’s Gift, Born Yesterday, Les Miserables, Cabaret, Grease, and some TV work.
8. Anna O'Byrne
- Background: Anna O’Byrne is originally from Australia. She played Christine at London’s West End (2012–2013) as an alternate. She also played Christine in the original Australian cast of The Phantom Sequel, Love Never Dies which she played before she was in the original musical in 2011.
- Vocal Quality: O’Byrne is a classically trained vocalist and it shows in her portrayal of Christine as she is more operatic with a rich and full voice.
- Other Credits: She has also appeared in Strangers on a Train, A Little Night Music, and Barnum
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7. Rebecca Caine
Background: Caine is originally from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. After Sarah Brightman left the original London cast, Caine joined as the alternate. She then played Christine in the first Canadian cast and on Broadway in 1989. She also did the recording on the Phantom Canadian album.
Vocal Quality: Like O’Byrne, Caine is an operatic Daae. Her voice effortlessly glides into the upper range with power and clarity.
Other Credits: She made her West End debut at the age of 19 in Oklahoma! and has also appeared in My Fair Lady, L’incoronazione di Poppea, Les Miserables, Chicago, Sound of Music, Salad Days, and in numerous operas.
6. Rachel Barrell
- Background: Rachel Barrell is originally from England. She played Christine in the West End from September 2004 to October 2006. She also appeared in the show’s 18th and 20th anniversaries.
- Vocal Quality: Barell’s voice is clear and light with a pure tonality.
- Other Credits: She appeared in Thoroughly Modern Millie and Beauty and the Beast. She did a charity performance of Follies.
5. Sarah Brightman
- Background: Sarah Brightman is the original Christine and the musical was pretty much written for her. She is the iconic Daae as she made Christine a brunette instead of the blonde she is in the novel as well as some other versions of the book. Brightman is originally from Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, England.
- Vocal Quality: Brightman’s voice as Christine is polarizing, some people don’t care for it and some people love it. Her voice as Christine is very haunting and delicate.
- Other Credits: Outside of Phantom, Brightman has been in a few musicals including Cats, The Pirates of Penzance, Masquerade, and Nightgale. She was also in the group Hot Gossip. However, Brightman is more of a classic crossover recording artist. Her 1996 duet with Andera Bocelli, "Time to Say Goodbye" is one the best-selling singles of all time.
4. Katie Hall
- Background: Katie Hall is originally from Rutland, England. She first played Christine as an understudy after she was eliminated from Andrew Lloyd Webber's reality TV show, I’d Do Everything, which awarded the role of Nancy in Oliver. She was also a contestant for Webber’s search for the Eurovision entry, Your Country Needs You.
- Vocal Quality: Hall’s voice is very pure and sweet-sounding which makes for an innocent-sounding Christine.
- Other Credits: Hall has also been played Cosette in the 25th Anniversary cast of Les Miserables. She also appeared in the theatrical movie of Les Miserables as women turing 4 and in the ensemble of The Phantom of the Opera at the Royal Albert Hall.
3. Gina Beck
- Background: Gina Beck is originally from High Wycombe, Buckingham, England. Beck took over playing Christine at Her’s Majesty Theatre in September 2008.
- Vocal Quality: Beck’s voice is clear and emotional. She is also praised on her acting.
- Other Credits: Beck has appeared in Les Miserable as Cossette, Wicked as Glinda, The Merry Widow, The Sound of Music, Imagine This, Peter Pan, Little Women and she has appeared in operas and operettas. She was also in the theatrical Les Miserable movie as women turning 3.
2. Emmy Rossum
- Background: Emmy Rossum is originally from New York City. Rossum started out singing at the Metropolitan Opera in the children's choir. She then started to pursue acting at the age of 12. Rossum was cast as Christine in the 2004 Phantom of the Opera movie.
- Vocal Quality: Much like Sarah Brightman, Rossum as Christine is polarizing, some people adore her performance and others loathe it. However, for many Rossum was their first experience with the character and helped garner the musical more fans. As an actress, Rossum does a fine job as wide-eye innocent Christine. Her voice as Christine is soft and warm.
- Other Credits: She has been such movies big-budget movies as Mystic River, The Day after Tomorrow, Poseidon, and Dragonball: Evolution. She has appeared in Inside, Beautiful Creatures, and Before I Disappear. She also is in You’re Not You and Comet. Rossum starred on Showtime’s Shameless which has given her more creditability after Dragonball (which—not to editorialize—was a failure as a movie). No actor could have helped that film. Rossum also has recorded two albums, Inside Out (2007) and Sentimental Journey (2013).
1. Sierra Boggess
Sierra Boggess is the definitive Christine for many people. Boggess and her co-star Ramin Karimloo are praised for their on-stage chemistry and emotional performances.
- Background: She is originally from Denver, Colorado. She is the favorite for the majority of Phantom fans. She was first cast as Christine in the Las Vegas Cast. She then played Christine in the sequel Love Never Dies. She then went on to played Christine in the 25th Anniversary DVD recording of Phantom at The Royal Albert and in the 25th anniversary cast.
- Vocal Quality: Boggess has a very strong and emotional voice.
- Other Credits: Boggess made her Broadway debut as Ariel in The Little Mermaid. She has also appeared in Les Miserable, Love, Loss and What I Wore, and It Shoulda Been You.
- Celia Graham
- Lee Hye-Young
- Joke de Kruije
- Luzia Nistler
All whom I just personally like. Who do you want to see on the list?
Honorn@saintmarys.school.nz on September 02, 2020:
I like seirra bogges and Anna and Shara. and also Emmy .
They are all so well spoken and I like it
Christy-rose Clark on September 01, 2020:
Wait that isn’t Katie hall, is it? It doesn’t look like her, and her wig had a bun on the tour instead of the curls?
✪ ω ✪ on July 14, 2020:
I agree with Siera Boggess. I mean she was even voted the best replacement for Christing by Andrew Loyd Webber. Also, I think Ali Ewalt should be on the list. She was really good. She is my 2nd fav.
S I E R R A is awesome on July 12, 2020:
@Rosie Doherty, that’s kinda (I mean really) mean.
Huang NingShan on July 02, 2020:
Sierra and Gina(though I am personally going with Sierra) look really similar!!!!!
ʕ•ᴥ•ʔ on June 27, 2020:
Sierra! Sierra! Sierra! Always Sierra!
Go Rierra on June 27, 2020:
Wow! Anna O’byrne, Gina Beck, Sierra Boggess, and Emmy Rossum are sooooo... pretty!
Reirra forever on June 26, 2020:
I LOVE Sierra Boggess! Second on my list is definitely Emmy Rossum. After that is Anna O’Byrne, Gina Beck, and Sarah Brightman.
Rachel Samantha Rogers on June 24, 2020:
Stop comparing! Though Sierra is my favorite, the others were all fantastic too. Can we just appreciate the person who went and wrote this?
Ali is Awesome on June 22, 2020:
Sierra is awesome. Creds to Ali Ewoldt as well! She’s amazing and she’s the first Asian-American Christine!
:) on June 08, 2020:
SIERRA IS MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE PERSON ON EARTH!!!!!
poo on June 05, 2020:
Sierra Boggess is the best!!
Madeline Ong on June 02, 2020:
Sierra is the best!
Anonymous on May 31, 2020:
Sierra is the best!!
Definitely the best!
Gide on May 04, 2020:
This list is very much based on popularity of the recent show...
Josef on April 20, 2020:
Sierra Boggess os my angel of music!!! She is totally lovely!!!!
Rosie Doherty on May 06, 2019:
Sarah Brightman should be Number 1 on this list because she is the best person every play Christine she also should how weak and stupid Christine is as character . Sierra in other hand show no list at all because he voice is too low and makes Christine look too strong and smart character which is not . Sarah is best Christine than never better than her and I’m sick of people tell Sierra she good job when she did not .
duketgg on May 15, 2018:
Have you ever listened to singers who played Christine Daaé in other languages than English?
Edyta Krzemień (who originated the rôle in Poland), for one, deserves a mention.
Phantom fan on April 04, 2018:
Love sierra bogges with ramin karimloo
Jess on August 11, 2017:
I think that this list is 100% accurate as Sierra Boness takes the gold
Lin Lin from New Jersey, USA on July 05, 2017:
Sarah Brightman is the only and the best... there is no comparison. She inspires me to create a Fantasy Adventure Novel, "The Thousand Year Promise". The heroine in my novel is named after her. What an enchanting lady, so beautiful and timeless.
David Walrod on November 20, 2016:
uhhhh... I mean from a classically trained stand point I'd definitely say Kristi Holden has the title. Pretty sure her vocal chops perform specific to this role more than any other contemporary actress, not to mention the passion that she exudes as an actress!!
Hildy Gloom on March 20, 2016:
that's a very mean thing to say!
GinaBeck2 on March 14, 2016:
Sierra is ONCE AGAIN number one. I love her, but I honestly think Gina is best. Also, I can appreciate that Emmy Rossum was very young, but she doesn't deserve to be on the list instead of someone like Sofia Escobar.