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Sarah Brightman as Christine Daaé in Andrew Lloyd Webber's 1986 production, London

"When my father lay dying, he told me that I would be protected by an angel-- an Angel of Music."

Character history Edit

According to Gaston Leroux's novel, Christine Daaé was born 11th October, Uppsala, Sweden. The exact year of her birth is not mentioned. However, according to Susan Kay's novel, Phantom, her birth year is 1861, the same year Erik's mother, Madeleine died. Christine's mother dies when she is six years of age and is raised by her father, who in the novel is refered to as "Daddy Daaé," and travels to fairs where he plays the violin and she sings. They are discovered at one of these fairs by Professor Valérius, who takes them to Gothenburg and then to Paris, providing for Christine's education. Christine is extremely close to her father, who tells her Scandinavian fairy-tales; a tale of the "Angel of Music" is her favourite. Christine's father dies, leaving her disconsolate, despite the loving care of her adoptive mother Mme. Valérius, the bedridden wife of the late Professor. Christine enters the Paris Conservatoire and trains for four years to become a professional singer to please her father and Mamma Valérius, but has lost all passion for singing. When Christine arrives at the Opera Garnier, she is described as 'sounding like a rusty hinge', but one person finds the beauty hidden in her tone. When Erik begins to tutor her, he tells her that he is the "Angel of Music" of whom her father had spoken (Erik tells her this because he has fallen in love with her). She believes him, and he inspires her soul back into her voice. Christine debuts at a gala at the opera, after the singer Carlotta falls ill and she is asked to take her place. Christine's singing is described as "seraphic". Christine becomes torn between her loyalty for her mentor Erik, and her love for her childhood friend Viscount Raoul de Chagny. In the Lofficier translation of the novel, it is stated that Christine is 15 years old. However, this is a mistranslation of a passage which says her heart was 'as pure as that of a 15 year old.' The evidence of Christine's childhood friendship with Raoul, and her studies at the Paris Conservatoire, put her age at 20. In the novel, Christine is described as having honey-blonde colored hair, blue eyes, and suffers from nearsightedness. The latter of which contributes to her innocence as revealed during a childhood memory where Christine and Raoul look for fairies. Because she can only see clearly that which is near to her, she's convinced she can actually see fairies far off in the distance.

Variations of Christine's storyEdit

In the 1943 adaptation not much of Christine's backstory is mentioned, only that she is from Provence. In the 1990's mini series, it loosley follows the Christine's original story. In a flashback it shows that she and her father worked in Raoul Vicomte De Changy's household as servants but left and traveled around the country. It also mentions that Raoul heard her singing in a fair and recomended that she go to the Paris Opera for singing lessons.

Other film adaptions also loosely follow the original story.

In Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical adaptation it follows more closey to Christine's backstory in the book and makes several references to it as well as the 2004

film adaption.

PerformersEdit

In the 1925 silent film, Mary Philbin was the leading lady.

In 1943 Christine was played by Susanna Foster. Foster also happened to live next to Mary Philbin at the time.

In Lloyd Webber's musical adaption, his wife, Sarah Brightman played the lead role. What many people don't realise is that Webber was inspired to write the musical for Brightman.

In the 2004 film adaptation, Katie Holmes, who began working with a vocal coach, was the front-runner for Christine Daaé in March 2003. She was later replaced by Anne Hathaway, a classically trained soprano, in 2004. However, Hathaway dropped out of the role because the production schedule of the film overlapped with The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement, which she was contractually obligated to make. Hathaway was then replaced with Emmy Rossum.

In the 25th anniversary for the Lloyd Webber adaptation, Sierra Boggess played Christine.

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