"Well, father is dead, Raoul, and I have been visited by the Angel of Music." Christine Daaé is the main character and the female protagonist in Gaston Leroux's 1910 novel The Phantom of the Opera, the young singer with whom the main character Erik falls in love.
The following is based on the Gaston Leroux novel, where the character originally appeared.
Christine Daaé was born just outside of Uppsala, Sweden. Her mother died when she was six years old, and she was brought up by her father whom the novel refers to as "Daddy Daaé", traveling to fairs where he played the violin and she sang. They were discovered there by Professor Valérius, who took them to Gothenburg and then to Paris, providing for Christine's education. Christine was extremely close to her father, who told her Scandinavian fairy tales. A story featuring an "Angel of Music" was her favorite. Christine's father passed away a few years after her mother, leaving her grief stricken despite the loving care of her "adopted" mother Madame Valérius.
She enters the Paris Conservatory and trains for four years to become a professional singer to honour her dead father and please Madame Valérius, but has lost all passion for singing.
When Christine arrives at the Opera Garnier, she one of the numerous singers at the Palais de Garnier. Although considered by many, because of her lack of passion for singing, as "sounding like a rusty hinge," one person finds the beauty still hidden in her tone: Erik, known and feared as the myserious opera ghost.
When Erik begins to tutor Christine, he tells her that he is the Angel of Music that her father had spoken of. Christine 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, her singing is described as "seraphic".
Appearances in other mediaEdit
The Phantom of the Opera (Andrew Lloyd Webber Musical)Edit
In Andrew Lloyd Webber's 1986 London stage musical Christine is played by Sarah Brightman as Webber had written the part for her who was his wife at the time. She becomes the lead character, rather than Raoul de Chagny.
The musical frequently portrays Christine as loving both Raoul and Erik (only called "the Phantom" in the musical), but in different ways. She shares a sweet comfortable bond with Raoul, and a passionate creative loyalty to the Phantom, tainted by his psychological manipulation of her.
At the time of the show's second preview, Claire Moore, her original understudy, played the role of Christine as Brightman was unwell.
The musical opened on Broadway in 1986 and starred Sarah Brightman as Christine and Patti Cohenour as her alternate. Today those roles are played by Julia Udine and Kaley Ann Voorhees.
Love Never DiesEdit
The musical sequel by Andrew Lloyd Webber
In Love Never Dies (10 years after the events of the ALW musical) Raoul becomes a drunk, and no longer shows Christine the same tenderness he did in The Phantom of the Opera.
Christine goes to New York, Coney Island, with Raoul and her son Gustave, after receiving a request to sing at an amusement park, Phantasma, from the owner Mr. Y. Once Christine arrives, she meets her old friend from the Opera Populaire, Meg Giry, who is now the lead singer at Phantasma. Then Christine learns that Mr. Y is none other than the Phantom, and we learn that Gustave is actually his son, not Raoul's. Soon, Meg gets jealous of Christine when she learns that the Phantom prefers her. In the end, she kidnaps Gustave and threatens to drown him in front of everybody. The Phantom attempts to take the gun that Meg is using to threaten them away, and Meg shoots Christine in all of the confusion. The Phantom rushes to the dying Christine, and she tells him of her undying love for him. After Christine dies, the Phantom hands her body over to Raoul. Gustave then embraces the Phantom, acknowledging him as his father.
The first production opened in London starring Sierra Boggess in the role of Christine. Boggess was later replaced by Celia Graham. When an Australian production was opened, Anna O'Byrne was cast as Christine.
In the 25th anniversary of Andrew Lloyd Webber's production for both London and Broadway, Christine was played by Sierra Boggess.
Phantom of the Opera (1925 film)Edit
Instead of a young and innocent blonde, Christine is portrayed as a brunette woman in her mid-twenties like in the musical. Her situation with Erik and Raoul doesn't differ much from the novel: she is still afraid of Erik while having an innocent sort of crush on Raoul.
Phantom of the Opera (1990 TV Miniseries)Edit
In the 1990 miniseries, Christine's story is changed dramatically. We don't know anything about her father or her mother, and Christine doesn't know anyone named Raoul; instead, Phillippe invites her to the Opera House to sing after hearing her at a fair. Christine first begins by working in the costume department, and it is when she is wandering the stage alone that Erik first hears her sing. Instead of coming to her as "The Angel of Music" in her dressing room, he approaches her in person to offer music lessons. Phillippe becomes Christine's other love interest instead of Raoul, and Christine in turn finds that she loves Erik as well.
Phantom of the Opera (2004 film)Edit
In the 2004 film adaptation of ALW's stage musical, Christine's age was slightly altered. She is now portrayed as a young, sweet, innocent sixteen-year-old. Despite the age difference, Christine's character is pretty much the same as the 1986 musical.
Sarah Brightman was considered for the main part but she and Webber were no longer romantically involved with each other. Katie Holmes who had been working with a vocal coach was first considered for the part but was then replaced by Anne Hathaway. However she dropped out as she was busy with another film. Hathaway was then replaced by Emmy Rossum.
Dispute over ageEdit
Christine becomes torn between her love for her mentor Erik, and her love for her childhood friend Raoul de Chagny. In the Lofficier translation of the novel, it is stated that Christine is 17 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 Conservatory, put her age at 20.
Christine has a father who loved her very much. In the Sarah Brightman music video version of "Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again", his name is revealed to be "Lars". In the 2004 movie, his name is "Gustave", in the novel Christine refers to him as "Daddy Daaé".