Ramin Karimloo

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Ramin Karimloo
(Persian: رامین کریملو‎)
Ramin Karimloo West End Live 2011.jpg
Born (1978-09-19) September 19, 1978 (age 39)
Tehran, Iran
Residence England
Nationality Iranian
Canadian
Occupation Actor, singer, songwriter, record producer
Spouse(s) Amanda Karimloo
Children 2
Website raminkarimloo.com

Ramin Karimloo (Persian: رامین کریملو‎; born September 19, 1978) is an Iranian-Canadian actor and singer, recognized chiefly for his work in London's West End. He has played the leading male roles in both of the West End's longest running musicals: the Phantom and Raoul, Vicomte de Chagny in The Phantom of the Opera, and Jean Valjean, Enjolras, and Marius Pontmercy in Les Misérables. He also originated the role of the Phantom in Andrew Lloyd Webber's Love Never Dies, which continues the story of The Phantom of the Opera.

He made his Broadway debut as Jean Valjean in the 2014 revival production of Les Misérables, for which he received a Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical nomination.[1][2]

Early Life[edit]

As a twelve-year-old living in Canada, Karimloo decided to become a performer. His inspiration was Colm Wilkinson, who was going on tour in The Phantom of the Opera at the time. Originally, he did not want to see the musical, but a hockey game instead, as the musical was for a class trip. He fell in love with Phantom and knew he would be performing until he got the title role. He moved to Richmond Hill from Peterborough and attended Alexander Mackenzie High School. After dropping out of school at 18, he began his performing career in rock bands, cruises, and various theatre projects before moving on to perform in theatre companies for Airtours and P&O Cruises.

Career[edit]

After moving to England, his first role was in a pantomime of Aladdin in Chatham, in which he played the title role. Following this, he went on to join the UK national tour of The Pirates of Penzance playing the role of a Police Officer, as well as understudying the Pirate King in 2001. He took over the role of the Pirate King in 2002 in Bath, England.

In 2002, he joined the national tour of Sunset Boulevard, playing Artie Green and covering the role of Joe Gillis.

He made his West End debut in Les Miserables; he played Feuilly and understudied the roles of Marius Pontmercy and Enjolras.

In 2003, Karimloo took one of the lead roles, Raoul Vicomte de Chagny, in The Phantom of the Opera. His final matinee performance was filmed for use on a behind-the-scenes feature on the DVD of Joel Schumacher's The Phantom of the Opera, a film in which he also appeared, in a cameo role as Gustave Daaé.

During this time, Karimloo also appeared in two concerts of Les Misérables (as Marius Pontmercy), and one of Jesus Christ Superstar (as Simon Zealotes, and a featured singer in "Superstar"), as well as being involved in several theatre workshops.

In 2004, he returned to Les Misérables, this time taking on the role of Enjolras. That December, he appeared in a concert of Les Misérables at Windsor Castle, in honor of the French president Jacques Chirac. Excerpts from this were shown on Easter Sunday 2005, in a behind-the-scenes documentary about Windsor Castle.

In June 2005, Karimloo joined the UK national tour of Miss Saigon, playing the role of Christopher Scott.

He appeared in the West End production of The Phantom of the Opera, this time as the Phantom, starting in September 2007. He brought a new interpretation to the role and a vitality which was recognized by fans of the show as it earned him a Theatregoers' Choice Award nomination for Best Actor in a Take Over Role.

Karimloo has also released an EP, Within the Six Square Inch, on which he duets with Hadley Fraser and Sophia Ragavelas, both of whom he had already appeared with in Les Misérables (as Marius Pontmercy and Éponine Thenardier).

In July 2008, he was asked to take part in the Sydmonton Festival and was the first actor to play the Phantom in the workshop presentation of Love Never Dies. It was the first act to the sequel of The Phantom of the Opera. It was confirmed he would play the role alongside Sierra Boggess when the sequel opened in London, England in March 2010.

In 2008, he recorded the song "I Only Wish for You" with Shona Lindsay and Dianne Pilkington for the album Songs from the Musicals of Alexander S. Bermange, an album of 20 new recordings by 26 West End stars, released in November 2008 on Dress Circle Records.[3]

In 2009, he was asked to take part in the recording of new musical album called Bluebird, by Gareth Peter Dicks. Bluebird is a dramatic World War II musical, in which he played American serviceman Ben Breagan. He appeared along with other West End stars. The 24-track album was released in four countries in September 2009.[4]

Karimloo's last regular performance in The Phantom of the Opera took place on November 7, 2009. He moved on to playing the Phantom in Andrew Lloyd Webber's sequel, Love Never Dies, alongside Sierra Boggess, performing the role until the show closed on August 27, 2011.

On October 3, 2010, Karimloo played the role of Enjolras in the 25th anniversary concert of Les Misérables at The O2 Arena in London.

In 2011, he sang Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Music of the Night" from The Phantom of the Opera at the Miss World Competition, which took place in London. On October 1 and 2, 2011, he played the Phantom for three performances alongside Love Never Dies co-star Sierra Boggess as Christine Daaé in the 25th anniversary production of The Phantom of the Opera at the Royal Albert Hall, which was streamed live to cinemas worldwide.

From November 29, 2011 to March 31, 2012, Karimloo returned to Les Misérables to play the lead role of Jean Valjean at The Queen's Theatre, London, for which he won the 2013 Theatregoers' Choice Award for Best Takeover in a Role.[5]

In 2011, Karimloo had a guest appearance in Warwick Davis's BBC2 comedy Life's Too Short as a Scientologist. He has also had a recurring role in The Spa (TV series) on Sky in the United Kingdom.

As part of the 25th anniversary of The Phantom of the Opera, Karimloo performed the title song at The Royal Variety Performance – held in The Lowry, Manchester. Performing alongside Pussycat Dolls' lead singer Nicole Scherzinger, he was joined by three other former Phantoms (Simon Bowman, Earl Carpenter and John Owen-Jones). The performance was aired on ITV1 on December 14, 2011.[6]

Karimloo can also be found on The Music Box album as a hidden track. The song is from the musical Bluebird by Gareth Peter Dicks and is a short acoustic version of a track from the album of the same name. His solo album, Ramin, was released by Sony Music Entertainment on April 9, 2012 in the UK. The album was released in Canada and the US in August 2012.

On January 26, 2013, Karimloo joined John Owen-Jones, Peter Joback, and Hugh Panaro to sing the title song from The Phantom of the Opera with Sierra Boggess and "The Music of the Night" for the encore of Phantom's 25th anniversary on Broadway.

He also played a small role in the action film Vendetta.

Karimloo then played Jean Valjean in the Canadian production of the newly staged Les Misérables, which opened in September 2013.[7] He returned to the role in the 2014 Broadway revival of "Les Misérables", making his Broadway debut,[1][8] and was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical. He concluded his run on August 30, 2015, and was replaced by Alfie Boe, who portrayed Valjean in the 25th Anniversary concert.

On May 29, 2015 it was announced that Karimloo would be leading the musical Prince of Broadway that features songs from all of Harold Prince's famous musicals in Japan. Rehearsals began in September in New York.[9]

On September 25, 2015 he played the role of Barry Hamidi in "Worst Case Scenario", the premiere episode of the sixth season of the CBS police procedural drama Blue Bloods.

In February 2016, Karimloo reunited with Sierra Boggess for the Manhattan Concert Productions' staging of The Secret Garden.[10]

In April of the same year, he played Ché in the Vancouver Opera's production of Evita, with John Cudia as Juan Peron. His run lasted until May 8, 2016.

From September 30 until December 3, he starred as Tom in Murder Ballad at the Arts Theatre in London.

On September 22, 2016, it was announced Karimloo would return to Broadway in the stage musical adaptation of the film Anastasia as General Gleb Vaganov. The show began previews March 23, 2017 and opened April 24, 2017 at Broadway's Broadhurst Theatre.[11] His final performance in Anastasia was on December 3, 2017.[12]

Since departing Anastasia, Karimloo has taken part in the Kennedy Center performance of Chess, which took place February 14 through the 18th, 2018,[13] and the Broadway Classics in Concert at Carnegie Hall alongside Sierra Boggess, Laura Osnes, Norm Lewis, Lea Salonga, Ryan Silverman, Tony Yazbeck, Michael Arden, Carolee Carmello, Allan Corduner, Nikki Renêe Daniels and Quentin Earl Darrington.[14]

Karimloo took part in the Toronto Symphony on April 10, 11 and 12, 2018 at Roy Thomson Hall alongside Stephanie J. Block.

He reprised the role of the Phantom in May 2018 in a series of The Phantom of the Opera concerts held at the Sejong Center for the Performing Arts in Seoul, Korea alongside Anna O´Byrne, as part of the celebration for Andrew Lloyd Webber´s 70th anniversary. He has also performed in Gold Coast, Australia June 16, 2018, Melbourne, Australia June 20, 2018, and in Sydney, Australia on June 23, 2018 again alongside Anna O'Byrne,[15] followed by a special run of Evita in Tokyo, Japan from July 4 to the 29, 2018 at Theatre Orb, where he will reprise the role of Che.[16]

He´ll perform in Seth´s Big Fat Broadway Cruise next September 2018 followed by three concerts with Seth Rudtsky at the Leicester Square Theatre on October 5-6th 2018.

Theatre credits[edit]

Year(s) Production Role Theatre Location
2001 The Pirates of Penzance Police Officer N/A U.K. National Tour
2002 The Pirates of Penzance Pirate King N/A U.K. National Tour
2002 Sunset Boulevard Artie Green N/A U.K. National Tour
2002 Les Misérables Feuilly Palace Theatre West End
2003–04 The Phantom of the Opera Raoul, Vicomte de Chagny Her Majesty's Theatre West End
2004–05 Les Misérables Enjolras Queen's Theatre West End
2005 Miss Saigon Chris N/A U.K. National Tour
2006–09 The Phantom of the Opera The Phantom Her Majesty's Theatre West End
2010 Les Misérables in Concert: The 25th Anniversary Enjolras The O2 Arena London, U.K.
2010–11 Love Never Dies The Phantom Adelphi Theatre West End
2011 The Phantom of the Opera at the Royal Albert Hall Royal Albert Hall London, U.K.
2011–12 Les Misérables Jean Valjean Queen's Theatre West End
2013–14 Princess of Wales Theatre Toronto
2014–15 Imperial Theatre Broadway
2015 Parade Tom Watson Lincoln Center Broadway
2015 Prince of Broadway various Umeda Arts Theater

Tokyu Theatre Orb

Osaka, Japan

Tokyo, Japan

2016 Secret Garden Archibald Craven Lincoln Center Broadway
2016 Evita Che Vancouver Opera House Vancouver, Canada
2016 Murder Ballad Tom Arts Theatre West End
2017 Anastasia Gleb Vaganov Broadhurst Theatre Broadway
2018 Chess Anatoly Sergievsky Kennedy Center Washington D.C.
2018 Evita Che Tokyu Theatre Orb Tokyo, Japan

Discography[edit]

Title Album details Chart positions
UK
Ramin 16

Karimloo co-wrote the song "Why Am I Falling" with composers Daniel and Laura Curtis for the BBC Children in Need 2013 appeal.

In March 2014, he released the EP The Road to Find Out: East, including the tracks "Oh, What A Beautiful Morning" from the musical Oklahoma; "Losing", which he and Hadley Fraser wrote for their band, Sheytoons; "Empty Chairs at Empty Tables" from the musical Les Misérables; and "Broken", another song written by Karimloo and Fraser for Sheytoons.

In 2016, Karimloo released his second EP, The Road to Find Out: South, including the tracks "Wings", which he co-wrote with Fraser; "Traveller's Eyes", a song he wrote with his other band, The Broadgrass Band; "Edelweiss" from the musical The Sound of Music; "Letting the Last One Go", another song he wrote for The Broadgrass Band; and "Old Man River" from the musical Showboat. He went on a UK tour, Lead Me Home, to promote the EP from January 12 to January 29, 2017.

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Work Result
2010 BroadwayWorld Award Best Leading Actor in a Musical Love Never Dies Won
2011 WhatsOnStage Awards Best Actor in a Musical Won
Laurence Olivier Award Best Actor in a Musical Nominated
2013 WhatsOnStage Awards Best Takeover in a Role Les Misérables Won
2014 Tony Award Best Actor in a Musical Nominated
Drama League Award Distinguished Performance Nominated
Theatre World Award Won
Dora Award Outstanding Male Performance in a Musical Nominated
2017 WhatsOnStage Awards Best Actor in a Musical Murder Ballad Nominated

References[edit]

External links[edit]