KOKOnista Of The Day: Emilie Kouatchou Is The First Ever Black Actor To Play Christine In Phantom Of The Opera

Emilie Kouatchou has made history as the first Black actor to play Christine Daaé in Broadway’s The Phantom of the Opera.

The Chicago actor stepped into the role as Christine full-time on 26 January 2022 after she was initially cast as the understudy in October 2021.

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In a recent interview, Kouatchou discussed how her role is breaking barriers in a predominantly white theatre industry.

She said that the musical was the first play she ever saw on Broadway.


Speaking about her first performance as Christine, Kouatchou said: “I remember feeling a lot of support from the audience. They cheered when I first came on stage.”

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She continued: “I think my mindset was still that this role was not for me, which is just a sad reality. And it took a lot of unlearning just to be able to say, ‘No, I can do this.’”

Phantom of the Opera is Broadway’s longest-running show, having made its debut in 1988. The musical was originally staged in London in 1986.

“There have been so many different Black women that could have played Christine,” Kouatchou said. “We’re in a period of intense change in this industry, and I’m just happy that I could be a part of that change.”

Photo Credit: Getty 

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