The Phantom of the Opera has enchanted audiences with stage performances for nearly 30 years. The touring production of the beloved musical has recently undergone scene and choreography changes, an update if you will, that have been well-received by audiences in the United States and abroad. Today we talked to the actress who plays Christine Daaé in the production now playing at The Fox Theatre, Julia Udine.
1.) What show/movie/actor/actress inspired you to get into acting?
I actually remember seeing Les Miserables when I was little and Lea Salonga voice and her acting heavily inspired me.
2.) What is your favorite part about the new staging of The Phantom of the Opera?
The fact that we are able to bring truth and reality into a heightened story. [There's] gorgeous music, lush melodies and at the center is a really important story. It’s been fun to find the truth and struggles, challenges and emotions. This staging has more similarities [to the familiar version] than differences.
3.) The part of Christine is vocally very demanding. Are there any products you can’t live without?
Of course hot tea! Linda Balgord who plays Madame Giry hooked me on loquat- it’s kind of like Chinese honey, and it’s so soothing. I also like Chai Tea Lattes from Starbucks. And, I try to get a lot of rest and hydration.
4.) Traveling is one of the lowlights/highlights of an “on tour” production. Is there any location you’ve been to that you’ve checked something off your bucket list?
I grew up 20 minutes from Philadelphia so performing at the Academy of Music was like a dream come true. I also really liked visiting Chicago and Dallas even though it was so hot in Texas. Boston was fun too. I hear the aquarium is something to visit in Atlanta. I’m looking forward to New Orleans at the end of the month.
5.) If you could play any role on Broadway past or present, what would it be?
Maria in West Side Story- she’s such a strong female soprano lead.
Catch Julia as Christine through November 2 at The Fox Theatre. Tickets are still available for some performances and can be reserved by visiting foxtheatre.org.