Die-hard fans of classic musical theater like Les Misérables, Miss Saigon and the Phantom of the Opera will recognize the name Ramin Karimloo. However, with the planned release of his solo album Ramin on March 5, “Karimloo” just might be as commonplace as “Menzel” and “Crawford.”
Known for his recent run as Jean Valjean in Les Mis and for originating the role of the Phantom in Love Never Dies, Karimloo has achieved a monumental amount of success for his thirty-three years. His powerful tenor and chilling vibrato have landed him roles in the 25th Anniversary Concert of Les Misérables, as well as the honor of being the youngest male to play the title character in the Phantom of the Opera. Older theatergoers are in awe of his heavenly voice, while younger audiences are just as entranced by his stunning good looks and enchanting charisma.
But Karimloo is known for so much more than his voice and pretty face.
With his multi-faceted reputation, Karimloo is certainly not a one-dimensional performer —he’s earned repute for his versatility. In Les Misérables alone, he’s played three different roles: the convict Jean Valjean, the rebel Enjolras and the lover Marius. The same goes for his stints in the Phantom of the Opera, where he’s graced the stage as the wounded Phantom as well as the confident Raoul. His talents stretch further to the movie version of Webber’s musical, where he had a brief cameo role as Christine’s father. When Karimloo does a musical, he makes sure to cover all his bases.
Yet he’s also a bit of a risk-taker. Karimloo sports several tattoos on his arm –everything from blackbirds to poetry– an image that contrasts sharply with his refined, high-brow theater persona. He’s similarly experimental with his career. By originating the role of the Phantom in Love Never Dies, the questionable sequel to The Phantom of the Opera, Karimloo proves that he takes shows he’s interested in –he doesn’t wait for public approval.
Hopefully, his new album, which will feature original, self-written pieces as well as his show tune favorites, will demonstrate more of his ability to surprise and astound his audiences.
Still, while you wait for the album’s release, catch him on the 25th Anniversary Phantom of the Opera soundtrack and DVD out on February 7th.