Ramin Karimloo (born September 19, 1978) is an Iranian musical theater actor, recognized chiefly for his work in London‘s West End. He originated the role of the Phantom in Andrew Lloyd Webber‘s Love Never Dies, which continues the story of The Phantom of the Opera.
In Canada, Karimloo moved to Richmond Hill from Peterborough and graduated from Alexander Mackenzie High School. He began his performing career in rock bands and various theater projects before moving on to perform in theater companies for Airtours and P&O Cruises, becoming P&O’s youngest ever cabaret act. After moving to England, his first role was in a pantomime of Aladdin in Chatham, in which he played the title role. Following this, in 2001, he went on to join the UK national tour of The Pirates of Penzance, understudying and then playing the role of the Pirate King.
In 2002, Karimloo joined the national tour of Sunset Boulevard, playing Artie Green and covering the role of Joe Gillis.
Les Misérables was his West End debut; he played Feuilly and understudied the roles of Marius and Enjolras.
After this, 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, Christine’s violinist father.
During the same period, Karimloo also appeared in two concerts of Les Misérables (as Marius), and one of Jesus Christ Superstar (as Simon Zealotes, and a featured singer in “Superstar“), as well as being involved in several theater workshops.
In 2004, Karimloo went back to Les Misérables, this time taking on the role of Enjolras. In the December of that year, 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 as the Phantom in the West End production of The Phantom of the Opera, starting in September 2007. He was the show’s 21st anniversary Phantom. He brought a new interpretation to the role and a vitality which was recognized by fans of the show as it earned him a Theater goers’ 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 (Marius and Éponine).
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 Phantom: 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, March 2010 before moving over to Broadway to open there later in the same year.
In 2008 Karimloo recorded a song for the CD Act One – Songs From The Musicals Of Alexander S. Bermange, an album of 20 brand new recordings by 26 West End stars, released in November 2008 on Dress Circle Records.
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 WW2 musical, in which he plays the part of US serviceman Ben Breagan. He appeared along with a host of West End stars. The 24 track album was released in four countries in September 2009, and is available in the UK from www.dresscircle.co.uk and to download here from iTunes
Ramin Karimloo’s last 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 to The Phantom Of The Opera, Love Never Dies.
On October 3, 2010, Ramin Karimloo played the role of Enjolras in the 25th Anniversary Concert of Les Misérables at the 02 arena in London.