Opera-de-Paris


Christine Nilsson as ‘Marguerite’ in Charles Gounod’s opera, ‘Faust’, in the year 1864, at Her Majesty’s Theatre, London.

(Photograph source: The Guy Little Theatre and Performance Collection)

And your mind is blown, because, YES, Christine Nilsson (otherwise known as Kristina Jonasdotter), who served as an inspiration for Christine Daae in Gaston Leroux’s “The Phantom of the Opera”, performed in Her Majesty’s Theatre- the exact same theatre where, more than a century later, a musical whose main heroine was likely inspired by her, would premiere and make history.

Don’t believe me? Well, then, there’s this to convince you; 

(Source: “Melba, The Voice of Australia”, by Therese Radic)

[She also sang as Violetta in Verdi’s La Traviata, again in Her Majesty’s Theatre, in 1865]

This is just so unbelievable for me- the moment I found out about this, I had to read it again and again to convince myself that my eyes were not deceiving me. And once I realised that what I had just read, was, indeed, what was printed on the page, I got a headache by how beautifully ironic it is.

Did it ever cross Christine Nilsson’s mind that, half a century after her death, she would be immortalised in the face of Christine Daae? I do not know. What I do know, however, is that she must be turning in her grave right now because of how fascinated I am by this recent discovery.