Sunday, March 30, 2014

Favorite Things: Ramin Karimloo of "Les Miserables" and "Phantom of the Opera"

Ramin Karimloo

Ok, so I've 'known' about Ramin Karimloo for a couple of years now. He was discovered in London and starred in "Love Never Dies," the sequel to Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Phantom of the Opera."

He has also starred in "Les Miserables" playing all three leading male roles, including the 25th Anniversary Concert of "Les Miz" as "Enjolras" that was broadcast worldwide from the O2 Arena, and "the Phantom" in the 25th Anniversary performance of "Phantom of the Opera."

He just opened in the new revival of "Les Miserables" on Broadway as "Jean Valjean" to wild acclaim. From the New York Times:

Making a sterling Broadway debut, he sets a high standard in the prologue, performing Valjean’s angry soliloquy with fiery intensity and full-throttled vocalism that gradually shades into more nuanced coloring as Valjean puts behind him the grim shadows of his imprisonment and forges a new life.

The highlight of his performance, and perhaps the production as a whole, is Mr. Karimloo’s beautifully restrained but richly felt rendition of “Bring Him Home,” one of the score’s less thundering songs, in which Valjean sends up a prayer for Marius, who has fallen at the barricades after falling for Cosette (Samantha Hill), whom Valjean has raised after her mother’s death. Mr. Karimloo’s croon is as sweet as his belt is big.

So, there.

What I didn't know is how handsome he is. And his manner in his own concerts is so warm and congenial that you just want to sit for hours and take in the whole package - the voice, the face, the warmth. All of it.

The clip below is from a concert tour he did (this was in Tyler, TX) and he sings an unlikely "I Dreamed A Dream" (the female lead's song from Les Miz) with power, ease and sensitivity.  Just the right balance of masculinity and vulnerability.

And did I mention he's really hot? 

Ramin Karimloo is my new favorite thing.



Right before I was about to hit "Publish" on this post I found this version of Ramin singing "Bring Him Home" from "Les Miz," but from one of his own concerts. I had to add this.  

I seriously encourage you to get to NYC and see Ramin and the entire fab company if "Les Miserables" on Broadway.


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