Friday, Dec 2, 2022
Kanisha Feliciano ’17 is the first Latina to play Christine Daae in the Broadway production of ‘Phantom of the Opera’
by Adam Grybowski
Kanisha Feliciano ’17 made Broadway history this summer when she became the first Latina to play the leading role of Christine Daae in the Broadway production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera.
She is also only the second Black woman to play the role, following Emilie Kouatchou’s history-making turn last year. The musical, which opened in 1988, is the longest-running show in Broadway history.
“Performing this role has been a realization of a childhood dream,” says Feliciano, who had been the understudy for the role while Kouatchou was the principal. “I am beyond honored to bring a little bit of my experience as an Afro Latina into this show. We belong. There is space for all of us.”
Feliciano earned a bachelor's in voice performance from Westminster Choir College. She made her Broadway debut last December in the musical Flying Over Sunset, with book and direction by Pulitzer Prize winner James Lapine.
Her entrance into musical theater came at a time when Feliciano was just beginning a career in opera. After graduating from Westminster, the soprano went on to earn a Master of Music in Vocal Performance from the Moores School of Music at the University of Houston and an artist diploma in opera performance from Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music.
It was announced in April that Feliciano would join the cast of Phantom, and she made her debut in May playing the role of the “Page.” Her turn to play Christine came in June.
The Phantom of the Opera’s final performance date is set for April 16, 2023.