Maplewood Actress Heads for Germany for ‘Das Phantom der Oper’

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Maplewood-based actress and singer Elizabeth Welch has been performing on Broadway in the ensemble of Phantom of the Opera for several years. There, she has regularly taken to the stage in the lead role of Christine — as the understudy.

But now Welch is enjoying the spotlight full time — in Europe. A few weeks back, Welch won the lead as Christine in a production of Das Phantom der Oper in Germany, where she is already rehearsing the role while husband Tim and daughter Vivian keep the home fires burning stateside in Maplewood.

Welch is working quickly to relearn the entire libretto in German in preparation for opening night November 12 (and by the looks of the video, she’s already got it down pretty well!). Welch will be in Germany for 11 months before returning to the Broadway company of Phantom next year.

We asked Welch a few questions about this opportunity and she graciously responded. Read the interview below:

VG: So you’re in Germany already? What city will this production be playing? Are you stepping into that production or is this a new production? 

EW: This is a new production in Oberhausen Germany at the Stage Metronome Theater. It’s the 25th Anniversary of The Phantom of the Opera in Germany this year, so this is really exciting and such an honor.

VG: How long have you been with Phantom and in what capacity?

EW: I started in 2008 with the National Tour. On Halloween, actually. Fitting, right? Then in 2010, I joined the Broadway company and have been there every since! I will celebrate seven years of Phantom with my third company of Phantom.

VG: What are your other major stage credits?

EW: I’ve been lucky and have done several of my dream roles. Marion in The Music Man, Maria in West Side Story, Anna in The King and I [in regional theater]. And many favorite opera roles as well. Susanna in The Marriage of Figaro and Adina in L’Elisir d’Amore I actually did in Austria and Germany. I’m happy to have a chance to sing over here again!

VG: Can we talk about your family? Will Tim and Vivian be visiting you in Germany or will you be coming home periodically?

EW: My husband is a hero and he deserves to be celebrated! [Welch noted in several email exchanges that husband Tim Welch is the “hero of this story.” Tim Welch is a voice teacher, performer, and producer who has worked with performers from Broadway stars to Grammy winning artists — find out more at] They’re coming to the opening night, Nov. 12. Then they’ll be here for Christmas, which is lovely in Germany. I’ll be able to come back a few times to see Vivian perform with the Lincoln Center Middle School Jazz Academy. I’m so glad I won’t have to miss that! They have six weeks of vacation in Germany. They do it right. And Vivian is going to live with me during the summer.

VG: Do you speak German?

EW: Sort of. I used to speak pretty well, but that was quite some time ago. I have plenty of experience singing in German, which is very helpful! After opening night, when I’m very secure with the show, I’ll start German lessons in ernest.

VG: I think we can tell, but exactly how excited are you for this opportunity?

EW: This is thrilling! I absolutely love Phantom. I’ve wanted to be Christine Daaé since I was 14, so not a moment of this experience is taken for granted. Also, I’m surprised to say, I really enjoy this score in German. As a matter of fact, there are some parts I prefer! Opportunities like this can’t be passed up, and I am beyond grateful for my husband and my fabulous community for taking care of my baby and keeping our Maplewood life running without me.

VG: Will we all be able to see you in Phantom on Broadway again next year when you return?

EW: Yes! Phantom is a wonderful company and they are generously holding my spot for me.

VG: What productions are the other German cast members from?

EW: Brent Barrett is our Phantom and he has a long and fabulous career on Broadway and the West End. He’s amazing. The rest of the cast is from all over – Germany, Greece, Italy, Australia. It’s an international cast. 

VG: Thanks again so much and — Hals- und Bienbruch!


Read more about the Welches in this story from The Denver Post in 2009: For this family, Phantom is a dream come true.

See photos from Seth Boyden School’s 2015 production of Seussical Jr., starring Vivian Welch as Amazing Mayzie here.

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