"And it was here that he said, 'When I am in Heaven, my child, I will send him to you.' Well, Raoul, my father is in Heaven, and I have been visited by the Angel of Music."
The following is based on the Gaston Leroux novel, where the character originally appeared.
Christine Daaé was born just outside of Uppsala, Sweden. Her mother died when she was 6 years old, and she was brought up by her father whom the novel refers to as "Daddy Daaé", traveling to fairs where he played the violin and she sang. They were discovered there by Professor Valérius, who took them to Gothenburg and then to Paris, providing for Christine's education. Christine was extremely close to her father, who told her Scandinavian fairy tales. A story featuring an "Angel of Music" was her favorite. Christine's father passed away a few years after her mother, leaving her grief stricken despite the loving care of her "adopted" mother, Madame Valérius.
Later, She enters the Paris Conservatory and trains for four years to become a professional singer to honour her dead father and please Madame Valérius, but has lost all passion for singing. When Christine arrives at the Opera Garnier, she becomes one of the numerous singers at the Palais de Garnier. Although considered by many, because of her lack of passion for singing, as "sounding like a rusty hinge," one person finds the beauty still hidden in her tone: Erik, known and feared as the mysterious opera ghost.
When Erik begins to tutor Christine, he tells her that he is the Angel of Music that her father had spoken of. Christine believes him, and he inspires her soul back into her voice. Christine debuts at a gala at the opera, after the singer Carlotta falls ill and she is asked to take her place, her singing is described as "seraphic".
In the 1925 film, Christine was played by Mary Philbin. Christine's role in the film remained mostly the same. The biggest departure came from her relationship with Erik. Christine was more afraid and disgusted by him, never showing him much pity or empathy. She was more open with her affections with Raoul, and confided in him more.
The original cut of the film showed more of her empathy and care to Erik, but the scenes were removed due to audience reactions.
In the 2004 film adaptation of ALW's stage musical, Christine was played by Emmy Rossum. Her characterization remained mostly the same, compared to her stage counterpart. However, she was aged down to 16 years old.
When the film was first being developed, Sarah Brightman was considered for the part but she and Webber divorced before it could be made. When the project was revived in the early 2000s, Katie Holmes and Anne Hathaway were among the actresses considered for the part. Emmy Rossum would eventually be cast in the film.
In Andrew Lloyd Webber's stage musical, Christine was originated by Sarah Brightman, as Webber had written the part for her. Her characterization is fairly close to the novel's, though some of that depends on the actress playing her. The musical frequently portrays Christine as loving both Raoul and Erik (only called "the Phantom" in the musical), but in different ways. She shares a sweet comfortable bond with Raoul, and a passionate creative loyalty to the Phantom, tainted by his psychological manipulation of her.
At the time of the show's second preview, Claire Moore, her original alternate, played the role of Christine as Brightman was unwell. The musical opened on Broadway in 1988 and starred Sarah Brightman as Christine and Patti Cohenour as her alternate.
In the 25th anniversary production at the Royal Albert Hall, Christine was played by Sierra Boggess. Her role in the musical remained the same, in this production.
In the 1991 stage musical filmed and aired on PBS, Christine was portrayed by Elizabeth Walsh. She played the same role that she did in the original novel, with some tweaks. At the end of the story, Christine was given the choice between Erik and Raoul, with no other caveats. She chose Raoul and eloped with him, leaving Erik behind to find another girl to tutor.
Ten years after the events of Phantom, Christine goes to Coney Island, with Raoul and her son Gustave, after receiving a request to sing at an amusement park, Phantasma, from the owner Mr. Y. Once Christine arrives, she meets her old friend from the Opera Populaire, Meg Giry, who is now the lead singer at Phantasma. Then Christine learns that Mr. Y is none other than the Phantom, and we learn that Gustave is actually his son, not Raoul's. Soon, Meg gets jealous of Christine when she learns that the Phantom prefers her. In the end, she kidnaps Gustave and threatens to drown him in front of everybody. The Phantom attempts to take the gun that Meg is using to threaten them away, and Meg shoots Christine in all of the confusion. The Phantom rushes to the dying Christine, and she tells him of her undying love for him. After Christine dies, the Phantom hands her body over to Raoul. Gustave then embraces the Phantom, acknowledging him as his father.
The first production opened in London starred Sierra Boggess in the role of Christine. Boggess was later replaced by Celia Graham. When an Australian production was opened, Anna O'Byrne was cast as Christine.
In the 1990 miniseries, based on the then-unproduced musical by Yestin and Kopit, Christine's story is changed dramatically. We don't know anything about her father or her mother, and Christine doesn't know anyone named Raoul; instead, Phillippe invites her to the Opera House to sing after hearing her at a fair. Christine first begins by working in the costume department, and it is when she is wandering the stage alone that Erik first hears her sing. Instead of coming to her as "The Angel of Music" in her dressing room, he approaches her in person to offer music lessons. Phillippe becomes Christine's other love interest instead of Raoul, and Christine in turn finds that she loves Erik as well. In this adaptation, Erik dies of a gunshot wound, right in front of Christine, who in return accepts him for who he truly was.
Christine has a father who loved her very much. In the Sarah Brightman music video version of "Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again", his name is revealed to be "Lars". In the 2004 movie, his name is "Gustave", in the novel Christine refers to him as "Daddy Daaé". In the Susan Kay novel, his name is "Charles."