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23 February 2022, 12:39 | Updated: 23 February 2022, 17:20
The West End Christine astonished shoppers when she stopped to duet with a local busker...
In 2016, Irish singer, Stephen Barry, was stood on the end of James Street in Covent Garden London busking to an audience with a microphone and sound system.
He had just finished performing a song from the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, Phantom of the Opera when he was approached by a woman who asked if he would sing ‘All I Ask of You’, another song from the hit musical.
Barry, who would go on to become a finalist in Ireland’s Got Talent, replied that he couldn’t sing two songs in a row from the same musical.
The woman responded, “If you sing it, I’ll sing with you”. Barry looked sceptical and asked the young woman if she was any good.
To which the woman, Celinde Schoenmaker, responded, “I’m currently playing Christine in the West End production”.
Schoenmaker made her West End debut in 2013 as one of the main characters, Fantine in the musical, Les Misérables.
The Dutch actress and singer joined the cast of Phantom of the Opera in 2015 as Christine, and performed alongside Ben Forster as the Phantom a year later in the show's 30th Anniversary performance.
It was just a few months after this performance that she encountered Barry in the shopping district, just a ten minute walk from Her Majesty’s Theatre, which had staged Phantom, at that time, for the past 30 years.
Barry is noticeably moved by Schoenmaker’s decision to join him in song, and places his hand on his heart during the moving duet. The pair also high-five and share a hug at the end of the performance.
Barry has since gone on to appear in theatre himself, performing in The Choir Of Man, a show which combines pub tunes, folk, rock, choral and Broadway numbers.
He currently sings aboard cruise ships around the Caribbean, sharing his musical adventures across his social media @stephensings1.