Boe performed the role of Valjean in the 25th Anniversary Concert of Les Miz at London's O2 Arena in 2010, and later stepped into the long-running London production for a sold-out six-month engagement.
He will join the Broadway cast Sept. 1. Karimloo, who earned a Tony nomination for his performance as Valjean, exits the production Aug. 30.
"I first had the idea of asking Alfie Boe to play Valjean watching him in a production of Kismet at the English National Opera in which he was co-starring with my great friend, Michael Ball, the original Marius. It turned out to be one of the great decisions of my life, and I will never forget what happened at the O2 Les Miz 25th Anniversary concert when an unknown operatic tenor transfixed not only the 32,000 people who watched live in the arena, but also the hundreds of thousands watching live in cinemas around the world. A star was truly born that night and true musical theater magic happened. That magic was re-created night after standing room night in Alfie's sold-out six-month engagement in the West End production of Les Misérables. Now, as the original production London production miraculously prepares to celebrate its 30th Anniversary, to have Alfie join this fabulous Broadway company while the show continues to break records in separate companies of this acclaimed new production in Spain, South Korea, Japan and Australia, is beyond any dream I could have dreamed."
The current principal cast of Les Misérables features Earl Carpenter as Javert, Gavin Lee as Thenardier, Erika Henningsen as Fantine, Samantha Hill as Cosette, Rachel Izen as Madame Thenardier, Brennyn Lark as Eponine, Chris McCarrell as Marius and Wallace Smith as Enjolras.
This reimagined production opened on Broadway March 23, 2014. Read critics' reviews here. Les Miz is written by Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg and is based on the novel by Victor Hugo. It has music by Schönberg, lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer and original French text by Boublil and Jean-Marc Natel, original adaption by Trevor Nunn and John Caird and additional material by James Fenton. The original orchestrations are by John Cameron with new orchestrations by Christopher Jahnke, Stephen Metcalfe and Stephen Brooker.
The new production is directed by Laurence Connor and James Powell, with set and image design by Matt Kinley inspired by the paintings of Victor Hugo, costumes by Andreane Neofitou and Christine Rowland, lighting by Paule Constable, sound by Mick Potter and projections realized by Fifty-Nine Productions. Musical staging is by Michael Ashcroft and Geoffrey Garratt. Musical supervision is by Stephen Brooker and musical direction by James Lowe.