Advertisement

Lea Salonga proudest being first Asian in Les Miz

Font Size

LEA SALONGA announces her concert, Perfect 10, at a press conference on July 30 at Resorts World Manila.

TONY AWARD winner Lea Salonga is set to perform on Aug. 30 and 31 at the Newport Performing Arts Theater in Resorts World Manila (RWM), Pasay City as part of the 10th-anniversary celebrations of the integrated casino-resort.

The concert, titled Perfect Ten, will feature some of Ms. Salonga’s career-defining songs as a Broadway actress and the singing voice of two Disney Princesses (Mulan and Jasmine).

Ms. Salonga, considered one of the country’s foremost theater actresses, first performed onstage in 1980 at the Repertory Philippines’ staging of Annie. She was eventually cast as Kim, the lead in the West End (and eventually the Broadway) staging of Claude-Michel Schonberg and Alan Boublil’s Miss Saigon in 1989. Her portrayal won her a Laurence Olivier Award for Best Performance of an Actress in a Musical. Her Broadway performance in 1991 in the same role won her several awards including a Tony Award, making her the first woman of Asian descent to win such award.

In 1993, she played Éponine in the Broadway production of Les Miserables, making her again the first Asian performer to play the role. She eventually went on to play Fantine in the same musical as well.

“[One of my best moments was] being the first Asian performer doing Les Miz and that as something I felt I really wanted to achieve in my career, I think more than anything that had come before at that point, only because nobody has done it before,” Ms. Salonga told the press during a press conference on July 30 at the Wolfgang Steakhouse in RWM.

(For her audition as Kim in Miss Saigon, Ms. Salonga sang “On My Own” from Les Miserables, a song sung by Éponine.)




Ms. Salonga is also the only singer to provide the singing voices for two Disney Princesses, Mulan and Jasmine.

During the press conference, she said that while she doesn’t know if they have enough time to create an arrangement for “Speechless,” a song sung by Jasmine (played by Naomi Scott) in the 2019 Guy Ritchie live-action adaptation of Aladdin, for the August concerts, she said that she would love to sing the song because “it’s such an appropriate song in the #MeToo era.”

She said that her setlist is not set in stone just yet but assured that it will be a mix of Broadway classics, movie theme songs, and OPM classics.

Joining her for the two-night concert are Michael K. Lee, who she worked with in They’re Playing Our Song and Allegiance; Tanya Manalang, who played Kim in the 2014 West End staging of Miss Saigon; Esang de Torres, who Ms. Salonga coached during the second season of The Voice Kids Philippines and has played the lead role in the Manila run of Matilda The Musical; and Ms. Salonga’s daughter, Nicole Chien, who performed in the same Matilda run as Ms. De Torres.

The show will be directed by Floy Quintos with musical direction by Gerard Salonga with the ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra.

Lea Salonga: Perfect Ten will be on Aug. 30 and 31, 8 p.m., at the Newport Performing Arts Theater in RWM, Pasay City. Tickets are available at the RWM Box office and in all Ticketworld outlets. Tickets range in price from P4,000 to P15,000. — ZB Chua

Advertisement