Lea Salonga on Rachelle Ann Go's success
MANILA, Philippines – Broadway legend Lea Salonga has surely been making an indelible mark on the theater world and even in film, having sung the parts of Jasmine and Mulan in Aladdin and Mulan, respectively. (READ: Lea Salonga then and now: 12 amazing moments)
With impressive stage credits under her belt – including Éponine and Fantine in Les Misérables and Kim in Miss Saigon – Lea shared her thoughts on Rachelle Ann Go, one of those now leading the charge.
Rachelle Ann stars as Fantine in the recently opened Manila production of Les Misérables, temporarily leaving her duties of playing the role in London's West End. (WATCH: Rachelle Ann Go sings 'I Dreamed a Dream' from 'Les Misérables')
In an interview with the media at the launch for Uniqlo's LifeWear collection on Thursday, March 17, where she was presented as one of its brand ambassadors, Lea glowingly spoke about Rachelle Ann's string of successes. She said, "I'm very proud that she's doing this, and just thrilled for her that the opportunities for her to keep doing what she loves to do – they just keep coming."
"There were so many people that she knew all said, 'You have to go. You have to go to the UK. You have to do this. It's the opportunity of a lifetime.' It's now turning into more and more opportunities for her."
Rachelle Ann Go sings 'I Dreamed a Dream' from 'Les Miserables'
Watch Rachelle Ann Go, in full costume, as the ill-fated Fantine singing 'I Dreamed a Dream' at Les Misérables Manila's special media call at the Solaire Resort Theatre. Full story: http://rplr.co/1WmG3z5Concertus ManilaPosted by Rappler on Tuesday, 15 March 2016
"It's fantastic that now, there's an official production of Les Misérables running here in Manila, and in a wonderful theater, so I'm very happy," said Lea. However, she shared that she has yet to see the Manila production: "I just have to find the time to see it."
On Miss Saigon auditions
Lea, who starred as Kim in the original West End and Broadway productions of Miss Saigon, also spoke about hopeful performers seeking a chance to appear in global productions of the musical.
There have been open calls for auditions in Manila, which seeks to find suitable performers from across Asia to fill in the roles of Kim, The Engineer, Thuy, Gigi, and other Asian roles. Miss Saigon is set to return to Broadway in 2017.
She shared, "It's a brand new production […] but I got to speak to [producer] Cameron Mackintosh a little bit last night at the [Les Mis opening night party]. He was very excited about some people that he found, and there are work sessions [set to happen]"
"I think [the Philippines is] still a source of talent for this particular show, which makes me feel very proud, kasi (because) it was more than 25 years ago that it was like this group of […] 13 people that headed off to London on a PAL flight, waiting to see how our lives were going to be changed."
When certain singers were namedropped – including Morissette Amon, Jonalyn Viray, Cris Villonco, and Nyoy Volante, among others – she had praises for each one, but cautioned, "You can be super talented, and be the completely wrong fit for the show. So, 'yun lang (that's all). All I can say is good luck to all of you."
She also shared her basic tip: "Show up ready. Be prepared. Do your research, and have a good time." – Rappler.com