Sneak peek: Rachelle Ann Go sings as Fantine, see the amazing 'Les Miserables' cast
MANILA, Philippines – No matter how much you wanted to sing along, the desire to take it all in was much greater. (WATCH: 'Les Miserables' cast performs 'One Day More,' finale at rehearsal)
With a small group of reporters, I sat onstage at the Star Theater, hushed as the cast of the upcoming production of Les Miserables began their vocal exercises around us. (READ: 8 reasons to watch 'Les Miserables' in Manila)
Just the exercises already sound lovely. While singing the artists greet each other warmly, hugs and handshakes pic.twitter.com/dRgLoDjdBf— Wyatt Ong (@wyattcaraway) February 20, 2016
For the past two weeks, the cast members have been flying in to the Philippines to convene for a rigorous set of rehearsals before the show premieres at The Theatre at Solaire this March. Many of the artists are from the Australian or the London productions, while our very own Rachelle Ann Go joins as the pitiful and ultimately doomed single mother Fantine.
What is it like to be surrounded at once with an extraordinary wall of sound, completely in unison and absolutely on point? As we were also onstage, eye-level with the actors and just a few paces away from them, it was an immersive experience.
So close to the action, we could experience both the cast's strengths as an ensemble group, while also appreciating individual voices and their unique tones and textures.
Simon Gleeson, who plays Jean Valjean, has a kind of raw energy that calls your attention almost immediately. Though I had never met him in person, I recognized him right away as he took his seat in front, and later, stood to open "One Day More."
He has a powerful presence, and striking next to Earl Carpenter's Javert, Valjean's bitter and determined nemesis.
In the short rehearsal we were allowed to view, we watched as the cast sang a thrilling, resonant and complex "One Day More" as well as the Epilogue, which gave us a very quick preview of Rachelle Ann as Fantine. (READ: Rachelle Ann Go's important tips for taking career risks)
Out of sheer elation, I held my breath as I watched Rachelle Ann take command of the stage for a few short lines, sung near the end as Fantine comforts a dying Jean Valjean. Later, she was joined by the luminous Kerrie Anne Greenland as Eponine. She is another charismatic star to watch out for – she performs with a kind of expressive openness, an artless grace, that is very true to the character of whip-smart and love-struck Eponine.
Rachelle Ann is truly in her element onstage. For this number, she was soft and sweet – but we know that in the signature number "I Dreamed A Dream," the notes are big, bold, and high. It will be a pleasure to see it onstage.
Watch the clip above to see bits and pieces from the rehearsal. You can catch the play this coming March at The Theatre at Solaire. You can also read about the Australian production here and read more about what to expect here.
Are you excited to see Rachelle in the Manila show? What's your favorite Les Mis song? Let us know in the comments below. – Rappler.com