[WATCH] Les Mis Manila: Esang shares advice from Lea Salonga, audition story
MANILA, Philippines – Nine-year-old Esang de Torres is all set to play young Cosette in some of the Les Miserables shows, currently playing in Manila. The show features cast members from the Australian and UK productions, as well as the Philippines' own Rachelle Ann Go as Fantine. (READ: 'Voice Kids PH' finalist Esang joins 'Les Miserables' Manila cast)
On Wednesday, April 6, Esang met members of press and spoke about her audition process. Fans will recall that on The Voice Kids Philippines 2, Esang was coached by Broadway star Lea Salonga, who has previously played Fantine and Eponine in Les Miserables. On The Voice Kids, Esang finished third. (WATCH: 'Les Miserables' cast performs 'One Day More,' finale at rehearsal)
"Para po siyang special audition, tapos ano po, meron pong mga foreigners, tapos kumanta po ako ng 'yung kanta po ni Cosette sa Les Miserables, 'yung "Castle on a Cloud," she said.
(It was like a special audition, and there were foreigners, and I sang Cosette's song in Les Miserables, "Castle on a Cloud.")
Watch her sing a part of the song here:
Asked how she felt afterwards, she said: "Ano po, sabi ko, 'Sana maganda yung news na 'to, na sasabihin nila.' Tapos nung nag 'Yes!' si tatay alam ko na po na nakapasok ako kaya ang saya-saya ko po.")
(I said, 'I hope that what they say will be good news.' And then when my dad said, 'Yes!' I knew I got the part, which is why I was so happy.)
"Ano po, natutuwa po ako kasi maganda po... mabait po sila [the cast], tapos po ang ganda-ganda, ang ano po, ang understanding po sila," she said of her experience.
(I've been happy, because it's so nice... they are [the cast] so kind, and they're so understanding.)
On Lea Salonga
Esang also shared tips that her coach Lea gave her when it comes to tackling this role:
"Ano po, dapat po you need to focus. Tapos dapat po meron ka ring discipline. You need to be humble. Tapos po dapat galingan ko daw po. Kasi po bihira lang daw po yung ganito, yung Filipina. Kami lang po ni ate Rachelle Ann yung Filipina dito sa Les Miserables," she said.
(You need to focus. You should also have discipline. You need to be humble. And then I should do my best. Because it's not often that this happens, that a Filipina gets cast. It's just me and ate Rachelle Ann who are the Filipinas in Les Miserables.)
It was Lea's mom, Ligaya Alcantara Imutan, who gave Esang the good news, said the young singer.
Esang will perform on April 8 and 9. She said that aside from her, two others also play the role of young Cosette – one of them is Chloe De Los Santos, a Filipino-Australian.
To prepare for the role, Esang said that she was coached on how to bring out the song's emotion, as well as improve her diction.
"...dapat po talagang feel na feel. Dapat po talaga malungkot po ako, kasi si Little Cosette ano po siya eh, talagang miserable, ano po talaga, mahirap yung buhay niya," she said.
(I should really feel it. I should be sad, because Little Cosette is really miserable, she had a really difficult life.)
In the musical, young Cosette lives with the villainous innkeepers, the Thénardiers, while her mother Fantine works to support her. When Fantine falls to misfortune, Cosette is rescued by Jean Valjean, a reformed ex-convict on the run from the relentless Inspector Javert.
Cosette and Jean Valjean find comfort in each other's company, but Valjean's secrets continue to hound them through the years. When Cosette grows older, she falls in love with a young man named Marius, Jean Valjean faces his past – all while France experiences a surge in the fight against social injustice, thanks to young student revolutionaries standing up to their cause.
What do you think of Esang's new role? Do you have tickets to the shows on the 8th or 9th? Sound off in the comments below. – Rappler.com
More about Les Misérables in Manila:
- 'Les Miserables' Manila show review: Scaling the spectacle
- What 'Les Miserables' Manila stars think of 'powerhouse' Rachelle Ann Go
- WATCH: Rachelle Ann Go sings 'I Dreamed a Dream' from 'Les Misérables'
- WATCH: 'Les Misérables' Manila cast performs 'One Day More'
- WATCH: Jean Valjean in emotional 'Les Misérables' Manila scene
- WATCH: 'Les Misérables' cast performs 'One Day More,' finale at rehearsal
- Sneak peek: Rachelle Ann Go sings as Fantine, see the amazing 'Les Misérables' cast
- 8 reasons to watch 'Les Misérables' in Manila
- [About the Manila cast] Driven to tears: 'Les Misérables' in Brisbane
- Rachelle Ann Go's important tips for taking career risks
- Confirmed: 'Les Misérables' coming to Manila, Rachelle Ann Go to star as Fantine