let's get the seven lines. (bookshop) wrote,
let's get the seven lines.

Forward, Always Forward I Go: Lea Salonga

So, I thought to myself: Self, you should post about LEA SALONGA, because she is your hero and she makes you happy, and she is the best singer in the entire world!

(omg you guys, she wants us to know that we are ALWAYS WELCOME to come visit her website, she is the best best best.)

Lea Salonga (born on February 22, 1971 in Manila) is a Tony Award-winning actress from the Philippines who achieved international recognition for her portrayal of Kim, the lead role in the musical Miss Saigon.

Here's her performing her signature song from the show, in (what I believe is) her 2000 Broadway performance. And here's her performance at the Upright Cabaret in April of last year:

EVERY TIME I hear this song, no matter how many years pass, I get chills on the last line. multiple chills. CHILL SPASMS.

She's been my favorite singer since I was 12 and I got my cassette tape of the Miss Saigon OBCR. Oh my god, this girl's technique could power a generation of musical theatre school for the next 200 years. She is the best singer I have ever heard. She belts high Es like dropping pennies. Her vocal quality is pristine and perfect and she gives me chills every time I hear her. I love her with the passionate, deep, abiding love of a lifelong fan.

She was the first - FIRST - person that Adam Lambert followed on Twitter. THERE IS A REASON FOR THIS, FOLKS.


In the Philippines she's just known as "Lea." When she performed on Philippine Idol she was introduced as "The Philippines' pride and joy." PRIDE AND JOY. *_*

Lea has been a celebrity her entire life. When she was 9 years old, she won the title role in the first national production of Annie. She was such a hit that when she was 10 she released a cd called Small Voice that went to #1 on the charts and went platinum. THEN she got her own variety show called "Love, Lea." (It's kinda like if Jin Akanishi auditioned for the newest Lloyd Webber musical and then went to Broadway and won a gazillion Tonys and started making Disney movies. Only with better singing. (Not that I don't love Jin's singing, I DO.) Then she made another album when she was 12.


I will pause while you stop AWWWWW-ing.

Lea won the role of Kim in Miss Saigon when she was 17. With this audition:

I watched these three minutes of my (VHS) copy of the Making of Miss Saigon over and over and over when I was a kid. Lea was and is my biggest vocal inspiration.

Elsewhere in the 'making of' documentary, Nicholas Hytner says that they're looking for a girl to play Kim who has "lungs of steel." The thing about Lea is that she in fact does have lungs of steel, holy crap, but pairs it up with one of the most waiflike voices I've ever heard. Her vocal quality has essentially not changed in 20 years because her technique is so flawless. Here she is singing "Too Much for One Heart," a beautiful song eventually cut from the production. This performance is live from one of her recent concerts, and it. Is. AMAZING.

Miss Saigon was one of the biggest commercial theatre successes of the 90's. Lea won nearly every award you can get for her performance as Kim, the title role. Specifically, She won: The Olivier, the Tony, the Drama Desk, the Theatre World, and the Outer Critics Circle Award. Actually, that's every award you can get.


(the laughter when she thanked Equity refers to the extremely controversial casting of Miss Saigon on Broadway, when Equity first denied her permission to play the role, and denied Jonathan Pryce the whitewashed role of Engineer. They later reversed both decisions, and Broadway gave them both Tonys.)

Lea on Terry Wogan in 1989: "I've never fallen in love before, so it took a while to get the passion right. ...I still don't want a boyfriend." omg eighteen-year old Lea was so adorable.

After that, she did a little movie you might remember:

oh, yeah, and got to perform at the Oscars:

In 1993 I got MY VERY FIRST CD. You guys, this was a big deal. TECHNOLOGY. I didn't even have a cd player, I just had my computer's cd-rom drive, zomg it was so cool.

This was my first cd: I still have it, will never part with it for anything:


She also did a duet with Aladdin's Brad Kane on that cd called "We Could Be In Love" AND OMG YOU GUYS THIS IS THE BEST FANVID EVER I'M IN LOVE WITH IT:

Then she did another little movie you might remember:

She also continued to perform on Broadway. This culminated in a little concert you might remember, in which she played a part you might be familiar with, and performed a song you maybe have heard before:

TENTH ANNIVERSARY DREAM CAST, HELL YES. I remember watching this on PBS when it aired for the first time, and I cried when I watched her perform this, because I was so in love with her. I still, still to this day, no matter where I am or what I am doing, tear up when I watch or hear this performance. You guys. You guys.

Throughout the 90's she was also doing tons of pop music in the Philippines. Some of her cds are in Tagalog only, and they are awesome. The most famous is probably Bakit Labis Kitang Mahal

This one is my favorite:

She did a 1998 concept recording of the King & I and she was the highlight of the album:

Here is a Disney princess she didn't provide the voice for:

And here is another Disney princess she didn't provide the voice for (I love, love, love Jodi Benson, by the way, but I love this so much):

And this is the cheesiest thing I have ever seen in my life, but Lea makes cheesy into classiness itself, so: ALL THE DISNEY PRINCESSES OF THE 90'S:

In 2000 she did a special 6-week return engagement as Kim, a performance I got my ass on a plane to go see. It was spring break and my friends Sylvia and Christianne and I spent a week in New York living in a 5th Avenue penthouse, and Christianne had never seen a Broadway show before. I am not a huge fan of Miss Saigon, the show, but seeing Lea in this role was indescribable. She electrified everyone else in that production. It was amazing. She is this TINY LITTLE POWERHOUSE OF ENERGY, and she just mesmerizes you when she's performing live. I've seen Miss Saigon before; I felt like I'd never seen it before at all that night. It's not a perfect show, but that performance was just pure distilled theatre. When the curtain went down, we just sat there soaking it in. After the show we met Lea, and she was SO WONDERFUL.

In 2002 she headlined a revival of Flower Drum Song on Broadway. The production was sadly short-lived, but she met her future husband through it!

She married Robert Chien in 2004 in a BEAUTIFUL ceremony in which she surprised him by singing to him, omg his reaction is so beautiful THIS IS MY FAVORITE WEDDING MOMENT OF ALL TIME.

Their first official date included singing along to the car radio. I LOVE THEM.

In 2005, she DID A SOLD-OUT CONCERT AT CARNEGIE HALL in which she wore the hot red dress above. I can find no recordings of this, if anyone knows of any, please send them my way. GODS OF THE INTERNET, SMILE UPON MY HUMBLE REQUEST.

In 2006 she delivered the closing performance at the Doha Asian Games in Qatar before a live audience of 50,000 people:

Also in 2006, she had a daughter! Look at the happy family!

In 2007 she was one of the last headliners of Les Miserables before it closed, as Fantine.

You guys this woman is the best singer on earth. on. earth.


"It's a source of pride to my country -- whenever I say I'm going back to Broadway, it's a celebration."

In 2008 she headlined in an international tour of Cinderella!

Here's another performance at Upright Cabaret! Yes, Glambert fans, that Upright Cabaret, obviously they have very good taste in performers:

In 2009 she was PRETTY MUCH EVERYWHERE. Here she is in November performing "Tagumpay Nating Lahat" on CNN. IT'S LIKE WE ARE THE WORLD BUT WITH LEA AS MICHAEL JACKSON.

What is your all-time favourite song from a Broadway musical?
Oh goodness... I have quite a few favourites for different reasons. My favourite Act I finales would have to be One Day More from Les Miserables and Defying Gravity from Wicked. These send chills up my spine and tears running down my face. They are electric moments for me, and I love watching them from a great seat in the house. As for the best solo, I’ll be biased and say any solo from Les Miz does it for me! And Miss Saigon!

What is your favourite song from a Walt Disney movie?
Besides A Whole New World from Aladdin, you mean? I love the music from The Hunchback of Notre Dame... very musical theatre. As for the older classics, I love A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes from Cinderella and Someone’s Waiting for You from The Rescuers.

Who is your favourite pop singer or group of all time?
It would have to be Michael Jackson. Sure, he’s had his share of hard knocks in his later life, but you must admit and agree that the music he made (especially the albums Thriller and Off The Wall) is timeless. I’ve played the songs over and over and over again and know that I’ll never ever get tired of them. I would probably choose those albums over all else to take to an island if I could take nothing else.

Who is your favourite character in a Walt Disney movie?
Hmmm... Lumiere in Beauty and the Beast. Such style! Such flair! Such romance! He’s just a fun character to watch, and Jerry Orbach infused such life into him when he created that voice. I also love the villains, especially Maleficent in Sleeping Beauty and Jafar in Aladdin. They were so delicious! Makes it seem that playing the bad guy is so much more fun!

What is your favourite film at the moment?
I loved Ratatouille, thought it was a sweet film. I also love Hairspray! It’s just a fun, fun romp through Baltimore in the 1960s, and my daughter just dances to the music every time we play the DVD for her. I don’t remember ever seeing a kid her age react to a film in that way. I play that movie just to watch my little girl dance. It’s too cute!

Why Lea Salonga Fell In Love With Biology :
Lea Salonga started at the OB Montessori preschool in Angeles, Pampanga. When she transferred to the Montessori grade school in Greenhills, she worked with the Cosmic Curriculum. This involved advanced studies of Zoology. The Zoology classified cards are done together with the picture taxonomy of the Vertebrate Animal Chart and the Invertebrate Animal Chart between Grade III to Grade V. To study the internal parts of vertebrate animals, the intermediate students have to do actual anatomy of a fish, chicken, and frog. This surprised a professional Zoologist who exclaimed, "I only learned that in college."

The study includes the classification of animals by "division, classes, order, family, and genus" requiring me to purchase 37 pictures for the Vertebrate Chart and 20 pictures for the Invertebrate Chart, which are only available in France and Italy. Because of this, Lea’s earlier ambition was to take up medicine, but even when she was starring in London, she could still remember these Zoology nomenclatures. Like other OBMC grade school graduates, she can rattle off this classification even today.


Lea Salonga Is A Gamer
Among Lea’s Favorite games:Her most favorite game? Bioshock. “This is probably my most favorite game, ever. I played this almost every night last year while I was living in New York doing “Les Miz.” Never mind that it kept me awake at night, because of some disturbing, even violent, imagery. It was just too compelling to put down. I mean, going around an amazingly designed (art deco) city under the sea? Being able to shoot electricity, fire, and even bees from your fingertips? Watching creepy little girls suck the living essence from a corpse, accompanied by a “Big Daddy”?


adjfkljds;l there is no reason for me to post this clip (which has a medley of her greatest studio hits) except for me to jump up and go OH MY GOD DOES THIS GIRL NOT HAVE THE MOST INFECTIOUS WONDERFUL SMILE IN THE UNIVERSE


i love you, Lea <3


You know i love watching her perform this song so much, HERE IT IS AGAIN, OH MY GOD HER FACE, THIS PERFORMANCE MAKES ME SO HAPPY <3333333333

    - She had her own talk show before she was twelve.
    - She is the only Filipino actor to win Tony, Drama Desk, Olivier, Theatre World and Outer Critics Circle Awards.
    - She is the first Asian to play Eponine in the musical Les Misérables on broadway
    - She's the winner of FIVE Filipino Music Awards, 4 Best Female Vocal Albums of the Year and 1 Best Vocal Performance of the Year.
    - She is only the third Filipino artist in history to perform at Carnegie Hall
    - Her first column for the Philippine Inquirer was devoted to her TOP TEN FAVORITE VIDEO GAMES OF ALL TIME.


I will leave you with this - my all-time favorite Lea performance:


Tags: attempts to rule world, music, theatre

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