Michael Cassel Group presents the Lea Salonga’s concerts in Australia, in partnership with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra for the Sydney engagement.
In Australia, Lea surprised the audiences with Broadway hits and movie greats including hit songs from LES MISERABLES, Miss Saigon, West Side Story, Aladdin, Mulan, Frozen andA Little Night Music amongst others.
On Tuesday night, February 7, the Tony and Olivier award-winning singer performed in Broadway hits with Orchestra Victoria at Melbourne’s Hamer Hall.
Known across the world for her powerful voice and perfect pitch, Salonga is best known for originating the role of Kim in Miss Saigon on the West End and Broadway.
Salonga, is also the Disney legend who got her big Hollywood the singing voice of Princess Jasmine in the hit movie Aladdin.
And while you might not immediately recognize her name or face, you would almost certainly recognize Lea’s voice as she belts out ‘A Whole New World.’
Salonga has a lifelong love for singing, and began performing at just three years of age while growing up in the Philippines.
Her mom remembers her getting up on the living room table with a pretend microphone, the plug of a lamp, just singing as if it was her own private little concert stage, Salonga told ABC Radio Melbourne.
She soon began taking centre stage at family parties, one of which was attended by a cousin who was active in a local repertoire company.
They encouraged her to audition for a production of The King And I.
Her mom always knew there was this voice, but then it was her cousin who was like: ‘Get her to this audition’,” she said.
Salonga landed a role in the musical production — and her singing career took off from there.
At 10 years old, Salonga had recorded her first album.
When she was 18, she had left Manila for London, with her mum at her side, to perform in Miss Saigon.
Salonga was soon winning praise for her performance on the stage; then, unexpectedly, she was cast as the singing voice of Princess Jasmine in Aladdin — the role which catapulted her to silver screen fame.
Lea happened to be in the right place at the right time, she said.
When she auditioned, Salonga said she knew very little about Disney or Aladdin but other actors in the Miss Saigon company were desperate to audition.
She was just wondering, what is this Disney thing that everyone seems to be talking about very quietly in the hallway, she remembered.
Then Lea got a note from the casting director and he said: ‘We’ve been looking for you, can you please get in with touch with me?’
It was then — just a few days before her 21st birthday — that she recorded the Princess Jasmine songs for what went on to become one of the most popular Disney movies ever made.
In 1998, Salonga was cast as the singing voice of another Disney princess: this time, Princess Mulan.
As a female singer who has broken through to the musical theatre industry’s top tier of roles, Salonga acknowledged she is a role model for other female performers.
She knows it is definitely a responsibility because she knows that people are watching and people are looking to her as an example,’ she said.
She is just happy to have gotten the opportunities that she has gotten that far and having previously sung for three American presidents, including Barack Obama and George Bush, Salonga is now contemplating whether she will sing for Donald Trump.