Lea Salonga: The Voice That Broke Barriers
Lea Salonga can be considered the first Filipino singer to put the Philippines on the map. Sure, there were other veteran artists out there who made it to the books, but she broke through barriers that very few have ventured before. Her accomplishments speak for themselves and it is safe to say that she will always make the Filipino people proud.
Biography in short
Born Maria Lea Carmen Imutan Salonga, Lea Salonga started out as a theater actor at the tender age of seven, taking the lead role of Annie in the musical the King and I Repertory Philippines. She joined other productions afterwards that include The Goodbye Girl and The Fanstasticks.
She also took part in several projects on TV, working particularly in GMA Network as a child actor and teen idol. Anyone who’s followed Lea Salonga would be familiar with some of her films—Tropang Bulilit, Ninja Kids and Pik Pak Boom. Even as a teenager, she has already received recognition for her talent and work, including a nomination for Best Child Actress in the Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences (FAMAS) award, and three wins as Best Child Performer from Aliw Awards. But her career really soared high when she broke into the international scene.
It was in 1989 when Lea Salonga was selected to play as Kim in the musical Miss Saigon, a major British production that was shown in London. Because of her amazing performance, she not only impressed the audience, but also made awarding bodies took notice of her. For the 1989 to 1990 season, she won the Olivier award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Musical, followed by other awards for the same role—Tony, Theatre World, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards.
When her initial stint as Kim ended in 1993, Lea Salonga played the role of Éponine, a street waif, in the Broadway Production of Les Miserables during the 10th anniversary of the musical production. During the 25th anniversary show of Les Miserables in London, she played the role of Fantine, a young orphaned grisette.
Lea Salonga had lent her voice to several Disney animation productions. She was Jasmine’s singing voice in Aladdin, and Fa Mulan’s for both Mulan and Mulan II. During the 65th Annual Academy Awards where she won an Oscar, she performed the song A Whole New World with Brad Kane.
Her musical career is so colorful and amazing; it could fill an entire book when listed one by one. She showed great excellent both nationally and internationally.
The Voice that Made It All Happen
Lea’s performance as Kim in Miss Saigon is where she showcased her amazing voice. She is a soprano that ranges from D3 to C6, with head tones that reach up to F5 when she is using her princess’ singing voice. She had been praised for her amazing control over her powerful vocals, enabling her to create different soundscapes and emotions.
Well, there is only one Lea Salonga. No doubt about it.