Lea Salonga is a Filipina singer and actress, best known for her roles in musical theatre, for supplying the singing voices of two Disney Princesses, and as a recording artist and even a television performer. At the age of 18, she originated the lead role of Kim in the musical Miss Saigon, first in the West End and then on Broadway, winning the Olivier and Theatre World Awards, and becoming the first Asian woman to win a Tony Award. Salonga was the first actress of Asian descent to play the roles of Éponine and Fantine in the musical Les Misérables on Broadway. She also portrayed Éponine and Fantine, respectively, in the musical's 10th and 25th anniversary concerts in London. She provided the singing voices of two official Disney Princesses: Jasmine in Aladdin and Fa Mulan in Mulan. She was named a Disney Legend in 2011 for her work with The Walt Disney Company. After completing the Broadway revival of Once on This Island recently, Lea Salonga headed out on a Worldwide tour and we were incredibly lucky to catch her concert in Manchester.
This concert was one of the best ones I've ever been to! I absolutely loved how the whole evening was all about her; Lea Salonga and her amazing band only with no supporting acts or special guest. The concert featured a great mix of different genres as the audience was in treat for some musical theatre, Disney and pop songs... even a One Direction song made onto the set list! The arrangements of the songs were quite different from the original most of the time which made them even more exciting and special.
Lea Salonga... what can I say about her, she did genuinely leave me speechless. Her vocal technique is unbelievable, vocal control is like no other and tone of her voice made it seem as if it was flowing through songs for 2 hours straight. Even when she spoke, you could hear the how rich and almost calming her voice was. She had a wonderful connection and interactions with the audience which made the atmosphere intimate and grabbed the audience's attention from the start until the end.
I must also mention the band; Adam Dennis and Martin Riley on Keyboards, Chris Allard on Guitar, Ban Ezard on the Bass and Julien Brown on the drums. These guys recreated these powerful and splendid songs beautifully and also had great interaction with not only Lea but the audience too. The band was under a control of Larry Yurman; the musical director who played the stunning grand piano. Yurman had lots of passion and joy on stage and it was very enjoyable watching him lead Lea and the band through the evening.
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Overall, Theatre Teen Reviews would like to crown Lea Salonga as the Queen of Musical Theatre. Salonga is the most talented, inspiring and beautiful human on this planet and this heart-warming concert is a MUST SEE!