A Whole New World with Lea Salonga

Lea Salonga

Tonight is a proud moment for many Filipinos living or working in Thailand cos this night, the Philippines’ most successful and highly acclaimed International Singing Star, Lea Salonga performed in a spectacular 2 hour concert at the Queen Sirikit Convention Centre, Bangkok to the awe of the spectators myself included.

As a Filipino, I am so proud listening to the powerful voice of Lea and more importantly, witnessing how the audience appreciate her performance with very warm applause and loud cheers. It was a defining moment for me because it is not often that I witness a Filipino wow a large crowd in a foreign soil!

The concert started with Gerard Salonga, Lea’s brother and the Bangkok Symphony Orchestra played several songs from Broadway Musicals. Lea entered the stage singing Something’s coming from the West Side Story. After singing her first song, she informed everyone that prior to the concert, she got a severe respiratory tract infection that made her stay in the hospital overnight the night before the concert and she sought everyone’s consideration if her singing voice is not as good due to the ailment which they had to cut some songs from the  original programme.

It was followed by other popular songs like Colors of the wind from Pocahontas, On my own from Les Miserables, Part of your world from The Little Mermaid and I’d give my life for you from Miss Saigon. If she did not tell the crowd that she was sick, we will never know it because she is such a world-class performer with a very powerful voice. I can feel that the crowd patiently wait for her song to finish so they can express their admiration through wild applause.

After the intermission comes the 2nd half of the concert. She sang more popular hits like Go the Distance from Hercules, Someone’s waiting for you from The Rescuers, I dreamed a dream from Les Miserables. Then when it is time to sing Reflection from the Disney Movie Mulan, she had to call her friend, Thai Singer named Pat Suthasinee Buddhinan which sang quite well despite being sick as well. Then comes the song “A Whole New World” from Aladdin which Lea said she is again looking for someone to sing the song with her. The audience taught at first she is joking but actually she is not…Finally, 4 guys come up on stage to sing with her, one of which is Jose (which me and my friends personally know as Master J).

Then she continued with songs from Oliver and the last song was Everybody says don’t from Anyone can whistle..The audience gave a thunderous applause and standing ovation then Lea and Gerard walk out of the stage but people asked more so they go back and Lea sang in a very sexy and sultry style, “I’ve got a crush on you”.

Except for some glitches in seating arrangements though it was pre-numbered upon booking as well as the eerie sound from the aluminum flooring when some people in the audience walked to go to the toilet in between songs, overall Lea’s Bangkok concert was a huge success. She hinted that hopefully when she goes back to Bangkok (for another concert), her voice will be a lot better and would probably make Gerard sing a song.

I have never watched Lea Salonga perform on stage prior to tonight’s concert. I felt  fortunate to finally witness her talent in person which has long been the toast of foreign musicales and animated films.

Kudos to Lea and the Filipinos!