PERFECTIONIST, PROFESSIONAL AND PATIENT
A Lea Salonga Interview
LEA'S 2005 TOUR
announced that Lea Salonga, the Tony Award winning star of Miss Saigon,
will kick off her first U.S. concert tour in four major cities beginning
February 12, 2005 at San Francisco's Nob Hill Masonic Auditorium at
8PM. The award-winning singer and actor will be accompanied by Gerard
Salonga, her musical director. Her complete concert tour schedule
and venues are as follows:
Feb. 12 - San Francisco, CA / Masonic Center
* Feb. - Atlantic City, NJ / Boardwalk Hall
* Feb. - Chicago, IL @ Aire Crown Theater
* March 5 - L.A. @ Universal Amphitheatre
Lea @ Carnegie Hall
Debut on Nov. 7 Diverse City Theater Company
Eleven Seven Partners LLC
will make her debut at the prestigious Carnegie Hall's Isaac Stern
Auditorium, the premier classical music performance space in the
United States, in New York City on Monday, November 7th, 2005.
one night only, Salonga's concert will be an intimate show with
a mix of show tunes, jazz standards and other popular favorites.
Excited about her first solo concert at Carnegie Hall.
TOUR US ASIANS: In addition
to hearing great Broadway, jazz, and pop songs -- including "Orange
Colored Sky," "Someone Else's Story," and "On My Own"
– will there be any special surprises that one could expect in your
very short tour (i.e. snippets of her memorable times both in the U.S.
& Philippines through song, guest stars, clips from your wedding,
special stage presentations, unique music presentation with a small jazz
combo without the entire symphony that allows the audience to participate
in an intimate experience of enjoying all the subtle nuances of your voice
that would otherwise not be heard, tributes to OPM legends/U.S theater
productions, etc.) – especially since you’ve always stated
that "I want the exercise of doing something new!"
(2005) tour represents, perhaps, Salonga's fourth attempt to achieve
the stardom that has proved frustratingly elusive to Asians in America.
Her fans might argue she's already been there, done that. But as
she sips her soup and spins out the story of her life here in L.A.,
it's hard to see in this pretty, 34-year-old woman as anything but
another struggling actress.
"I want to get out there and say: This is the face of an Asian
entertainer in America. I would like to be known as someone who
is able to transcend racial boundaries.
For more info, click HERE
LEA SALONGA: I'll be performing a couple of Tagalog songs,
something that I always do in shows abroad... I'm also doing some newly
arranged songs that I loved in some recent concerts performed in Manila...
and some other cool songs that I just like to sing. No huge surprise though,
you won't be seeing me on a flying trapeze or anything.
US ASIANS: With many musicians interested in the lush orchestration
that will be heard from many of the songs that will be heard, did you
have any input into the arrangements that will accompany your performances?
LEA SALONGA: My brother arranged much of the material. Whatever
he did, he tried out on me first before committing it to paper and making
more full orchestrations. I didn't have a lot of input though, besides
"make it sound good." I'll have a 6-piece band accompanying
me, not a full orchestra.
US ASIANS: Will there be special instruments brought along
(i.e. Eleanor Academia/Kulintang Institute, drums, percussion, etc.) to
enhance the night’s performance?
US ASIANS: Are there any special significance in the current
venues (February 12 at the Nob Hill Masonic Center in San Francisco, February
19 at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, February 26 at the Arie Crown Theater
in Chicago and March 5 at the Universal Amphitheater?
LEA SALONGA: You'd have to ask the producer that question.
He chose the dates and venues. There's no special significance for me.
US ASIANS: Is this upcoming tour focus to celebrate with
your Filipino/Asian audiences the pride you have with your culture and/or
is it geared towards the American audience that have known you through
your many appearances/performances within the U.S. media?
LEA SALONGA: Both. I'm hoping that it'll elevate my visibility
level here in the US, while at the same time bring the Asian audiences
to see it. In San Francisco, there was large Filipino presence in the
audience, so one thing was achieved there. Let's see if the other will
be. Only time will tell, I guess.
US ASIANS: Remembering that you’ve stated "I look
forward to being back on stage, just me and a band of musicians making
some good music the old fashion way. It's as intimate a show as it can
get" – what three words would describe to audiences what they
will be experiencing when they see you perform?
Salonga provided additional tangible evidence that her skills and
artistry can overcome any and all obstacles during this night of
above-listed band provided an adequate replacement to the expected
Gerard Salonga-led orchestra and performed well the wide spectrum
of songs American and Filipino songs that were sung to the adoring
fans that were in attendance.
situation that occurred that night provide Lea opportunities to
display her ability to established an "up close and personal"
rapport with the audience. Lea's vocal talents were in full display
during her performance of various "torch songs" that exhibit
the full timbre of her chest voice that provided her the power to
fully expressed the various song's sentiments. Despite the less-than-perfect
concert settings, one was still enchanted and mesmerized by the
vocal magic that Lea always brings - just like any other true artist
and performer that brings memories of Liza Minelli/Judy Garland/Bette
SALONGA ON "HOW TO SING" & HER FAVORITE ROLES
SINGERS: Old-school singers really take
care of the words that they're singing," said Salonga, who counts
Nat King Cole and Ella Fitzgerald among her favorite vocalists. "You
understand, not just enunciation-wise, but really get the feeling
of the words. Not everything is about vocal calisthenics. It's more
about the emotions behind the words, rather than impressing everyone
with the octaves you can reach."
For more info, click HERE
OF MUSICAL THEATER ROLES:
I'm interested in just about anything that's right for my voice,
and that's a good fit for my personality in the part as well. Evita
has always been a dream part for me, but it's really, really high
to sing. I'd LOVE to do Elphaba, heck – I'd even do Glinda.
For me, I'd do anything to get into Wicked! I'll do either one,
I just want to be in that show! Also, if they ever revive Les Miserables,
I'd love to do Fantine since I've done Epinone. I'd like to play
the other dead girl!"
For more info, click HERE.
OF MUSICAL THEATER: But Salonga, whose magnificent
voice can be heard in the straight-to-video film Mulan II, happily
admits that her heart still lies in musical theater. "I'd really
love to do Elphaba in Wicked," she confides. "I know it's
the kind of part where everyone who does it will be compared to Idina
Menzel, the same way everyone who followed me in Saigon was probably
compared to me.
For more info, click HERE.