Lea Salonga’s voice is still as rich, as powerful and may I say even more impressive than when I first saw her perform as Kim in Miss Saigon. Last Thursday (October 19), I had the honor of watching her by-invitation-only concert at the PICC with my seven-year-old daughter in tow. Thanks to the major sponsorEastwest Bank Priority Banking, we got to sit front and center. The third row gave us the perfect view of the intimate stage setting.
Gerard Salonga conducted the ABS CBN Orchestra as Lea took center stage. She donned three outfits : a black suit (to complement her opening number “This Is Me” from The Greatest Showman), a black long gown (gorgeous!) and finally an all red gown (which I totally did not like as it looked dated and was inappropriate for all the fast songs she sang towards the end of the show). It being a technical rehearsal, Lea said they were testing the lights, the blocking, her jewelry, and outfits. Hopefully, she changed the red gown.
“I’m at a point in my career where I do things I like. I will not sing to please everybody… well, not totally.”
Lea Salonga 40th Anniversary Concert
“I’m at a point in my career, where I do things I like. I will not sing to please everybody… well, not totally.” That opening statement dictated the song choices for Lea’s 40th Anniversary Concert. She gave a tribute to the late lead singer of Hotdogs (Manila Manila, Ikaw ang Miss Universe ng Buhay Ko with Mark Bautista), sang songs from her favorite Broadway shows (“Vanilla Ice Cream “from the musicale She Loves Me), and unexpectedly did a medley of Prince’s songs.
Lea Salonga with her special guests
The highlights of the evening, however, was when Simon Bowman joined her on stage. What a delight it was when we were regaled by the Broadway stars with songs from Miss Saigon. (Sun and Moon and Solo Saxophone). Simon also sang songs from George Michael and Sam Smith (theme form Spectre). Lea’s daughter Nicole Chen sang “Shy” from Once Upon a Mattress while child guest performer Esang De Torres gave an impressive rendition of “Quiet” from Once Upon a Mattress.
I also loved Lea’s special song for her mom Ligaya (Sa Ugoy ng Duyan) while my little one applauded when she sang Princess Jasmine’s song from Alladin (A Whole New World).
Lea Salonga’s little fan. My daughter with her signed programme.
Other memorable performances are “I Will Never Love Again” by Lady Gaga and a song from Himala the Musicale.
There is no stopping the force that is Lea. After 40 years, she is still so good and no one has emerged to take her throne. Congratulations Lea Salonga! Bravo!
With a pocketful of glitter,