Lea Salonga interview: ‘One of the best perks of the job is free entry to Disneyland for life’ | Travel

ByHarriet

Jun 9, 2022 , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I was born in the Philippines and lived in Angeles Metropolis, Pampanga, till I was six years outdated, when we moved to Quezon Metropolis, north of Manila, then later San Juan. I’ve been working on the stage professionally considering the fact that I was 7, so there normally wasn’t time for holidays. There was a person unforgettable household vacation when I was ten to the black sand beach of La Union in the north of the Philippines. I was stung by a jellyfish on my right thigh — I had been making the most of the drinking water so significantly that I didn’t see it taking place, but I felt it.

Aged 18 and in my 1st year at college researching biology I believed I was heading for a everyday living doing work in drugs. Then the auditions for the phase musical of Skip Saigon arrived alongside I was forged as Kim and my entire earth was uprooted. The present opened in London in 1989 and my mum came with me, which I’m grateful for as she created guaranteed I experienced a childhood and didn’t improve up far too immediately.

I was not able to explore much of the United kingdom simply because we done six days a week, but I visited Cliveden, which I’d only noticed in the movies. Arriving in low fog, I felt like I was in a Sherlock Holmes novel it was interesting and mysterious. There was a snooker desk in the property that I was way too short to adequately use, but I was taught how to participate in.

Salonga performing at the 2006 Asian Games in Doha, Qatar

Salonga doing at the 2006 Asian Games in Doha, Qatar

HASSAN AMMAR/GETTY Visuals

Normally on Sundays we would head around to the residence of a buddy in the Filipino neighborhood to consume regular food. My Tagalog capabilities enhanced though I was in the United kingdom, mainly because I created the effort and hard work to talk the language, striving to remain tethered to house.

Just after the West Conclusion run I went to Broadway with the creation of Miss out on Saigon. I only understood about Broadway because they confirmed the Tony awards on tv in Manila. I remembered looking at the American actress Chita Rivera carrying a pink gown, dancing with a troupe of males and the choreography was astounding. On the opening night of Miss out on Saigon, she came to my dressing home and I was shocked to meet the lady that I had found on television.

Just about promptly I fell in enjoy with New York. As shortly as my ft touched the pavement exterior the Mayflower Hotel, I realized this was heading to be my dwelling. I acquired an condominium in the city in 2000, which felt like the initial adult determination I at any time designed.

Actively playing venues this kind of as Carnegie Corridor is however a major thrill for me. I walked earlier there with my daughter a couple of evenings back and she requested if I experienced ever sung there. I laughed and informed her we each had, as I was 3 months expecting with her when I executed my present there.

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I like going to Australia simply because absolutely everyone is so enjoyable and laid-back again. 1 of my favorite areas to perform is the Sydney Opera Residence. The cafeteria there is good mainly because you see ballet dancers and musicians milling close to and it would make me experience so fortunate to be in a position the place I can sit seeing all these talented artists.

A person of the scariest items I have finished was executing in 2006 at the closing ceremony of the 15th Asian Games in Doha. I was on a 50ft platform, sporting a significant robe, concealing the trainers under my gown. I prerecorded my vocals in Singapore mainly because I was terrified — my voice would have been quivering and battling versus the wind. It was outstanding to see the athletes on the Khalifa stadium ground and to be in that celebratory atmosphere, symbolizing my region.

Salonga has visited Niseko, Japan

Salonga has visited Niseko, Japan

ALAMY

Because I have performed two Disney princesses, Jasmine and Mulan, I’ve been bestowed with the title of “Disney Legend”. That implies I get free entry to Disneyland for the rest of my life, which is a attractive perk and a charming detail for my daughter to experience. It seriously is a magical place to visit.

I even now really do not get much time off, but we have absent snowboarding in Niseko, Japan, a couple of occasions. Very well, I don’t essentially ski: I tried and broke my leg, then my supervisor produced me promise that I will in no way do that all over again due to the fact I experienced to postpone concerts. Now I go for the foods and snow tubing.

A holiday for me is when I get to take in, rest, relaxation my mind and system, and rejuvenate my spirits. I like to consume my excess weight in excellent food, drink great wine and dangle out with buddies. It is far more the business than the location — if the company is good, then the getaway is manufactured.

Lea Salonga, 51, is touring the British isles with Aspiration Yet again from June 18 to July 1. The tour celebrates the 30th anniversary of her recording A Entire New World from Aladdin (cuffeandtaylor.com). She is also starring in the impending HBO Max reboot of Really Little Liars

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By Harriet