Lea Salonga made her professional debut at the age of 7 in Repertory Philippines' production of The King And I and has since appeared in Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, Fiddler On The Roof, The Rose Tattoo, Annie, The Sound Of Music, The Goodbye Girl, Paper Moon and The Fantasticks. At the age of 10 she began her recording career and received a gold record for her first album Small Voice. She has also hosted her own musical television show, Love, Lea, and opened for Stevie Wonder during his concerts in Manila. In 1989, Lea went to London to play the role of Kim in the hit musical Miss Saigon for which she received a Laurence Olivier Award, and in 1991 went on to portray that role on Broadway where she garnered the Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards. While in Miss Saigon Lea recorded the singing voice of Jasmine for the Walt Disney animated hit Aladdin, and soon after recorded the role of Tuptim in a new recording of The King And I with Julie Andrews, Ben Kingsley and the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra.
In 1993 Lea played the role of street waif Eponine in the Broadway production of Les Miserables, then flew to Los Angeles to perform the song "A Whole New World" at the 65th Annual Academy Awards, where the song won an Oscar. In the same year she released her self-titled international debut album with Atlantic Records, which has gone platinum and gold in parts of Southeast Asia.
Two years ago Lea played the role of Eliza Doolittle in Repertory Philippines' My Fair Lady and the role of the Witch in Singapore Repertory Theatre's Into The Woods. She was also the opening act for Frank Sinatra's Manila concerts, then performed at the Hollywood Bowl in a concert entitled Arabian Nights at the Hollywood Bowl as part of World Cup Week 1994.
From December 1994-February 1995 Lea played the role of Sandy Dumbrowski in Team Image Entertainment's production of Grease in Manila, and appeared in a special concert called The Music Of Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schonberg with other Filipino artists performing selections from the musicals Les Miserables and Miss Saigon. She made her US television film debut when she played the role of Geri Riordan in Hallmark Hall Of Fame's Redwood Curtain on ABC with Jeff Daniels and John Lithgow. Currently her voice can be heard in a new single recorded with Peabo Bryson called "How Wonderful We Are" which is part of a new album called People, which also includes selections by other artists such as Vanessa Williams, Al Jarreau and Chaka Khan. She made yet another appearance at the Hollywood Bowl this summer in a concert called Music Tells A Tale, appearing with Tyne Daly and Reese Holland. Lea was chosen to play the role of Eponine in the Les Miserables 10th Anniversary Concert held at the Royal Albert Hall in London on October 8, 1995, and performed with Colm Wilkinson, Michael Ball, Ruthie Henshall and Judy Kuhn, among others. She is also the singing voice of the lead for the Walt Disney animated film called The Legend Of Mulan. Last November 1995 in Manila, she performed in a concert called Music and Miracles for the benefit of the victims of Typhoon Angela. Lea has performed for former President and Mrs. George Bush, HRH Queen Elizabeth II and President Bill Clinton.
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