Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Birthday wishes go out today to Lea Salonga, the Filipina actress and singer best known for creating the role of Kim in Claude-Michel Schönberg and Alain Boublil's* musical Miss Saigon**, for which she won a Tony Award; she was also the singing voice of Princess Jasmine in the 1992 film Aladdin and sang for Mulan in both Mulan (1998) and Mulan II (2004).
On a more sombre note, she is shown here singing Bayan Ko at the funeral of former Philippine president Corazon Aquino at Manila Cathedral in August 2009. The patriotic hymn was very much a feature of the days surrounding Aquino's death, and surely there was no one better to sing it here than Salonga.
*Music by Schönberg, lyrics by Boublil and Richard Maltby, Jr.
**Already well-known for their adaptation of Victor Hugo's 1862 novel Les Misérables, Schönberg and Boublil relocated the story of Giacomo Puccini's 1904 opera Madame Butterfly to the Vietnam War in the 1970s.
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