♪♪ -Next on 'Great Performances'... -♪ When I went home before, no one talked of the war ♪ ♪ What they knew from TV -...beloved Broadway favorite Lea Salonga takes the stage at the iconic Sydney Opera House to showcase career highlights.
-♪ I love him, but when the night is over ♪ ♪ He is gone ♪ The river's just a river -Songs from the silver screen... -♪ A whole new world ♪ A dazzling place I never knew ♪ -♪ And more -♪ And I'm feeling good -Joined by the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, this is 'Lea Salonga in Concert.'
-♪ This is me [ Cheers and applause ] ♪ -Major funding for 'Great Performances' is provided by... ...and by contributions from viewers like you.
[ Cheers and applause ] -Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Lea Salonga.
[ Cheers and applause ] [ Cheers and applause continues ] -I feel like I'm at a high-school pep rally.
[ Laughter ] -Oh, one last show here at the Opera House.
You guys ready?
[ Cheers and applause ] We've got a live one tonight, okay.
♪♪ -♪ Birds flying high ♪ You know how I feel ♪ Sun in the sky ♪ You know how I feel ♪ Breeze driftin' on by ♪ You know how I feel ♪ It's a new dawn ♪ It's a new day ♪ It's a new life ♪ For me ♪ And I'm feeling good ♪♪ ♪ I'm feeling good ♪♪ ♪ Fish in the sea ♪ You know how feel ♪ River running free ♪ You know how I feel ♪ Blossom on a tree ♪ You know how I feel ♪ It's a new dawn ♪ It's a new day ♪ It's a new life For me ♪ ♪ And I'm feeling good ♪♪ ♪ Dragonfly out in the sun ♪ You know what I mean, don't you know? ♪ Butterflies all havin' fun ♪ You know what I mean ♪ Sleep in peace when day is done ♪ ♪ That's what I mean ♪ And this old world ♪ Is a new world ♪ And a bold world ♪ For me ♪♪ ♪ For me ♪ Yeah ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪ Stars when you shine ♪ You know how I feel ♪ Scent of the pine ♪ You know how I feel ♪ Oh, freedom is mine ♪ And I know how I feel ♪ It's a new dawn ♪ It's a new day ♪ It's a new life ♪ It's a new dawn ♪ It's a new day ♪ It's a new life ♪ It's a new dawn ♪ It's a new day ♪ It's a new life ♪ It's a new life for me ♪ And I'm feeling ♪ Good [ Cheers and applause ] Thank you.
Everybody, please, another warm round of applause for Maestro Gerard Salonga and your Sydney Symphony Orchestra.
[ Cheers and applause ] And just in case you didn't know, Gerard is my younger brother of 2 1/2 years.
[ Laughter ] Which means that in her house in Manila, our mother has lit every single candle there is, like the good Catholic woman that she is.
But I'm also sure that she isextremely proud of the two of us being here beneath the flags at the Sydney Opera House.
Oh, my gosh.
[ Applause ] This song comes from a movie that is very, very special to me.
I recorded this in 1995.
When I saw the finished product, it really, really hit me.
Here is this tiny little Asian heroine, being an absolute badass, being a warrior, bringing honor to her country, bringing honor to her family, and she did not have to getmarried at the end of the movie.
[ Laughter ] Hashtag 'OverachievingAsian.'
[ Laughter ] The inspiring thing about it, though, is that here is this character that looked like me.
So to see myself reflected on a screen is, like, one of the most impactful things that could happen in a young woman's life.
So sitting there, I felt really inspired that if this woman could make her dreams come true on her own terms, then I could do that to.
So I'm also aware that as I'm standing here on an iconic stage in an iconic venue, that there is a young woman or two or three looking up at me, seeing herself reflected.
[ Chuckles ] That's the clue.
[ Light laughter ] And thinking if she, this little Asian woman, is standing up on that stage making her dreams come true, then maybe I can do it to.
[ Applause ] ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪ Look at me ♪ I will never pass ♪ For a perfect bride ♪ Or a perfect daughter ♪ Can it be ♪ I'm not meant to play ♪ This part?
♪ Now I see ♪ That if I were truly ♪ To be myself ♪ I would break my family's heart ♪ ♪ Who is that girl I see ♪ Staring straight back at me?
♪ Why is my reflection someone ♪ I don't know?
♪ Somehow I cannot hide ♪ Who I am, though I've tried ♪ ♪ When will my reflection show ♪ Who I am inside?
♪♪ ♪ How I pray ♪ That a time will come ♪ I can free myself ♪ And meet their expectations ♪ On that day ♪ I'll discover some way ♪ To be myself ♪ And to make my family proud ♪♪ ♪ They want a docile lamb ♪ No one knows who I am ♪ Must there be a secret me ♪ I'm forced to hide ♪ Must I pretend that I'm ♪ Someone else for all time ♪ When will my reflection show ♪ Who I am inside?
♪ When will my reflection show ♪ Who I am inside?
♪♪ [ Cheers and applause ] Thank you.
The last Broadway show that I got to do was the Tony Award-winning revival production of 'Once on This Island.'
[ Applause ] And I got to play Erzulie, the Beautiful Goddess of Love.
Now, though, here's the back story of 'Once on This Island.'
'Once on This Island' is normally cast with 100%, every single character, actors of African or African-American descent, First day of rehearsal comes, I walk into the rehearsal room.
I say hi to a bunch of my friends.
And first thing I do after that is I had to where all the costume sketches are posted on the wall.
And I head immediately to mind.
I take one look at my costume.
And I smile.
You guys figured out how to justify the presence of this one Filipino in this show?
You know what the costume was?
[ Laughter ] [ Cheers and applause ] Filipino nurse.
So every time I put that costume on and got out onto the stage, it was my way of saying thank you for the love and for the compassion that you have shown every single patient that you have cared for.
And it is only fitting, then, that this Filipino nurse is transformed into the Goddess of Love.
So to all of you nurses of Filipino persuasion, and otherwise, this is for you.
[ Applause ] ♪♪ -♪ Ah, ah-ah, ah-ah, ah ♪ Ah, ah-ah, ah-ah, ah ♪ The courage of a dreamer ♪ The innocence of youth ♪ The failures and the foolishness ♪ ♪ That lead us to the truth ♪ The hopes that make us happy ♪ ♪ The hopes that don't come true ♪ ♪ And all the love there ever was ♪ ♪ I see this all in you ♪ You are part ♪ Part of the human heart ♪ You are part ♪ Of all who took the journey ♪ And managed to endure -♪ Ah, ah-ah, ah, eh -♪ The ones who knew such tenderness ♪ ♪ The ones who felt so sure ♪ The ones who came before you -♪ Eh-eh -♪ The others yet to come ♪ And those who you will teach it to ♪ And those you learned it from ♪ ♪ You are part ♪ Part of the human heart ♪ You are part ♪ This is the gift I give ♪ Through your love you'll live forever ♪ -♪ You are part -♪ Forever -♪ Part of the human heart -♪ Forever ♪ You are part -♪ You are part ♪ Tonight ♪ Tonight ♪ Part of the human ♪ Heart [ Cheers and applause ] Now, for all of you fans of Golden Age musicals, this one is for you.
♪♪ ♪ Will he like me when we meet? ♪ ♪ Will the shy and quiet girl he's going to see ♪ ♪ Be the girl that he's imagined me to be? ♪ Will he like me?
♪ Will he like the girl he sees? ♪ ♪ If he doesn't, will he know enough to know ♪ ♪ That there's more to me than I may always show? ♪ ♪ Will he like me?
♪ Will he know that there's a world of love ♪ ♪ Waiting to warm him?
♪ How I'm hoping that his eyes and ears ♪ ♪ Won't misinform him ♪ Will he like me, who can say? ♪ ♪ How I wish that we could meet another day ♪ ♪ It's absurd for me to carry on this way ♪ ♪ I'll try not to ♪ Will he like me?
♪ He's just got to ♪♪ ♪ When I am in my room alone and I write ♪ ♪ Thoughts come easily, words come fluently then ♪ ♪ That's how it is when I'm alone ♪ ♪ But tonight ♪ There's no hiding behind my paper and pen ♪ ♪♪ ♪ Will he know that there's a world of love ♪ Waiting to warm him?
♪ How I'm hoping that his eyes and ears ♪ ♪ Won't misinform him ♪ Will he like me? I don't know ♪ ♪ All I know is that I'm tempted not to go ♪ ♪ It's insanity for me to worry so ♪ ♪ I'll try not to ♪ Will he like me?
♪ He's just got to ♪ Will he like me?
♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪ Ice cream ♪ He brought me ice cream ♪ Vanilla ice cream ♪ Imagine that ♪ Ice cream ♪ And for the first time ♪ We were together ♪ And that was that ♪ Friendly, I got so friendly ♪ That isn't like me ♪ And I was stunned ♪ Will wonders never cease?
Will wonders never cease?
♪ It's been a most fantastic day ♪ ♪ And strange as it may seem ♪ My life is like a dream ♪ Because he offered me ♪ Vanilla ♪ Ice cream ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪ There were bells on a hill ♪ ♪ But I never heard them ringing ♪ ♪ No, I never heard them at all ♪ ♪ Till there was you ♪♪ ♪ There were birds in the sky ♪ ♪ But I never saw them winging ♪ No, I never saw them at all ♪ Till there was you ♪♪ ♪ And there was music ♪ And there were wonderful roses ♪ ♪ They tell me ♪ In sweet fragrant meadows ♪ Of dawn and dew ♪ There was love all around ♪ But I never heard it singing ♪ No, I never heard it at all ♪♪ ♪ Till there was ♪ You [ Applause ] Thank you.
And now here's one of my favorite songs from one of my favorite animated films.
And I hope that you all enjoy it.
♪♪ [ Applause ] ♪♪ ♪ Heart don't fail me now ♪ Courage don't desert me ♪ Don't turn back now that we're here ♪ ♪ People always say ♪ Life is full of choices ♪ No one ever mentions fear ♪ Or how the world can seem so vast ♪ ♪ On a journey ♪ To the past ♪♪ ♪ Somewhere down this road ♪ I know someone's waiting ♪ Years of dreams just can't be wrong ♪ ♪ Arms will open wide ♪ I'll be safe and wanted ♪ Finally home where I belong ♪ Well, starting now, I'm learning fast ♪ ♪ On this journey ♪ To the past ♪♪ ♪ Home, love, family ♪ I will never be complete ♪ Until I find you ♪ One step at a time ♪ One hope, then another ♪ Who knows where this road may go ♪ ♪ Back to who I was ♪ On to find my future ♪ Things my heart still needs to know ♪ ♪ Yes, let this be a sign ♪ Let this road be mine ♪ Let it lead me to my past ♪ And bring me home ♪ At last ♪♪ Thank you.
[ Applause ] In 1988, when I was 17 years old, I auditioned for a show that you may or may not have heard of called 'Miss Saigon.'
[ Cheers and applause ] It is the show that definitely changed the trajectory of my life and of my career.
I have to say there is so much amazing music that I got to sing for that show.
None of which you are going to hear tonight.
[ Audience 'awws' ] But because there was so much amazing music that I didn't get to sing, which I always wished I could.
There is one song in particular that I coveted from the minute that I heard it in the rehearsal room.
I'm on stage as it's happening, but I'm lying on a bed wearing a T-shirt, and the covers are wrapped around me and whoever happens to be playing Chris at the time is singing this song.
I'm in the bed thinking, 'God, I wish that song was mine.'
[ Laughter ] It's over 30 years since 'Miss Saigon' opened in the West End.
I can now sing whatever song I want.
[ Laughter ] [ Cheers and applause ] So I hope you like it.
♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪ Why does Saigon never sleep at night ♪ ♪ Why does this girl smell of orange trees ♪ ♪ How can I feel good when nothing's right ♪ ♪ Why is she cool when there is no breeze ♪ ♪ Vietnam, you don't give answers, do you, friend ♪ ♪ Just questions that don't ever end ♪ ♪ Why, God?
♪ Why today?
♪ I'm all through here on my way ♪ ♪ There's nothing left here that I'll miss ♪ ♪ Why send me now a night like this ♪ ♪ Who is the girl in this rusty bed ♪ ♪ Why am I back in a filthy room ♪ ♪ Why is her voice ringing in my head ♪ ♪ Why am I high on her cheap perfume ♪ ♪ Vietnam, hey, look, I mean you no offense ♪ ♪ But why does nothing here make sense ♪ ♪ Why, God?
♪ Show your hand ♪ Why can't one guy understand ♪ I've been with girls who knew much more ♪ ♪ I never felt confused before ♪ Why me?
♪ What's your plan?
♪ I can't help her ♪ No one can ♪ I liked my memories as they were ♪ ♪ But now I'll leave remembering her ♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪ When I went home before, no one talked of the war ♪ ♪ What they knew from TV didn't have a thing to do with me ♪ ♪♪ ♪ I went back and re-upped, sure, Saigon is corrupt ♪ ♪ It felt better to be here driving for the embassy ♪ ♪♪ ♪ 'Cause here if you can pull a string ♪ ♪ A guy like me lives like a king ♪ ♪ Just as long as you don't believe anything ♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪ Why, God?
♪ Why this face?
♪ Why such beauty in this place? ♪ ♪ I liked my memories as they were ♪ ♪ But now I'll leave remembering her ♪ ♪ Just her ♪ Just her ♪♪ [ Applause ] Thank you.
♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ [ Cheers and applause ] ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪ When I was a girl, I had a favorite story ♪ ♪ Of the meadowlark who lived where the rivers wind ♪ ♪ Her voice could match the angels' in its glory ♪ ♪ But she was blind ♪ The lark was blind ♪ An old king came and took her to his palace ♪ ♪ Where the walls were burnished bronze and golden braid ♪ ♪ And he fed her fruit and nuts from an ivory chalice ♪ ♪ And he prayed ♪ 'Sing for me, my meadowlark ♪ Sing for me of the silver morning ♪ ♪ Set me free, my meadowlark ♪ And I'll buy you a priceless jewel ♪ ♪ And cloth of brocade and crewel ♪ ♪ And I'll love you for life if you will ♪ ♪ Sing for me' ♪ Than one day as the lark sang by the water ♪ ♪ The god of the sun heard her in his flight ♪ ♪ And her singing moved him so, he came and brought her ♪ ♪ The gift of sight ♪ He gave her sight ♪ And she opened her eyes to the shimmer and the splendor ♪ ♪ Of this beautiful young god, so proud and strong ♪ ♪ And he called to the lark in a voice both rough and tender ♪ ♪ 'Come along ♪ Fly with me, my meadowlark ♪ Fly with me on the silver morning ♪ ♪ Past the sea where the dolphins bark ♪ ♪ We will dance on the coral beaches ♪ ♪ Make a feast of the plums and peaches ♪ ♪ Just as far as your vision reaches ♪ ♪ Fly with me' ♪ But the meadowlark said no ♪ For the old king loved her so ♪ ♪ She couldn't bear to wound his pride ♪ ♪ So the sun god flew away ♪ And when the king came down that day ♪ ♪ He found his meadowlark had died ♪ ♪ Every time I heard that part I cried ♪ ♪ And now I stand here, starry-eyed and stormy ♪ ♪ Oh, just when I thought my heart was finally numb ♪ ♪ A beautiful young man appears before me ♪ ♪ Singing 'Come ♪ Oh, won't you come?'
♪ And what can I do if finally for the first time ♪ ♪ The one I'm burning for returns the glow? ♪ ♪ If love has come at last it's picked the worst time ♪ ♪ Still I know ♪ I've got to go ♪ Fly away, meadowlark ♪ Fly away in the silver morning ♪ ♪ If I stay, I'll grow to curse the dark ♪ ♪ So it's off where the days won't bind me ♪ ♪ I know I leave wounds behind me ♪ ♪ But I won't let tomorrow find me ♪ ♪ Back this way ♪ Before my past ♪ Once again can blind me ♪ Fly away ♪♪ ♪ And we won't wait to say goodbye ♪ ♪ My beautiful young man ♪ My beautiful young man ♪ And I ♪ And I [ Cheers and applause ] 14 years ago now -- Yeah, literally 14 years ago, I asked someone from the audience to come up and sing 'A Whole New World' with me.
I've been doing that for the last 14 years, and every single time, it's been so much fun.
So I'm not about to deprive you all of the fun.
I would like for a male singer.
[ Cheers and applause ] So much enthusiasm.
Please, if you cannot sing, put your hand down.
[ Laughter ] You want to do this?
[ Cheers and applause ] Okay, this is not a plant.
If he is awful, then you know it's not a plant.
[ Cheers and applause ] Stand there where it's red, on that little red bit of tape.
For your sake, this had better be good.
-Yes. Actually ---What's your name, first of all?
-My name is Abraham. -Abraham.
-Yes. -Where are you from?
I mean, besides that, you're from the Philippines.
Are you from Sydney? -Yes.
-You live in Sydney. What do you do?
-Look after for elderly and working in age care.
-Oh. -Like 'nursing.'
-You're a 'nurse.' -[ Laughs ] [ Cheers and applause ] -This could not have gone any better than that.
[ Laughter ] [ Speaks Filipino ] Are you ready?
-Yes, yes. -Okay, so here we go.
[ Cheers and applause ] 'A Whole New World,' from Disney's 'Aladdin.'
♪♪ -♪ I can show you the world [ Cheers and applause ] ♪ Shining, shimmering, splendid ♪ ♪ Tell me, Princess ♪ Now when did you last let your heart decide? ♪ ♪ I can open your eyes ♪ Take you wonder by wonder ♪ Over, sideways, and under ♪ On a magic carpet ride ♪ A whole new world ♪ A new fantastic point of view ♪ ♪ No one to tell us no ♪ Or where to go ♪ Or say we're only dreaming -♪ A whole new world ♪ A dazzling place I never knew ♪ ♪ But when I'm way up here ♪ It's crystal clear ♪ That now, I'm in a whole new world with you ♪ -♪ Now I'm in a whole new world with you ♪ -♪ Unbelievable sights ♪ Indescribable feeling ♪ Soaring, tumbling, freewheeling ♪ ♪ Through an endless diamond sky ♪ ♪ A whole new world -♪ Don't you dare close your eyes ♪ -♪ A hundred thousand things to see ♪ -♪ Hold your breath, it gets better ♪ -♪ I'm like a shooting star ♪ I've come so far ♪ I can't go back to where I used to be ♪ -♪ A whole new world -♪ Every turn a surprise -♪ With new horizons to pursue -♪ Every moment red-letter -♪ I'll chase them anywhere ♪ There's time to spare ♪ Let me share this whole new world with you ♪ -♪ A whole new world -♪ A whole new world -♪ That's where we'll be -♪ That's where we'll be -♪ A thrilling chase -♪ A wondrous place -♪ For you and me [ Cheers and applause ] -Sorry. Sorry.
♪♪ -Well, you got it. -Yes.
-Look at that. -Thank you so much.
Thank you, thank you, thank you.
-You just received a standing ovation from a sell-out crowd at the Sydney Opera House.
-It's my first time to sing solo here.
-You were feeling yourself.
-Yes, yes. I should feel the song.
-You really -- We all had the best time.
-Thank you very much. -I hope you had fun.
-Yes, I did. Of course. Of course. Of course.
Now it's time for you to go back to your seat.
[ Laughter ] [ Cheers and applause ] Abraham [ Speaks indistinctly ] ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪ And now I'm all alone again ♪ Nowhere to turn, no one to go to ♪ ♪ Without a home, without a friend ♪ ♪ Without a face to say hello to ♪ ♪ But now the night is near ♪ Now I can make-believe he's here ♪ ♪ Sometimes I walk alone at night ♪ ♪ When everybody else is sleeping ♪ ♪ I think of him and then I'm happy ♪ ♪ With the company I'm keeping ♪ The city goes to bed ♪ And I can live inside my head ♪ ♪♪ ♪ On my own ♪ Pretending he's beside me ♪ All alone ♪ I walk with him till morning ♪♪ ♪ Without him, I feel his arms around me ♪ ♪ And when I lose my way ♪ I close my eyes and he has found me ♪ ♪ In the rain ♪ The pavement shines like silver ♪ ♪ All the lights are misty in the river ♪ ♪♪ ♪ In the darkness, the trees are full of starlight ♪ ♪ And all I see is him and me forever and forever ♪ ♪ And I know it's only in my mind ♪ ♪ That I'm talking to myself and not to him ♪ ♪ And although I know that he is blind ♪ ♪ Still I say there's a way for us ♪ ♪ I love him ♪ But when the night is over ♪ He is gone ♪ The river's just a river ♪ Without him, the world around me changes ♪ ♪ The trees are bare and everywhere ♪ ♪ The streets are full of strangers ♪ ♪ I love him ♪ But every day I'm learning ♪ All my life I've only been pretending ♪ ♪ Without me, his world will go on turning ♪ ♪ A world that's full of happiness ♪ ♪ That I have never known ♪ I love him ♪♪ ♪ I love him ♪♪ ♪ I love him ♪ But only ♪ On my own [ Cheers and applause ] Thank you.
Another round of applause, please, for Gerard Salonga and your Sydney Symphony Orchestra.
[ Cheers and applause ] To all of you, thank you very, very much for spending this time with me.
This one's for you.
♪♪ ♪♪ ♪ I am not a stranger to the dark ♪ ♪ 'Hide away,' they say ♪ ''Cause we don't want your broken parts' ♪ ♪ I've learned to be ashamed of all my scars ♪ ♪ 'Run away,' they say ♪ 'No one'll love you as you are' ♪ ♪ But I won't let them break me down to dust ♪ ♪ I know that there's a place for us ♪ ♪ For we are glorious ♪♪ ♪ When the sharpest words wanna cut me down ♪ ♪ I'm gonna send a flood, gonna drown them out ♪ ♪ I am brave, I am bruised ♪ I am who I'm meant to be, this is me ♪ ♪ Look out 'cause here I come ♪ And I'm marching on to the beat I drum ♪ ♪ I'm not scared to be seen ♪ I make no apologies, this is me ♪ -♪ Oh-oh-oh-oh -♪ Oh-oh-oh-oh -♪ Oh-oh-oh-oh -♪ Oh-oh-oh-oh -♪ Oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh, oh, oh ♪ -♪ Another round of bullets hits my skin ♪ ♪ Well, fire away 'cause today, I won't let the shame sink in ♪ ♪ We are bursting through the barricades ♪ ♪ And reaching for the sun -♪ We are warriors -♪ Yeah, that's what we've become ♪ -♪ Yeah, that's what we've become ♪ -♪ I won't let them break me down to dust ♪ ♪ I know that there's a place for us ♪ ♪ For we are glorious ♪ When the sharpest words wanna cut me down ♪ ♪ I'm gonna send a flood, gonna drown them out ♪ ♪ I am brave, I am bruised ♪ I am who I'm meant to be, this is me ♪ -♪ Oh-oh-oh-oh -♪ And I know that I deserve your love ♪ -♪ Oh-oh-oh-oh -♪ There's nothing I'm not worthy of ♪ ♪ Oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh, oh, oh ♪ -♪ When the sharpest words wanna cut me down ♪ ♪ I'm gonna send a flood, gonna drown them out ♪ ♪ This is brave, this is bruised ♪ ♪ This is who I'm meant to be, this is me ♪ -♪ Look out 'cause here I come -♪ Look out 'cause here I come -♪ And I'm marching on to the beat I drum ♪ -♪ Marching on, marching, marching on ♪ -♪ I'm not scared to be seen ♪ I make no apologies -♪ This is me -♪ When the sharpest words wanna cut me down ♪ -♪ Oh-oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh-oh ♪ ♪ I'm gonna send a flood ♪ I'm gonna drown them out -♪ Oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh, oh, oh ♪ -♪ This is me [ Cheers and applause ] Thank you.