|Tonny award-winning artist Lea Salonga
MANILA – After the "magical" first season of "The Voice of the Philippines," Tony award winner Lea Salonga said she is more than willing to return as a coach for the second season of the hit TV talent competition.
In an interview with ABS-CBN News’ Mario Dumaual on Wednesday, Salonga said she would want to coach aspiring singers again.
“I would like to do it again, and everybody in ABS knows that I want to do it again. It was just magical and I had the best time. I really enjoyed it, every step of it. I can’t speak for the others, not for Sarah, Bamboo or apl. I had the best time with the team. I have a really wonderful time having one-on-one with them, getting to know them better,” she said, referring to her fellow coaches Sarah Geronimo, Bamboo and apl.de.ap.
However, Salonga is still hoping that her schedule would permit her to do the show again.
“I want to do it again. I would be defending. I kind of would love to stay but then there are external forces that are no longer in my control. There’s my schedule, there’s a call of Broadway and there’s a call of other things. It was magical the first season because all of the stars aligned perfectly,” said Salonga, who coached the show's first-ever grand winner, band vocalist Mitoy Yonting.
Salonga is set to headline, along with West End theater star Michael Ball, a concert tour celebrating the works of Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg, the winning team behind the hits "Les Miserables" and "Miss Saigon."
Dubbed "Do You Hear the People Sing?" the tour is set to kick off its series of shows in the Asia-Pacific region in China next month.
She is also expected to return to Broadway next year in the new musical "Allegiance," developed by “Star Trek” actor George Takei and co-stars Telly Leung.
Salonga said she already informed the ABS-CBN management that she intends to stay as a coach, adding that said she would also love to see her fellow season one coaches when the show returns on air.
“I would love that it’s still the four of us. We had a great chemistry. It was wonderful. Sarah surprised so many people because her person got to the final two. I think after that, people were surprised by her. I’m hoping that she comes back because she can only get better at this,” she said.
Reunited with Lisa, Cecile
Meanwhile, Salonga said she currently has her hands full with her upcoming shows at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) with prima ballerina Lisa Macuja and internationally acclaimed pianist Cecile Licad.
“It’s an honor when you’re placed on the same build like Lisa and Cecile. They’re both just really good people and fun and funny. They are crazy women. It’s always nice when you’re placed in an environment na napaka-artistic ng mga kasama mo. You kind of have to step up to whatever level they are at, which is very high,” she said.
Salonga said she only has the “greatest respect and absolute love” for the two iconic Filipino artists and that she truly enjoys performing with them.
“I don’t get intimidated. I only have the greatest respect and absolute love for them. But intimidation, because I know them and we have been friends a while and we’ve worked together, no not anymore. I don’t think anybody gets intimidated anymore,” she said.
Titled “The Legends and the Classics Encore,” Salonga, Macuja and Licad are set to share the stage anew on October 12 and 13 at the Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo of the CCP.
Read our review of “The Legends and the Classics” show when it was first staged last year.