A former child actress of Filipino descent has bagged the lead role in the new Australian production of the award-winning musical "Miss Saigon," which opens at the iconic Sydney Opera House in August.
Eighteen-year-old Abigail Adriano stood out from hundreds of auditionees to land the lead of role of Kim, Opera Australia announced Thursday.
Hailing from Sydney, Adriano has appeared in the musical "Matilda," "The Voice Kids Australia," and the Netflix/ABC television series "The Unlisted."
“Performing has been an absolute dream of mine ever since I picked up a microphone at a family karaoke. When I find out that I was playing Kim, I told my parents that dreams come first so my studies will need to wait,” she said.
Adriano will be following the footsteps of Tony Award-winning actress Lea Salonga, who originated the role of Kim.
Producer Cameron Mackintosh was all praises for Adriano, even comparing her favorably to Salonga.
“Abi moved the whole room to tears. I knew immediately that she was extra special as I did when I first auditioned Lea Salonga, Eva Noblezada, Joanna Ampil, and Emily Bautista who were all about the same age,” Mackintosh said.
"Miss Saigon" follows the love story of a young Vietnamese woman named Kim, and an American soldier, Chris, set in the Vietnam War.
“Growing up I would binge-watch clips online of the iconic Lea Salonga as Kim and I’ve watched the 25th anniversary Miss Saigon film with Eva multiple times. I snot-level-cry every single time," Adriano said.
“As a kid you’re drawn to characters you can see yourself in. Kim was that role. Not only because she is Asian like me, but because in the face of it all she never ever backs down.
“Her story of survival, love and war is a scary and deep reality. I’ve grown up with close friends and family who’ve struggled through similar experiences just to be here today and I think that’s why her perseverance is so special for many people.
“It means the world for me to not only get to play such a strong female role but also to follow in the footsteps of incredible women who’ve played this role before me, and that I have looked up to my whole life,” she said. -- Hannahlyn Tomaquin, ABS-CBN Intern