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, which she hosted with her brother, Gerard. She has also opened for Stevie Wonder during his concerts in Manila.
In 1984, Lea was one of the Filipino representatives to the Asian Radio and TV Artistes Exchange held in Singapore. It was a dream come true to her when in 1985, she was chosen to open for Menudo, a Puerto Rican pop group that is popular in the Philippines during their concerts in Manila. She has also recorded two songs and a music video with Charlie Masso, a former Menudo member, for the Young People's Project, a campaign to encourage sexual responsibility in adolescents.
In 1989, Lea went to London to play the role of Kim in the hit musical Miss Saigon for which she received a Sir Laurence Olivier Award, and in 1991 went on to portray that role on Broadway where she garnered the Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics' Circle Awards and Theater World 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 Misables. She has also appeared in the London and Honolulu productions of Les Misables. She has also performed 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.
In 1994, 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 as part of World Cup Week 1994.
Lea also 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 Schberg with other Filipino artists performing selections from the musicals Les Misables 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. Lea also recorded a single 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 in a concert called Music Tells A Tale, appearing with Tyne Daly and Reese Holland.
Lea also participated in the Les Misables 10th Anniversary Concert at London's Royal Albert Hall, as well as the star heavy tribute concert for Sir Cameron Mackintosh, Hey Mr Producer filmed last May and subsequently released on album, video and book.
In 1998, she also appeared as the singing voice of the lead for a Walt Disney animated film called Mulan. Moreover, BMG Records (Pilipinas) released her album aptly called, "In Love" which reached quintuple platinum in the Philippines.
In 1999, Lea came full circle as she reprised her award-winning role of Kim on Broadway's Miss Saigon and graced the 10th Anniversary Celebration of Miss Saigon in London last September 29, 1999.
BMG Records (Pilipinas) also released Ms. Lea Salonga's album, "By Heart", which contains revival compositions of Ryan Cayabyab, Jose Mari Chan, Louie Ocampo, Willy Cruz, Boy Katindig, Butch Monserrat, Allan Ayque, Roman Cruz, Jr. and Odette Quesada with musical arrangements by Ryan Cayabyab and Gerard Salonga.
In October 1999, she portrayed the role of Sonia Walsk in the Singapore Repertory Theatre production of the Neil Simon musical, They're Playing Our Song.
The Year 2000 also ushered in two successful Manila concerts for Ms. Lea Salonga and BMG Records (Pilipinas) released a two-volume album of her Homecoming Concert with Gerard Salonga as the record producer. Recently, "By Heart" was relaunched with "Fallin'" and "I Still Believe In Love" from They're Playing Our Song.
Lea also performed in the Manila production of They're Playing Our Song and was part of two fund-raising concerts for the benefit of the World Wildlife Fund and the Symphony Musicians Cooperative of the Philippines.
She is currently reprising her award-winning role as Kim in the Manila production of Miss Saigon and is proud to be finally performing it in her home country.
Ms. Lea Salonga has performed and appeared in numerous concerts and television shows in the United States, the Philippines and around the world.