Some know 43-year-old Lea Salonga as the first Asian actress to play Éponine and Fantine in the Broadway musical Les Misérables. Others know her as the first Filipina to be signed to an international record label. But I’m going to go ahead and bet that most of you know Salonga as the singing voice of Disney princesses Jasmine and Mulan.
It’s been over two decades since the release of the beloved Disney animation Aladdin. This means it’s been over two decades since we first heard the unforgettable duet, “A Whole New World.”
Recently, Lea Salonga took us back in time by performing the beloved song alongside opera group Il Divo. 21 years later and she still sounds just as breathtaking as she did then!
Salonga’s work has gained her a Laurence Olivier Award, a Tony Award, a Drama Desk Award, an Outer Critics Award and Theatre World Awards. In 2010, she was named a Disney Legend for her work in Disney. Currently, Salonga is a coach on the Philippine edition of The Voice.
For todays #TBT, we bring you a video from 2011. Now don’t let the date fool you– even now in 2014, the video is still making us smile. In fact, the video is making it’s way onto social media once again for another round of viral popularity.
Jared Young, an aspiring performer, claims that he dreamed of playing the role of Aladdin. The driven young man auditioned for the role at Disney’s California Adventure and even made it to the final cut, but he wasn’t casted. Not one to give up, he auditioned again the next year and (sadly) was not casted a second time.
As it turns out, Young only had to wait a few more years for his dream to come true. On September 2011, Young attended Lea Salonga’s Concert at the BYU De Jong Concert Hall. As many of you know, the popular Filipina singer and actress was the official singing voice of Princess Jasmine in the 1992 Disney animated film Aladdin.
To everyone’s delight, Salonga surprised her audience by inviting a random audience member to join her on stage to sing “A Whole New World.” As fate would have it, Salonga chose Young.
The best part of this video is Young’s clear excitement and enthusiasm. The entire time, Young is grinning from ear to ear and his happiness is simply infectious. Don’t believe us? Check it out for yourself.
Audrey Magazine is an award-winning national publication that covers the Asian experience from the perspective of Asian American women. Audrey covers the latest talent and trends in entertainment, fashion, beauty and lifestyle.