The concert was called The Music of Boublil-Schonberg. It was held in March 1995 at the Main Theater of the Cultural Center of the Philippines. I watched it from the second balcony--quite high and far away from the stage, but I didn't mind. It was all I could afford then, and, besides, the voices came through loud and clear, anyway.
The concert featured numbers from Messrs. Boublil and Schonberg's two mega-hits, Miss Saigon and Les Miserables. They were sung by an all-Filipino cast of performers, which made the night special, indeed. Dulce brought down the house with I Dreamed A Dream early in the second act. Lea Salonga, of course, was the highlight of the first act with her takes on The Movie in My Mind (sung with Isay Alvarez as Gigi) and I'd Give My Life For You.
There were other Kims: Monique Wilson sang I Still Believe (with Imelda de los Reyes as Ellen) and then segued to Mme. Thenardier's Master of the House in Les Miz, in tandem with Chinggoy Alonzo. Miriam Valmores got Sun and Moon opposite Robert Sena, while Maya Barredo had The Last Night of the World, still with Robert (who also sang the hell out of Why God Why?).
Cocoy Laurel was the Engineer; in Act 2, he was Jean Valjean. Audie Gemora was Javert, while Raul Roxas played Marius. The other soloists were Edward Briones as Enjolras and Jojo De la Cerna as Grantaire.
I had given up hope of ever hearing this concert again, until a kind soul who reads this blog told me he had an audio copy of it--on cassette tape. I borrowed the tapes, had them cleaned and the contents transferred to CD. Since they made for a single audio file, I forced myself to learn audio editing on Nero so I could share individual tracks here. The clips retain the occasional aural tics and pops of their cassette-tape origins, so do bear with them.
Reconstructing who sang which proved harder. I knew I had a copy of the program somewhere; I never throw away such things. But I couldn't find it, so in desperation, I asked the help of Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo to identify the performers in certain numbers. She went the extra mile. She e-mailed the full list of musical numbers, plus the names of all the performers, including the ensemble (hats off to the chorus, too, for its vibrant sound). Thank you, Menchu!
(A side note--Menchu's recollection of her participation in the concert, from this interview: “I remember when I auditioned for the Les Miz concert version here, I had done Fantine by then [for Rep]. But when I went to audition, Dulce was there, and she sang I Dreamed a Dream. Now, how do you compete with Dulce, right? So right then and there I said to Mr. Schonberg, 'Sir, could I audition for Cosette?' He said, 'But you did Fantine. You realize Cosette is a high C.' 'Yes sir, I know that.' He couldn’t think of me being able to hit a high C when I had belted I Dreamed a Dream. Then I sang Cosette, and he hired me on the spot.”)
That's the story. Now enjoy A Heart Full of Love, with Raul as Marius, Menchu as Cosette and Lea as Eponine--the latest installment from the rescued-from-limbo concert. Beautiful harmony on the last note. Hallelujah!
KIM/EPONINE: Lea Salonga
ENGINEER/VALJEAN: Cocoy Laurel
KIM/MADAM THENARDIER : Monique Wilson
MONSIEUR THENARDIER: Chinggoy Alonso
GIGI: Isay Alvarez
CHRIS: Robert Sena
JAVERT: Audie Gemora
ELLEN: Imelda Delos Reyes
COSETTE: Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo
MARIUS: Raul Roxas
THUY/GRANTIERE: Jojo De La Cerna
JOHN/ENJORAS: Edward Briones
The rest of the ensemble: Andy Alviz, Joey Aracama, Roden Araneta, Maya Barredo, Arnold Bautista, Cris Cabitac, Ces Campos, Alvin De La Pena, Melanie Dujunco, Natalie Everett, Julia Francisco, Carla Guevarra, Dio Marco, Redemptor Nuestro, Yvette Ocampo, Jun Ofrasio, Mia Ongkiko, Flor Orquina, Anton Perez, Melissa Remulla, Riva Salazar, Jamaica Salcedo, Christine Sambeli, Rodel San Miguel, Jojo Orquico, Miriam Valmores, Ian Venida, Rico Villavert
Act 1 Miss Saigon
1. THE HEAT IS ON IN SAIGON Cocoy, Lea and chorus
2. THE MOVIE IN MY MIND Isay, Lea and female chorus
3. WHY GOD WHY Robert
4. SUN AND MOON Miriam Valmores and Robert
5. THE LAST NIGHT OF THE WORLD Maya Barredo and Robert
6. MORNING OF THE DRAGON Chorus
7. I STILL BELIEVE Monique and Imelda De Los Reyes
8. YOU WILL NOT TOUCH HIM/ THIS IS THE HOUR Monique, Jojo De La Cerna and Chorus
9. IF YOU WANT TO DIE IN BED Cocoy and Chorus
10. I'D GIVE MY LIFE FOR YOU Lea
11. WHAT A WASTE Cocoy
12. BUIDOI Edward Briones and Chorus
13. AMERICAN DREAM Cocoy
14. THE AMERICAN DREAM Cocoy
15. THIS IS THE HOUR Entire Company
ACT 2 Les Miserables
1. PROLOGUE Cocoy, Audie and Chorus
2. VALJEAN SOLILOQUY Cocoy
3. AT THE END OF THE DAY Dulce, Imelda (factory worker), Chorus
4. I DREAMED A DREAM Dulce
5. MASTER OF THE HOUSE Chinggoy, Monique and Chorus
6. STARS Audie
7. THE ABC CAFE Edward Briones (Enjolras) Raul Roxas (Marius)
8. A HEART FULL OF LOVE Raul, Menchu and Lea
9. DO YOU HEAR THE PEOPLE SING Edward, Raul and Chorus
10. ON MY OWN Lea
11. DRINK WITH ME Jojo De La Cerna (Grantaire)
12. BRING HIM HOME Cocoy
13. FINAL BATTLE Edward Briones
14. EMPTY CHAIRS AND EMPTY TABLES Robert Sena
15. ONE DAY MORE Entire Company
So, which other numbers would you like to hear?
[Audio clip not downloadable; all rights with the concert producers]