Rachelle Ann Go considers sharing the stage with Lea Salonga during the 25th anniversary gala celebration of Miss Saigon as her most memorable show in West End, London so far.
Lea played the original Kim during the first ever run of Miss Saigon in 1989, while Rachelle Ann portrays the role of Gigi in this year's revival of the said musical.
Aside from Lea, other original cast members of Miss Saigon who attended the gala included Simon Bowman and Jonathan Pryce.
“Unang-una, sobra akong grateful na maging part ako ng new production ng Miss Saigon. Tapos nangyari pa itong 25th anniversary," said Rachelle in an interview with PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) and other reporters earlier today, October 16.
“Malaking bagay yun kahit four numbers lang yung nagawa nila.
“Ang ginawa namin one whole show, then after that ginawa naming 10-minute break.
"Tapos yung four special numbers, including yung sa amin ni Ms. Lea, ang ipinalabas.
“Sobra akong thankful na isa ako sa napili para gawin yung 'The Movie In My Mind.'”
MENTORS. Rachelle Ann further shared that she felt privileged because Lea made an effort to give her tips when they were rehearsing that much-applauded performance.
“Si Ms. Lea, sinabi niya kulayan ang 'Movie In Her Mind' kasi nandun lahat. Sobrang ganda ng lyrics, so hinimay namin, inisa-isa namin.
“Sobrang naa-appreciate ko yun kasi sobrang nagbigay siya ng time para kausapin ako at nagbigay siya ng advice for that.”
Rachelle Ann happily recalled that she was given the liberty to showcase her brand of singing for that special number.
“Before our rehearsal sinabi ng musical director sa akin, si Laurence Connor, this is not part of the show anymore. You have to treat this as a concert. So you can make some risks.
“So, nag-isip ako ng gagawin. Nagpaalam ako kay Ms. Lea at sa musical director kung ok lang kumulot [yung boses ko]. Nag-agree naman sila lahat. That's why I did it.”
Incidentally, Rachelle Ann is being trained by Mary Hammond, who used to be the vocal coach of Lea as well.
Asked about what she learned so far, the young singer-actress said that she is more apt now in terms of her vocal “placement” technique.
“Yun ang kinakarir ko dun. Yun ang gusto ko aralin para hindi mapagod kasi mabilis ako mapagod vocally.
“So, yung placement, [meaning] 'pag nagsalita ako naka-place [controlled tone quality] para hindi masyado napapagod ang boses.
“Mahirap i-explain pero mas mapapadali yung performance mo. Mas makakatagal ka sa isang buong concert ng hindi napapaos,” she explained.
Since she started performing as the head bar girl in Miss Saigon, Rachelle Ann said she has grown used to wearing her daring costume on stage.
She just can't wait to see how her family would react once they get to watch her show in London.
"This month, next week pupunta yung family ko sa London. Si Papa lang ang hindi makakapunta.
"First time nila manonood so good luck sa mapapanood nila sa akin," Rachelle Ann said with a laugh.
OPEN TO DOING OTHER PROJECTS IN LONDON. Rachelle Ann further shared that her stint with Miss Saigon is slated to end in May 2015.
But as early as now, the singer-actress as well as other cast members of the musical are being asked whether or not they want to stay for the next season.
As it is, auditions for new cast members have already started this month.
"Yung sa Miss Saigon parang tinatanong nila, 'Do you wanna stay para alam nila kung ilan ang hahanapin nila for next year.
"Halimbawa ako, 'Do you wanna stay? What roles do you wanna do? Baka gusto mo mag-Ellen? Gusto mo mag-Kim? Or gusto mo mag-Gigi? Nasa sa akin [ang decision].
Rachelle Ann added that fellow Pinay and lead singer-actress Eva Noblezada has expressed her wish to play Kim once again for the next run of Miss Saigon.
For her part, Rachelle Ann has yet to make up her mind about it.
One thing's for sure though, Rachelle Ann is set on finding an agent in London, should the singer-actress opt to audition for other musicals.
"Sa ngayon, nag-iisip ako kung kukuha ako ng agent. Kasi before you audition sa ibang musicals, kailangan may agent ka.
“So, ngayon, nag-iisip ako kung maghahanap ba ako ng agent. Should I stay or should I go back home?”
At any rate, Rachelle Ann maintained that her roots will always be in the Philippines.
“May chance, yes, [na mag-stay ako sa London]. Kasi nagbukas na yung opportunity. There are more gigs, tapos concert...na hindi ko ine-expect.
"Siguro kung meron akong project dun, pabalik-balik na lang siguro ako. Siyempre nandito pa rin sa Pilipinas ang puso ko," she beamed.