Kapuso talent and Filipina pop star Rachelle Ann Go welcomes Hola! Philippines team during her final rehearsal last week for her send-off concert. She shares her aspirations and excitement in going to London for her international theater role as Miss Saigon’s Gigi Van Tranh.

Numbers prove the world-renowned prestige of Miss Saigon as an outstanding musical play: running for 25 years, reprised in 300 cities, played in 28 countries and performed in 15 languages. After Lea Salonga’s fame in having portrayed the lead role of Kim and Isay Alvarez’s character as Gigi, another Filipino pride enters the scene. For the West End revival of this acclaimed theatrical show this year, 27-year-old Search For A Star grand champion-turned-Pinoy pop singer Rachelle Ann Go is set to portray the role of a Saigon club stripper, Gigi Van Tranh.

While she prepared for her send-off concert in Meralco Theater (which was held last February 22) during her final practice at a studio in Green Meadows, Quezon City, our team got the chance to listen live to her soulful voice and sat down with her for an interview.

Rachelle Ann Go singing Defying Gravity

Kapuso singer had a send-off concert at Meralco Theater and a despedida party hosted by Asia's Songbird Regine Velasquez before she leaves for London on first week of March

Go auditioned for the role last 2012 with the encouragement of Salonga and went to London in 2013 for the final casting. She says: “Si Miss Lea (Salonga) talaga ang nagsabi sa'kin na mag-audition. Pero before that kasi, nakapanood ako ng Miss Saigon sa Canada in 2010. When I watched it, sabi ko sa sarili ko, “One day, gagawin ko 'yan.” So no'ng 2012, may audition, in-encourage din ako ng friends ko, pero natatakot ako. But eventually, napilit din nila ako, so nag try ako dito sa Manila.” (It’s Miss Lea (Salonga) who really told me to go for the audition. But before that, I got to watch Miss Saigon in Canada in 2010. When I watched it, I told myself, “One day, I will do that.” So in 2012, there was an audition and my friends encouraged me, but I was afraid. But eventually, they persuaded me, so I tried it out here in Manila.)

Rachelle Ann Go amazed us with her warm and approachable personality during the interview and behind-the-scenes shoot

All set for a two month-long rehearsal series in London that will start on March, Go shared how she feels on her very challenging role as Gigi, compared to pop singing. She will stay in London for one year. “Sa concerts, pwede kang mag-ad-lib. Solo artist ako, kaya kong gawin 'yong gusto ko. Pero when it comes to performing with a group in a musical play, bawal magkamali, may script, at bawal mag-ad-lib. Iba din yung training. Sobrang layo sa pop industry,” Go said. (In concerts, you can adlib. I’m a solo artist, so I can do what I want. But when it comes to performing with a group in a musical play, you can’t commit mistakes, there’s a script and you can’t do ad-libbing. The training is also different. It’s very far from pop industry.)

Produced by Cameron Mackintosh, the modern-day Romeo and Juliet story revolves around the love affair of a Vietnamese woman and her American lover, where both tragedies and romance take place in a beautiful plot of Saigon’s 1970s war era. The legendary musical play will start to hit the stage on May 3 and will take place at Prince Edward Theater, a Delfont Mackintosh theater, in London.

Go gives credit to her GMA-7 family for the utmost support. She told our team that her celebrity friends and big bosses from the popular TV network are going to watch her perform on stage and are now booked for London. Asked if she desires to continue a career in theater abroad, Go said that she doesn’t want to anticipate what’s going to happen, but rather let opportunities come and she is more than willing to adjust.

To watch the video of Miss Saigon’s final cast, click here for Miss Saigon’s official Youtube account or visit their website.

PHOTOS: JM TUBERA

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