Her name is Telesa Marie de Torres. Fans of the the Voice Kids PH would know her as Esang. But this April, Manila will know her as little Cosette.
Esang, dubbed as the "mini-me" version of Lea Salonga, has landed a role in the hit musical Les Misérables through a special recommendation by no other than Lea's mom - Ligaya Salonga.
Ligaya and Sir Cameron Mackintosh, producer of Les Miz, talked during the opening night party of the play about looking for a girl that could play as an alternate Little Cosette.
"Are you looking for a little girl? I know one, she's 9 years old and very talented," Lea Salonga recalled her mother saying, according to an Inquirer report.
Esang visited Ligaya's home for a "coaching session" with Lea Salonga, although the latter admitted that the Voice Kids finalist needed little to nothing to prepare her for the audition.
Singing "Castle on a Cloud," she earned praises from the heads of the production team, which eventually led to her landing the role of Cosette.
Philippine Star reported that she had to pretend to be an orphan to relate with the role.
“I pretend that my parents left me in an orphanage, ang amo ko po doon ay napakasama, ang taray niya po sa akin. Yun po yung iniisip ko para maging malungkot ako.”
(I pretend that my parents left me in an orphanage, my boss there is evil, he/she is so cruel to me. That's what I think about to get sad.)
Watch Esang sing a few verses from Cosette's song, Castle on a Cloud:
There are now three Filipinos in the Manila cast of Les Miz. Rachelle Ann Go plays Fantine. Chloe De Los Santos, Filipino-Australian, also starred as little Cosette.
In her childhood, Cosette served the Thenardiers more as a slave rather than an adopted member of their family. Eventually, Jean Valjean would adopt her, giving her the filial love she grew up without.
Les Misérables is one of the longest running musicals in the world. It tells the story of Jean Valjean, who after serving 19 years of imprisonment for stealing a loaf of bread, decided to live his life anew.