Look around, look around at how lucky we are to be alive right now! 🎶
That’s right! The universally acclaimed musical Hamilton is coming soon to the Philippines, and what better way to celebrate its Manila debut than to shine a spotlight on one of its original performers? Those of you keeping up with the musical theater scene probably know that the West End production of Hamilton featured a Chinoy in its main cast — and if not, then we’ll have the great pleasure of introducing this incredibly talented artist to you!
From her humble beginnings in singing contests to her internationally renowned roles on Broadway, here are five important facts you need to know about Rachelle Ann Go and her musical journey!
1. She made her television debut in Eat Bulaga.
Like many aspiring singers, Rachelle Ann Go began her musical career by trying to get her name out. In line with this goal, Go decided to appear on noontime variety show Eat Bulaga! to join its “Birit Baby” contest, where entrants would compete against each other by belting out vocally challenging songs. Here, at the tender age of eleven, she performed Celine Dion’s version of “All by Myself” and ranked as the second runner-up in the competition.
2. She was the champion of GMA’s Search for a Star.
Years after her participation in Eat Bulaga, Go made her first big break by winning GMA-7’s nationally broadcasted talent contest Search For A Star. After being crowned as champion, she then transferred to ABS-CBN and went on to release five studio albums, achieving commercial success with a 2x Platinum and three Gold certifications for her work.
3. She made her international musical theater debut in Miss Saigon.
If there’s anything she has in common with the nationally beloved legend that is Lea Salonga, then it’s certainly their globally acclaimed roles in Miss Saigon! Much like the iconic Tony award-winning actress, Go’s international debut as a musical theater actress began in a West End production of the musical, but whereas Salonga played the innocent Kim, Go played the disillusioned Gigi Van Tranh.
Gaining recognition for the role, Go received the Best Featured Actress award at the 2014 BroadwayWorld UK/West End Awards, as well as the Best Supporting Actress award at the publicly voted 2015 WhatsOnStage Awards. Upon her return to the role during the 2017 Broadway revival, Go also won the Best Featured Actress award at the 2017 Theater Fans’ Choice Awards.
4. She was praised for playing Fantine in Les Miserablés.
Did we say that Miss Saigon was the only thing Rachelle Ann Go shared with Lea Salonga? As it turns out, both have also made their marks on their time as Fantine in Les Mis. In fact, Go’s take on the character was so well-received that she was even presented with the “Best Performance in a Long-Running West End Show (Female)” award by BroadwayWorld UK!
5. She originated the role of Elizabeth Schuyler in the West End production of Hamilton.
In 2017, Go became a member of the original West End cast for what is now one of the most successful musicals in the world! Playing Elizabeth Schuyler — aka Alexander Hamilton’s wife — she not only received critical acclaim from various major publications such as The Guardian and The New York Times, but she also once again earned recognition from the BroadwayWorld UK Awards, winning the Best Actress in a New Production of a Musical award.
And if that isn’t enough yet to pad Go’s resume, her participation in the Hamildrops track “First Burn,” which was performed by various musical theater actresses who had played Eliza, also made her become the first pure Filipino artist to be a part of #1 single on the iTunes US chart.
Bonus: She just welcomed her second baby into the world!
Not all achievements have to do with one’s career! With husband Martin Spies, Rachelle Ann Go celebrated the birth of her second child — a baby girl named Sela Teruah Spies last March 23! The joyous event comes just two years after the couple welcomed their firstborn Lukas Judah Spies.