Singaporean Sasha Suhandinata, 9, scores part as Frozen's Princess Anna

July 7, 2015

Many young girls in Singapore have dressed up as Princess Anna from Disney's hit animated musical film Frozen.

 

Nine-year-old Singaporean Sasha Suhandinata will do that too, on two nights next month, but her Anna is not like the rest - hers is official.

 

She will be playing Princess Anna in Disney On Classic - A Magical Night, the first Disney live orchestral show in South-east Asia. She was selected from 170 hopefuls who submitted videos of themselves singing Do You Want To Build A Snowman, one of the popular tunes from the movie.

 

"I can't believe it! But I feel really excited to sing and perform, and I'm very happy about it. It's going to be awesome," says the Methodist Girls' School pupil, who has watched Frozen more than 12 times.

 

"Frozen is the best movie ever. The songs are great and so are the characters. When the movie first came out, all my friends were singing the songs. I watched many versions of the various songs on YouTube," says the nine-year-old, who owns "lots" of Frozen stationery and several dolls from the movie.

 

"My teacher told my class the day after I found out I got the role and everyone congratulated me. They can't believe that I am going to be on a big stage with a full orchestra. I'm looking forward to being in a professional performance with amazing singers and to be on a big stage, at a huge theatre, and to sing to the audience."

 

She started taking lessons at Kids Performing, a performing arts school for children and youth, last March. Her mother enrolled her for lessons at the school seeing that it was one of the few here that offered Broadway musical classes.

 

"When I grow up, I want to sing, dance and act," says Sasha, the younger of two daughters.

 

Her older sister Guila, 12, is not into any performing arts. Their mother is the director of a foster home in China and their stepfather is a senior vice-president in a bank. Their father is a businessman.

 

The show's cast includes eight international singers; the Metropolitan Festival Orchestra, a local fully independent orchestra; and members of The Orchestra Japan. Brad Kelley, Disney music maestro, will helm the performance.

 

Disney On Classic - A Magical Night is the most successful live orchestral show of the Disney franchise - it has been seen by more than 800,000 people since its first show in 2002.

 

Last year's winter tour in Japan sold out more than 50 sessions. The show typically tours only within Japan, but it went to South Korea in 2008 and 2012.

 

The show's Asian Tour 2015 will take it to Taiwan.

 

In addition to live singing and orchestral music, scenes from classic Disney movies such as Snow White (1937), The Little Mermaid (1989) and Pirates Of The Caribbean: The Curse Of The Black Pearl (2003) will be projected onto a suspended screen. There will be lighting and stage effects such as multi-coloured lights and smoke.

 

Kelley, 62, says: "In our show, we strike a balance by utilising technical enhancements that will thrill the general audience, along with purely acoustic numbers with little to no technological enhancements that appeal to everyone."

 

American Chris Blem, 26, is one of the eight international singers in the show. He says the show is "unique and special" because of the audience.

 

"Everyone is so passionate about Disney and the music and you can feel the energy when you walk on stage for the first time. It never feels like I'm working. I am constantly reminded of what an honour it is to perform in Disney On Classic."

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