Stage sisters, real siblings

Stage sisters, real siblings
Andrew Lee, Mrs Lee Yida, older daughter Sabrina Lee, 11, and younger daughter, Samantha Lee, 9. The sisters are two of 18 locally based children picked from more than 400 applicants who auditioned to play six out of seven children in the Von Trapp family in the musical, The Sound Of Music which opens at the MasterCard Theatres in Marina Bay Sands on 11 July 2014.

For 10 days in July, sisters Sabrina and Samantha Lee will become the Von Trapp sisters.

When 11-year-old Sabrina auditioned for a role in the musical The Sound Of Music, she never expected to get a role as Louisa, one of the seven children in the Von Trapp family.

A bigger surprise in store for her and her family was that her younger sister Samantha, nine, was also picked for the musical to play Marta.

Their mother, Mrs Lee Yida, says: "I did not expect both girls to get selected because there were many elements to be considered in the casting."

The sisters are two of 18 locally based children picked from more than 400 applicants, who auditioned to play six out of seven children in the Von Trapp family. The selected child performers will take turns appearing in the show, which opens at the MasterCard Theatres in Marina Bay Sands on July 11.

The original 1959 Broadway production of the musical won six Tony Awards, including Best Musical. The 1965 movie starring Julie Andrews as Maria, a governess who changes the lives of the Von Trapp family, won five Oscars, including Best Picture.

The Lee sisters have stage experience.

Sabrina performed in the musical Annie in 2012 in an ensemble role and was also cast in the 2011 Wild Rice Christmas pantomime Aladdin. Samantha has taken part in the same company's year-end show for the past three years.

The family, who are Singapore permanent residents, like to engage with the arts. Shanghai-born Mrs Lee, 44, who works at a multinational IT company, and her husband, Australia-born banker Andrew Lee, 44, take their daughters to museums, art exhibitions and theatre shows.

Sabrina takes dance, piano and singing lessons and plays netball, while Samantha takes piano lessons, plays netball and swims. They are students at St Joseph's Institution International.

Although Sabrina admits it is hard to balance her busy schedule on top of her schoolwork, she says she is not being pushed by her parents to take these lessons.

She says: "I have dance lessons three times a week, so that's the one that makes it really hard. But I really enjoy dance and singing lessons."

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