LEA Salonga, the "Original Voice of Miss Saigon", had to postpone her British debut tour in March after breaking a leg in a skiing accident.

Now that the Filipina singer, Broadway star and official Disney Legend from the Mulan and Mulan II soundtrack has resumed performing, she plays York Barbican on Thursday night.

"The tour was supposed to be around my birthday, but life took a turn, when I broke my tibia, when I was skiing at Hokkaido in Japan in January," says Lea, who turned 48 on February 22.

"I lost control, I was going too fast, and I fell. The funny thing is, I was on the 'green run', so it was pretty flat, but trust me, I was well able to fall. I'm sure people around me were going, 'How did she do that?'.

"I'd done three days' skiing by then, but must have hit something hard enough to do the injury. Standing up was not fun. When I went to the doctor the next day, the doctor said, 'you need an MRI scan'."

The scan revealed the break, forcing the delay to the tour. "I was so looking forward to the concerts, but wheelchair access is not what it's cracked up to be at airports, and the doctor in Manila said you're grounded until your leg is much better.

"That was in January, when I saw him a few days after the accident, when he said I couldn't travel for a few weeks, so everything in February had to be cancelled."

Once her muscles were strong enough, Lea resumed performing concerts in early April. "I was on crutches and still had to use wheelchairs at airports until early May," Lea recalls. "I was using a cane for the last few weeks, and the next challenge was walking for longer distances, as I got tired more quickly. But as I'm in New York, I don't have any option but to walk!"

Lea's first appearance after the accident was a guest spot in Manila, "wheeled on and off stage" on her birthday in February. "That was an amazing feeling, hearing the singing of 11,000 people," she says.

Her first full concert on her return was on April 5. " I' started by sitting for the whole thing, for all the shows, but then I talked to my manager about standing at the beginning and end, to build up my stamina, which happily has increased over the months," says Lea. "My manager has been gunning for me to be wearing heels again.

"I should be standing again by the time of the York show, but I'm not doing anything to endanger my health, though audiences haven't seemed to mind when I've been sitting down."

The tibia break impacted on Lea's singing in concert less than she expected when sitting down. "It hasn't affected my technique and I think my trunk is strong," she says. "I'm anchored very well, and as long as I position my body well, then it's fine. That comes with having sung for so many years and being trained so well.

"Singing sitting down has been a different challenge but I'm vocally healthy and extremely well rested vocally too, and the nice thing has been not having to sing in high heels or teetering on stilettos, when my feet get so tired. I've been singing in sneakers, so my feet aren't tired."

Best known for her Tony Award-winning role in Miss Saigon, Lea was the first Asian artist to play Eponine in Les Misérables on Broadway and was the singing voice of two Disney princesses, Princess Jasmine in Aladdin and Fa Mulan in Mulan and Mulan II. Expect those songs to feature in her Barbican set, under the musical direction of New Yorker Larry Yurman, in the company of "kick-ass" British musicians.

"You've got to give people what they want," she reasons. "Definitely Miss Saigon, Les Miserables, Mulan, with a smattering of pop music, songs from others musicals, music I love."

Later this year, Lea is to play Londoner Mrs Lovett in Stephen Sondheim's musical Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street in Manila in her Philippines homeland. "I'll be listening to accents over here, asking people to talk into my phone, but we'll also have a good dialect coach," she says.

"We start rehearsals in September and maybe I'll get a head start with the accent in August, making it a London voice that is not so authentic that no-one can understand it in Manila, but still true to the London Cockney accent."

And finally, Lea, will you ever ski again? "Oh, I think so. I'm just one of those people that likes to do things," she says. "A little girl came up to me after a show and said, she was a Filipina too, don't give up on your skiing, and I won't."

Lea Salonga, York Barbican, Thursday, July 18, 7.30pm. Box office: 0203 356 5441, at yorkbarbican.co.uk or in person at Barbican box office.

Charles Hutchinson