Since winning Hong Kong’s First Talent Quest at the age of 6, Teresa Carpio was on a fast track to the top. By 11 she was hosting her own shows in Tahiti, at 14 she was the youngest performer ever on television in Japan, and at 18 she was a household name all over Asia.
She honed her talent and popularity by performing in live clubs in Hong Kong and all round the region, so that each album she released with EMI went gold - singing songs such as We May Never Love Like This Again, Could We Start Again Please, and When Will I See You Again; all done with a style and energy that was immediately recognisable as Teresa Carpio.
When Cantopop - the musical style of Cantonese lyrics married with simple rhythms and melodies - hit Hong Kong and began dominating the airwaves, Teresa easily was able to make the switch. She released a series of Cantonese-language albums, each of which contained songs that are now considered among the classics of the genre: If, an aching ballad to lost love; the late night anthem for the broken-hearted True Love; the Cantonese cover of Kyu Sakamoto’s Sukiyaki; the hit song penned by popular singing partner George Lam Chi Cheung I Still Remember The Time; and the uplifting Why Give Up, among many, many others.
In addition, Teresa hosted her own musical variety show for three years on HKTVB; starred in the award-winning original musical City Of Broken Promises in San Jose, California and kicked off the trend to mega-concerts at the 12,000-seat Hong Kong Coliseum.
She took time to raise a family, still keeping herself in the public eye with the occasional performance and movie role, until featuring in Clifton Ko Chi Sum’s 67-night local hit musical I Have A Date With Spring. Her role as the brash nightclub singer stole the show, in particular her rendition of Carmen which brought the house down night after night.
Stopping only to set up her first school - Teresa Carpio International School of Performing Arts - in Toronto, Teresa returned to Hong Kong again to hold a triumphant series of six concerts with the Hong Kong Philharmonic in Christmas 2002. Entitled simply DIVA, the performances brought the classical and pop worlds together in a way no one else could have done. With the exception of three of her classic Cantonese songs, the entire show was in English, and the resulting CD/DVD was the hit of 2003, outselling almost everything that year.
Teresa then followed up with two years’ later with two nights at the 12,000-seat Hong Kong Coliseum, a venue she herself had opened over twenty years previously. And then three years later, she sold out four nights at the same venue; this time with singing partner from thirty years ago George Lam Chi Cheung.
The song the two recorded especially for the concerts, Always in My Heart, won the 2007 Best Collaboration with Vocals at the 30th CASH Golden Sail Music Awards, a well-deserved acknowledgement for these two veterans singers abilities.
Still more was to come for Teresa though: at the RTHK 30th Top Ten Chinese Music Awards in 2008 she received the Golden Needle - an honour that is only given to those artists who have made an exceptional contribution to the Hong Kong music industry.
After recording her Family Christmas Album, a collection of seasonal favourites, she is now working on a new album with legendary guitarist Michael Thompson.