Monday, January 30, 2012

Arts Songs tribute concerts open Manila Chamber Orchestra Foundation’s 2012 Season

Songmaker’s Almanac, a series of tribute concerts to Art Songs will be initial offering of the Manila Chamber Orchestra Foundation in partnership with the Filipinas Heritage Library in its 2012 Season. These series of concerts, also in line with the Valentine season, happen on February 2, 10, 11 and 17, 2012 at 6:30 PM at the Filipinas Heritage Library, formerly Nielson Tower.

February 2, 2012, 6:30 PM
(Art) Songs: A Retrospective

Randy Gilongo, tenor
Peter Porticos, piano

February 10, 2012, 6:30 PM
Chansons d’amour (Songs About Love)

Camille Lopez-Molina, soprano
Najib Ismail, piano

February 11, 2012, 6:30 PM
Reminiscences (Love Songs from the Silver Screen)

Oggie Benipayo, vocalist
Thea Perez, soprano
Jed Balsamo, musical director/collaborating artist

February 17, 2012, 6:30 PM
American Songbook (Love Songs from American Musicals)

Nenen Espina, soprano
Ronan Ferrer, tenor
Michael Lopez, piano

The first concert (Art) Songs: A Retrospective is an annotated concert highlighting the evolution of Art Songs from the 18th century up to the present. Tenor Randy Gilongo and pianist Peter Porticos bring life to the beauty of these Art Songs this February 2, 2012. The second concert happening on February 10, 2012 features multi-awarded soprano Camille Lopez-Molina along with pianist Najib Ismail. The concert, entitled Chansons d’amour (Songs About Love) and featuring compositions promises to be an evening filled with love songs by Goethe, Heine, Schiller, Shumann, Wolf and Schubert.

Love songs from the movies like An Affair to Remember, Evita, the Phantom of the Opera and even local film Dubai will be among the highlights of the third concert called Reminiscences (Love Songs from the Silver Screen) happening on February 11, 2012. This fund raising concert for the Recovery Circle Foundation  features vocalist Oggie Benipayo, soprano Thea Perez, and collaborating artist Jed Balsamo who is also the evening’s musical director. Lastly, the fourth concert, featuring soprano Nenen Espina, tenor Ronan Ferrer and pianist Michael Lopez will include numbers such as “Someone to Watch over Me”, “The Way You Look Tonight”, and “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes”.

All performances begin at 6:30 PM and is held at the Filipinas Heritage Library, formerly Nielson Tower. The MCO Foundation, established in 1985, a non-stock, non-profit cultural foundation dedicated to the promotion of classical and cultural arts. This concert is made possible in partnership with Lyric Piano and Organ, BusinessWorld, HighLife and Novellino Wines.

Ticket prices:

For inquiries:
MCO Foundation 750-0768, (0920) 954-0053
Filipinas Heritage Library 892-1801, (0917) 561-2413
TicketWorld 891-9999

Friday, January 27, 2012

Next Fall

At first glance, the play Next Fall seems to be a magnet for controversy. This play, written by Geoffrey Nauffts, centers on a homosexual couple with different beliefs (one is a Christian while the other is an atheist who rather believes that he has various illnesses) as they go through the ups and downs of their relationship. But Repertory Philippines took a chance and decided to stage this as their initial offering for their 2012 season celebrating their 45th year. And I was able to see a performance of the play during its preview night at Onstage at Greenbelt 1 thanks to director Audie Gemora and his little contest.

Over the course of the play, the relationship between the atheist Adam (Bart Guingona) and the devout Christian Luke (David Bianco) is put to its ultimate test when the latter figures in an accident. Adam, Luke’s parents, Butch (Miguel Faustmann) and Arlene (June Henares), along with friends Holly (Liesl Batucan) and Brandon (Niccolo Manahan) gather in a hospital room and tension arises as secrets are revealed amidst the uncertainty of Luke’s condition. And to offer a breather to the tense scenes, flashbacks are interspersed throughout the play showing the relationship between Luke and Adam from its beginning up to the present day at the hospital.

Repertory Philippines' Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo, director Audie Gemora,
Miguel Faustmann, Juno Henares, David Bianco, Bart Guingona,
Liesl Batucan and Niccolo Manahan

Right from the beginning, I was able to establish the relationships and the connection between the characters which is a good thing. Many times in previous plays that I’ve seen, I had to check the souvenir programme during the intermission to figure out who’s who and how they are related to each other. But I encountered no such trouble with this and comprehended the play  completely despite the numerous flashback scenes. One of the things about this play that resonated in me was the constant search of the characters for a connection. One small detail about the play about connecting that I found so interesting was Luke’s parents trying to contact their other son at the beginning of the play. And at the end, it was Adam who finally was able to connect. This final scene was so powerful to me because of an earlier one when Butch didn’t want to connect with Adam at all despite him knowing of the true nature of their relationship. It made me feel that despite the grim situation, there is still a glimmer of hope in the future because of this new connection that was formed.

I don't want to give spoilers like how the story unfolded and how it eventually ended since it really has to be seen in order to be fully appreciated. The play is an honest depiction of an unconventional relationship that points out sensitive issues that people don’t normally want to discuss. But after watching this, I felt the urge to discuss these issues with someone else but I was with no one else since I was the only one who won the preview ticket. I used to have reservations with straight plays, especially those in English and set in some foreign country since previous plays that I saw left me unconvinced. But Next Fall’s material and its themes transcended language, setting, nationality, gender and beliefs. It presented the truth that applies to everybody that love is indeed what connects us all.

I'd really like to thank Mr. Audie Gemora once again and also Mr. Bart Guingona who was instrumental in my victory at the contest. It was truly a nice experience seeing this play that really stimulated my mind and forced me to reflect on my values which I did as I made the trip home. Next Fall runs for two more weeks until February 5, 2012. I do recommend seeing it with friends and be prepared for a lengthy discussion afterwards.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Korean artists perform with the Manila Symphony Orchestra

January 27, 2012, 7:30 PM
Francisco Santiago Hall
South Tower, BDO Corporate Center

Ju-Hee Jung, Piano
Park Sun-Hyuk, flute
Lee Eun-Hye, Piano
Manila Symphony Orchestra
San-Hyun Ryu, conductor
Jason Ros, conductor

Johannes Brahms Academic Festival Overture, Op. 80
Saverio Mercadante Flute Concerto in E minor, Op. 57 Allegro maestoso
Sergei Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 18 Moderato
Franz Liszt Piano Concerto No. 2 in A major, S.125
Ludwig van Beethoven Symphony No. 8 in F major, Op. 93

The Centro Escolar University Conservatory of Music and the Presidential Committee for Culture and the Arts present Beethoven’s Humor or Love happening this January 27, 2012 7:30 PM at the Francisco Santiago Hall, located at the South Tower of the BDO Corporate Center in Makati. Korean musicians Ju-Hee Jung, Park Sun-Hyuk, and Lee Eun-Hye join the Manila Symphony Orchestra in this concert featuring the music of Brahms, Mercadante, Rachamninoff, Liszt and Beethoven. San-Hyun Ryu and Jason Ros will be guest conductors for this concert.

Flutist Park Syun Hyuk, currently a seventh grade student has been awarded as one of the promising young artists in South Chungchong Province in Korea. He will be playing the Allegro maestoso of Saverio Mercadante’s Flute Concerto in E minor, Op. 57. Ju-Hee Jung, graduating at the top of her class this year at the Korean Nazarene University, will be playing the first movement Moderato from Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 18 by Sergei Rachmaninoff. Lee Eun-Hye, a senior at the Korean Nazarene University who remains active in various performances in the piano department, will play Franz Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in A Major, S.125. San-Hyun Ryu, founder of the Cheonan Youth Symphony Orchestra will share conducting duties with University of Sto. Tomas alumnus Jason Ros who has also conducted the Manila Symphony Orchestra a while back. Johannes Brahms’ Academic Festival Overture, Op. 80 and Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 8 in F Major, Op. 93

Ticket prices:
-50% student discount
-20% senior citizen discount

For inquiries:
Centro Escolar University
School of Education-Liberal Arts-Music-Social Work
735-6861 to 71 loc. 247

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Guitarists converge for the 2012 Philippine International Guitar Festival and Competition

Metropolitan Guitar Ensemble

January 26, 2012
10:00 AM Philippine Guitar School Concert
3:00 PM Ekachai Jearakul  and Monching Carpio Concert
7:30 PM Gen Matsuda & Tomonori  Arai Concert

January 27, 2012
10:00 AM Tomonori Arai Masterclass MKP Hall
1:00 PM Competition Eliminations
7:30 PM Jacob Cordover and Leon Koudelak Concert

January 28, 2012
10:00 AM  Jacob Cordover Masterclass MKP Hall
10:00 AM Jose Valdez Classical Guitar Appreciation Lecture-Performance-Workshop  Silangan Hall
3:00 PM EJ Pichay, Erskine Basilio and Neris Gonzalez Concert
7:30 PM 12 Cuerdas Concert

January 29, 2012
10:00 AM Carsten Linck Masterclass MKP Hall
1:00 PM Competition Finals
7:30 PM Guitar Forays Concert

Arthur Erskine Basilio

Guitars take the spotlight as the 2012 Philippine International Guitar Festival and Competition is held over at the Cultural Center of the Philippines this January 26-29, 2012. Now on its third edition, the festival spearheaded by the Guitar Friends features a myriad of events catering to guitarists of all levels and lovers of guitar music as well: a competition which is open to all nationalities, concerts featuring local and international guitarists and masterclasses conducted by some of the guest performers.

Scheduled to perform at the concerts are Tomonori Arai, Gen Matsuda, Ekachai Jearakul, Ramoncito “Monching” B. Carpio, Rafael Rodríguez, Dani de Morón, EJ Pichay, Arthur Erskine Basilio, Neris Gonzalez, Jacob Cordover, Leon Koudelak, Carsten Linck, Agnes Barredo-Fenoli, PWU Guitar Ensemble, Christian Arts Guitar Quartet, Triple Fret, Nebrija Ramos Duo, Ann Arbor Montessori Guitar Quartet, Angelis Guitar Quartet, QCPADFI Guitar Ensemble, Cebu Guitar Foundation of the Philippines, Inc., Sta. Isabel College Guitar Quartet, Flamenco Philippines, Metropolitan Guitar Ensemble, UP Guitar Orchestra, UST Guitar Ensemble and the Festival Guitar Orchestra.

Neris Gonzalez

The concert 12 Cuerdas is a free concert presented by Instituto Cervantes. The duo Rafael Rodríguez and Dani de Morón will perform their own compositions featuring the music of flamenco which evokes the spirit of southern Spain. Admission is free on a first come, first served basis and since this will be on a weekend, it pays to be early.

Masterclasses will be given by Arai, Cordover and Linck while Jose Valdez will be conducting a free classical guitar appreciation lecture-performance-workshop. Arai and Linck join Koudelak, Yuichi Imai, Michel Rabaud, Steve Lin, and Woratep Rattana-umpawan as they form the jury at the competition.

Monching Carpio

I am not sure if the Little Theater Lobby will be transformed once again into a bazaar where music stores, merchants and luthiers set up booths and tables offering guitars, strings, accessories and various items that may be of interest for guitarists. And based on experience, there will always be someone at the lobby playing the guitar. So there’s really a lot to see and hear during this event. I was able to have a sampler of the festival when the Metropolitan Guitar Ensemble performed a medley of OPM hits during the CCP A-Press-ciation Lunch that happened recently.

Rafael Rodríguez

Concerts and the competition take place at the Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino (CCP Little Theater), the masterclasses will be held at the MKP Hall while the guitar appreciation lecture-performance-workshop will be held at the Silangan Hall.

Dani de Morón

Ticket prices:
P400 Concert Ticket
P2000 Festival Pass to all concerts, masterclasses and competition
-50% student discount

For inquiries:
CCP Box Office 832-3704
Guitar Friends (0927) 344-7712
TicketWorld 891-9999

Monday, January 23, 2012

The Year of the Dragon celebrations launched at the SM City North EDSA

Richard Yap as the Emperor

It is now the Year of the Dragon and the Chinese is celebrating their new year. Since there are many Chinese people in almost every part of the world, many territories are also celebrating this occasion as well, and the Philippines is no exception. A week before, SM City North EDSA presented a program that ushered in the arrival of the Year of the Dragon.

The program held at the Atrium of The Block in SM City North EDSA featured Chinese music performed by a choir and also by a drum ensemble composed of mainly young members. It also featured a Wushu presentation. And the climax of the event was the Dragon and Lion Dance performing daring tricks (Lion hopping onto benches and the Dragon dancers stacked on the shoulders of other dancers) setting them apart from the usual performances. All of these were tied up together through a story about ancient China told by television personality Chris Tiu, who is also the captain of Smart Gilas Pilipinas, the national basketball team of the Philippines. And overseeing the presentations was the Emperor portrayed by actor Richard Yap, the breakout star of the recently concluded television series My Binondo Girl.

These type of mall shows are a great way to expose the general public to culture. I guess that for many mall goers who stopped by to see the show, it was their first time to see a Wushu presentation. There was a time when I wanted to learn this martial art which I think combines both technical skills and artistry. I was impressed by one athlete who did three butterfly kicks on after the other and also by the one who did one with an added twist.

Right after the event, many people took the opportunity to take photos with Richard Yap as the Emperor while the choir provided more music. This event was just the launch and there were still other highlights at the SM North EDSA over the course of the Chinese New Year season like more photo opportunities with the Emperor (no longer Richard Yap), Chinese icons collectors exhibit featuring Bruce Lee and Jet Li, Chinese charms and ornaments bazaar, Chinese delicacies bazaar by Polland and a Chinese cultural dolls exhibit as well.

In the Chinese Zodiac, there is something special about the dragon. Dragons are a mythical creature and some see them as majestic while some fear them because of their fire breathing capabilities. The status of dragons in myths, legends and stories in both western and eastern hemispheres has made celebrations welcoming the Year of the Dragon extra special. And SM City North EDSA did its share in letting people become more aware of this occasion and also exposing them to Chinese culture.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Markki Stroem and G-Force heats up Valentine’s with a sexy show

February 4, 2012, 8:00 PM
Music Museum
Greenhills Shopping Center
San Juan

February may be a cold month but temperatures will rise this February 4, 2012, 8:00 PM at the Music Museum with a steamy production entitled Make Me Sweat: A Sexy Valentine Show. This Cornerstone Concerts and Qualibet presentation features up and coming singer, stage actor and tv personality Markki Stroem and the innovative and hip dance group G-Force.

Fil-Norwegian Markki Stroem first came to the public’s attention as a finalist at Pilipinas Got Talent wherein he displayed his vocal skills and surprised everyone with his talent in playing various music instruments like the piano and the saxophone. After this, he went on various tv appearances and also starred in theater productions like the play Henry and the musical Next to Normal. Since he has shown that he has the singing and acting chops,  the big question now is if he would do the sexy moves in this show.

The moves in question will be the responsibility of Georcelle Dapat-Sy, or Teacher Georcelle, the director of G-Force. G-Force, celebrating its seventh year in the industry has become one of the most in demand dance groups gracing television shows and accompanying numerous acts in concerts and tours all over the country and abroad. During the bloggers conference held recently at Kozui Green Tea, Georcelle said that this show will push the limits of sexiness but still in good taste. I guess that they will indeed make the Music Museum audience sweat and I just hope that the air conditioning unit will be in tip top shape inside the hall that evening.

Markki Stroem

Also at the conference, Markki said that he’s been working on with new music material for his upcoming album. He stressed that he’s not willing to give up his artistic voice and conform to what’s popular in his music. And in that lies the hope that listeners here will be receptive with his music which is heavily influenced by his European side. For him, it’s finding the balance between the artistic and what’s commercially viable that he’s working on. He also mentioned that his theater background has made him a perfectionist and that he values the importance of rehearsals. With his work ethic and artistic integrity, Markki is poised to make a splash this year as he is set to release his debut album and star in yet another musical.

Georcelle of G-Force

In the seven years of G-Force, they have elevated dance to a higher level and has established themselves as stars in their own right. Teacher Georcelle said that it takes someone with the complete package to be a part of G-Force since the group had auditions late last year. She also mentioned that it takes someone who has the passion and who is willing to undergo rigorous training as well. She further added that the two G-Force members Bhe and Gelai who were also at the conference do take dance classes whenever they have the chance if ever they are on tour abroad. All of this hard work eventually shows up in their dance performances that feature unusual choreography, sharp syncopated moves and excellent lines which the maturing viewers are now learning to appreciate. Traditionally, dancers are often relegated to the background and not given enough importance by the industry. But the dedication, innovation and commitment to their craft by Georcelle and the rest of the G-Force has earned them the respect in the business and has given them the chance to shine on stage which they truly deserve.

Make Me Sweat: A Sexy Valentine Show, directed by Georcelle Dapat-Sy is also brought to you by ASAP 2012 and with Orange Magazine TV as online partner. Special thanks also to MYX. And this show is for the benefit of Bosom Buddies.

Gelai of G-Force

Ticket prices:
P2500 Orchestra Center
P1500 Orchestra Side
P1000 Balcony

For inquiries:
TicketWorld 891-9999

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Yeng Constantino celebrates singlehood in early Valentine's Day concert

February 3, 2012, 8:00 PM
Music Museum
Greenhills Shopping Center
San Juan

Valentine’s Day is usually dreaded by singles out there since most of the events during this season are geared towards those in a relationship. And those who are single can’t help but feel miserable about their plight around this time. Fortunately, these single people (myself included) need not to fret anymore since Yeng Constantino says that it’s perfectly ok to be single via her early Valentine’s Day offering. This February 3, 2012, 8:00 PM at the Music Museum, Cornerstone Concerts, RRJ and Qualibet presents Yeng Constantino in OK Lang Maging Single Sa Valentines, a concert celebrating the status of being single.

This concert was conceptualized right after Yeng’s solo concert in 2011 when she had an idea about a Valentine’s Day concert intended for single people instead of the couples most shows are targeted to. So instead of sulking this season, Yeng puts a more positive approach to being single. And during a recent bloggers conference at Kozui Green Tea, Yeng’s enthusiasm was overflowing as she tried hard not to spill major spoilers of her concert. She was allowed though to say that she’ll be playing live for the first time an original song that is made especially for this concert. She couldn’t contain her excitement when she told about the video she was about to shoot for this song as well. The palpable thrill emanating from her made me so intrigued as to what these surprises are and I guess that I just had to watch the concert in order to find them out. And as an added treat, Jovit Baldivino and Paolo Valenciano will be her special guests in this concert.

Yeng has indeed come a long, long way since her breakout hit Hawak Kamay right after her stint as a Pinoy Dream Academy scholar. In a span of just a few years, she already has established herself as one of the more promising singer/songwriters of her generation. Her drive to write and release original material instead of covers also made her one of the movers of the local music industry. And her stage presence and energy during live performances can truly convince that it’s truly ok to be single this Valentine’s Day. After all, she is also single and very happy being just that.

The show will be directed by Dido Camara (ASAP Sessionistas) and with music direction by guitarist and producer Jack Rufo. Special thanks to Let’s Face It, Orange Magazine TV, MYX and Magic 89.9. This show is for the benefit of Bosom Buddies.

Yeng Constantino

Ticket prices:
P2500 Orchestra Center
P1500 Orchestra Side
P1000 Balcony

For inquiries:
TicketWorld 891-9999

Krissy and Ericka releases sophomore album Twelve: Fifty One

Ericka and Krissy

Krissy and Ericka first made their mark via their YouTube videos doing cover versions of current hits. After releasing their debut self-titled album back in 2009, the sister duo returns with their sophomore record entitled Twelve: Fifty One under MCA Music.

The young sisters who are still in their teens had an early start in music when they were encouraged by their parents to learn how play music instruments. Krissy first started with the flute and there’s indeed an early video of Pachelbel’s Canon in D with her on the flute. Ericka on the other hand started with the guitar and eventually taught her younger sister by 10 months how to play it. After just a few years, they now have two albums (that are also released in other South East Asian territories) under their belt and a very promising career.

Right before they went on tour of neighboring South East Asian countries along with another YouTube discovery AJ Rafael, the sisters met with several bloggers including myself for an intimate chat regarding their experience in the industry so far and of course, about their second album.

One of the things that the sisters and their parents as well are excited about is their upcoming video for the single 12:51 which was penned by Krissy. After getting through a 14 hour shoot at the PNR Station and North Harbor in Manila, they can’t wait for the video to be aired and they showed raw footage from the shoot which really showed in a new and very interesting perspective several locations here in the metro. And Ericka also got to utilize her acting skills in the video as well like she did when she had a part in the recent Metro Manila Film Festival entry Segunda Mano.

Krissy and Ericka really pushed for 12:51, one of their original tracks in the album, to be the lead single and the video. Krissy even said that she still can’t write songs for other people yet since she is possessive of her songs. But an exception would be Yeng Constantino since both of them are huge fans of her.

The album consists of 10 tracks (and one bonus track) that feature the sisters’ clear and soothing vocals that remind me of drinking hot apple cinnamon tea: sweet, comforting with a hint of spice. Six of the tracks are their versions of current hits but what I am more interested in their originals. The original tracks are Rewind which features guest vocals by AJ Rafael, In Your Arms, 12:51 and Anything which was written and featuring international artist Marié Digby. The Lamars also make an appearance in the album in the track Rocketeer. The bonus track Change the World is also included in the compilation album 90’s Music Comes Alive also by MCA Music.

Twelve: Fifty One

1. Rewind feat. AJ Rafael
2. Rolling In The Deep
3. 12:51
4. That Should Be Me
5. Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)
6. Back To December
7. In Your Arms
8. Rocketeer feat. The Lamars
9. Love The Way You Lie 2
10. Anything feat. Marié Digby
11. Change The World

To download Krissy and Ericka's music, text KANDE and send to 3456.

St. Scholastica's College School of Music and Manila Symphony Orchestra presents Mozart's Così Fan Tutte

January 21, 2012 7:00 PM
St. Cecilia’s Hall
St. Scholastica’s College

Myramae Meneses as Fiordiligi
Iona Ventocilla as Dorabella
Ivan Nery as Ferrando
Carlo Falcis as Guglielmo
Ralph Perez as Don Alfonso
Kristine Balingcos as Despina
Manila Symphony Orchestra
Arturo Molina, conductor

The year 2012 has just started and it seems that opera is going to take the limelight with a handful of productions getting staged this year. First among this is a staging of Così Fan Tutte presented by St. Scholastica's College, Manila School of Music, in cooperation with the Manila Symphony Orchestra happening this January 21, 2012, 7:00 PM at St. Cecilia’s Hall, St. Scholastica’s College in Manila.

Those who had seen the series Nodame Cantabile will be familiar with the plot of this opera by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart about two soldiers testing their partners’ loyalty by disguising themselves and seducing each other’s lovers. This production will be unique since the recitatives will be translated into Filipino while the arias and ensemble numbers will be performed in the original Italian. I am still new to opera and my Italian is very rusty so this is a great opportunity for me and for others as well to experience opera sans the intimidation factor.

This production of Così Fan Tutte will feature the top vocal talents of St. Scholastica: sopranos Myramae Meneses as Fiordiligi and Iona Ventocilla as Dorabella, tenors Ivan Nery as Ferrando and Carlo Falcis as Guglielmo, baritone Ralph Perez as Don Alfonso, and soprano Kristine Balingcos as Despina. The production is directed by McDo Bolanos, with one of the country's top sopranos, Camille Lopez Molina as vocal coach, and Manila Symphony Orchestra music director Arturo Molina conducting.

Unfortunately, Nodame Cantabile spoiled the ending and revealed the outcome of the seduction. But I won’t tell if the women did succumb to the temptation or if they remained faithful to their fiancés.

Ticket prices:
P200 Regular
P150 Student

For inquiries:

Monday, January 16, 2012

Mikey Bustos stars in Prison Dancer

Mikey Bustos

I first heard about Mikey Bustos when he made the local news as yet another Filipino living overseas making waves as a finalist at Canadian Idol years ago. So when his Filipino accent tutorial video over at YouTube went viral, I had to double check to see if this Mikey Bustos was indeed the same person from Canadian Idol since he sounded very different in the video. I wouldn’t be surprised that some people who first encountered him through his videos would be equally surprised and baffled as well when they find out about his Canadian Idol experience. And with this sudden and unexpected second wind, Mikey was met with various opportunities here in the Philippines like a product endorsement, various television and radio guest appearances that enabled him to showcase his pipes.

Mikey made his mark through music and a viral video and he has gone full circle as he stars in Prison Dancer, a musical online series that is inspired by the Dancing Inmates of Cebu viral video from a couple of years ago. This 12 episode online web series launching in March 2012 stars YouTube discoveries and some Filipino talents emerging in North America namely Mikey Bustos, Jeigh Madjus, Catherine Ricafort, Matt Wells, Ron Josol, Nicco Lorenzo, Norman Alconcel, Pierre Bayuga and Joseph Sevillo. This interactive series tells the story of six Filipino prisoners whose lives are forever changed by the dancing rehabilitation program that has amused and entertained millions of viewers on YouTube.

One rather unexpected development in Mikey’s career is that some people now refer to him as Mang Juan. Mikey, more specifically his tutorial video persona has become an endorser of the Mang Juan line of snacks by the Universal Robina Corporation and the television ads for the Chicharron ni Mang Juan exposed him more to a mainstream audience. And he feels that this product is very much in line with the essence of his videos which is promoting Filipino culture and values and the snacks are indeed very much Filipino. And I couldn’t help munching on them during the Bloggers’ Conference that was held recently at the Crowne Plaza.

With so much going on for Mikey, he still has some dream projects like releasing an album locally and working with local composers like Ryan Cayabyab. But for now, he’s loving the Philippines so much, looking forward to Prison Dancer, uploading more videos especially now that he’s been touring around the country and also munching another bag of Chicharron ni Mang Juan.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Japan's Takahiro Ono joins Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra’s “Inextinguishable” concert.

Trombonist Takahiro Ono

January 20, 20128:00 PM
Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo (CCP Main Theater)
CCP Complex
Pasay, Metro Manila

Takahiro Ono, trombone
Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra
Olivier Ochanine, conductor

Antonín Dvořák Czech Suite in D major, Op. 39
Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov Concerto for Trombone and Military Band
Carl Nielsen Symphony No. 4, Op. 29 FS 76, The Inextinguishable

The concert season for orchestral music enthusiasts finally resumes after almost a month with the upcoming concert of the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra entitled The Inextinguishable to be held at the Cultural Center of the Philippines’ Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo (CCP Main Theater). Joining the PPO, led by principal conductor/music director Olivier Ochanine is Japanese trombone player Takahiro Ono who will be the featured soloist for Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s Concerto for Trombone and Military Band. The title of the concert is taken from the heavyweight piece to be performed this evening: Carl Nielsen’s Symphony No. 4, Op. 29 FS 76 also known as The Inextinguishable. Also to be performed will be Antonín Dvořák’s Czech Suite in D major, Op. 39.

The Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra

Honestly, the most anticipated piece in this concert for me is the Czech Suite which Oli Ochanine told me will be a Philippine debut. There had been some confusion regarding this because previous promotional materials had Lahing Kayumanggi by Lucio San Pedro as the piece instead of the suite. I have nothing against this San Pedro piece but it has already been performed by the PPO (and also by the Manila Symphony Orchestra) back in 2010 so I think that it needs to be missed a lot longer before performing it again. Also interesting is the Rimsky-Korsakov trombone concerto since I’ve yet to see a trombone concerto in my whole life. And I do hope to be able to catch Ono if ever he decides to hold a masterclass. And for the epic piece of the night, Carl Nielsen’s The Inextinguishable, I admit that despite numerous spins, I still find it hard to grasp it. So I hope that seeing it performed will enable me to understand and grasp it finally.

Conductor Olivier Ochanine

Well, there’s still more than a week for me to listen to this symphony and hopefully read the score if I could ever find the time. But for sure, I’ll be making the time and effort to be at the CCP for the first PPO concert this 2012. See you peeps!

Ticket prices:
P1000 Orchestra Center
P800 Orchestra Side
P500 Balcony I Center
P350 Balcony I Side
P200 Balcony II
-50% student discount
-20% senior citizen discount

For inquiries:
CCP Marketing Department 832-1125 loc. 1806
CCP Box Office 832-3704
TicketWorld 891-9999
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