Saturday, November 15, 2014

Metropolitan Opera’s Rusalka to be screened at Greenbelt in Makati

November 18, 2014, 6:30 PM
Greenbelt 3 (Cinema 1)
Ayala CenterMakati

The Metropolitan Opera series in high definition (HD) continues on November 18, 2014, 6:30 PM at Greenbelt 3 Cinema 1 in Makati with Antonín Dvořák’s Rusalka. The event is made possible through the Cultural Center of the Philippines, the New York Met Opera and the Filipinas Opera Society Foundation Inc. in cooperation with the Ayala Malls Cinemas and Greenbelt.

The great Renée Fleming returns to one of her signature roles, singing the enchanting Song to the Moon in Dvořák's soulful fairy-tale opera. Tenor Piotr Beczala co-stars as the Prince, Dolora Zajick is Ježibaba, and dynamic young maestro Yannick Nézet-Séguin is on the podium.

This opera was composed by the Czech Nationalist composer, Antonín Dvořák. The Czech libretto was written by the poet Jaroslav Kvapil (1868–1950) based on the fairy tales of Karel Jaromír Erben and Božena Němcová. Rusalka is one of the most successful Czech operas, and represents a cornerstone of the repertoire of Czech opera houses. A Rusalka is a water sprite from Slavic mythology, usually inhabiting a lake or river.

The remaining screenings for this season are Giuseppe Verdi’s Othello on December 16, 2014, Giacomo Puccini’s La Bohème on January 13, 2015, Jules Massenet’s Werther on February 10, 2015 and George Friedrich Handel, Antonio Vivaldi, and Jean-Philippe Rameau’s Enchanted Island on March 13, 2015. All screenings will start at 6:30 PM

The Met Opera in HD series is made possible through the Cultural Center of the Philippines, the New York Metropolitan Opera and the Filipinas Opera Society Foundation Inc. in cooperation with the Ayala Malls Cinemas and Greenbelt.

Ticket price:

For inquiries:
Greenbelt 3 Cinema 757-3862, 752-7883

Country’s brightest young musicians compete at the 41st NAMCYA’s finals this week

November 18-23, 2014
Various CCP Locations
CCP Complex
Pasay, Metro Manila

The National Music Competitions for Young Artists (NAMCYA) celebrates 41 years of serving as catalyst in discovering and nurturing young Filipino musicians towards advancement of artistic performance, creativity, and Philippine music traditions. The event runs from November 18-23, 2014 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines.

With generous support from the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), the Cultural Center of the Philippines and the Department of Education, the 2014 National Music Week will include outreach programs and the Final Round of the various group and solo NAMCYA competitions, culminating in the Concert of Winners on November 23, 5:00 PM at the Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo (CCP Main Theater).

Performing are the winners in the Choir and Rondalla groups instrument competitions and Guitar, Piano, Trombone, Trumpet, and Voice for solo instrument competitions. The six national winners in the Traditional Music Ensemble competition will also be presented.

Here are the finalists of the 41st NAMCYA:

National Winners: Traditional Music Ensemble, Category B
1. Bentangan High School Cultural Ensemble, Arumanen Manobo - Region XII
2. DepED Bulacan Performing Arts Group, Tagalog - Region III
3. Kinag-aw, Maeng / Itneg-Tinguian - Cordillera Autonomous Region
4. Pantuyan National High School Mandaya Cultural Ensemble, Mandaya - Region XI
5. Sabay Ensemble, Subanen - Region IX
6. Sibol Theater Arts, Maranao - Region X

Choir, Category B - Mixed Voices
1. Bacolod City National High School Youth Choir, Cond. Easter Candiasan - Region VI
2. Ligao National High School (LNHS) Voice Chorale, Cond. Celger Venzon - Region V
3. Muntinlupa Vocal Ensemble, Cond. Ivy Rose Casiguran-Puri - NCR
4. Musica Paulinos, Cond. Jeffrey Buensuceso - NCR
5. STEFTI Youth Choir, Cond. Jose Emmanuel Aquino - Region VIII
6. University of the Philippines Rural High School Glee Club, Cond. Marife Rebutar - Region IV-A

Choir, Category B - Equal Voices
1. Boscorale, Cond. Alvin Paulin - NCR
2. The Davao Girls Choir, Cond. Elena Barradas-Gementiza - Region XI
3. Ilocos Norte National High School - SPA Youth Choir, Cond. Sherween Frez Cabrales - Region I
4. League of Young Voices Tagum City National Comprehensive High School Choir, Cond. Juanito Garcia - Region XI
5. St. Paul College Pasig High School Chorale, Cond. Sheila Marie Fetalvero - NCR
6. St. Scholastica's Academy Marikina High School Glee Club, Cond. Danilo Monte Jr. - NCR

Rondalla, Category A
1. Aniweng na Cuerdas Rondalla, Cond. Reynan Ayento - Region I
2. Colawin Elementary School Rondalla, Cond. Harry James Lucero - Region VII
3. ETCS II Children's Rondalla Group A, Cond. Antonio Pioquinto Jr. - Region VI
4. Lucban District Children's Rondalla, Cond. Isidro Obmasca Jr. - Region IV-A
5. Magugpo Pilot Central Elementary School Rondalla, Cond. Angelina Gevila - Region
6. Mauban South District Children's Rondalla, Cond. Ro-ann Casimiro - Region IV-A
7. Naga Central School I, Cond. Ma. Theresa Serilo - Region V
8. Sariaya Community Rondalla (SCR), Cond. Herbert Perez - Region IV-A
9. Timoteo Paez Elementary School Rondalla, Cond. Leonardo Bruno Jr. - NCR

Guitar, Category C     
1. Aaron Rafael Aguila III - NCR
2. Aemilio Cecilio Enginco - Region IV-A
3. Roman Gerard Enguero - Region IV-A
4. Carlo Antonio Juan - NCR
5. Roneil Santos - Region III

Piano, Category B
1. Danica Mae Antazo - Region IV-A
2. Juan Paolo Panagsagan - NCR
3. Denise Faith See - NCR
4. Nathan John Torento - XII

Trumpet, Category C
1. Marc Richard Nicolas - Region III
2. Rafael John Rubio - Region III

Trombone, Category C
1. Vanessa Ellaiza Jean Celestial - NCR
2. Elmer Ruel Guballa - Region III
3. Conrad Cecil Nicolas  Jr. - Region III

Voice, Category C
1. Stephanie Anne Aguilar - NCR
2. Jho-Merita Chua-so - NCR
3. Nikka Mae Lopez - Region IV-A
4. Ma. Krissan Manikan - NCR
5. Mheco Joy Manlangit - Region VI
6. Ivan Niccolo Nery - NCR
7. Jade Rubis Riccio - NCR
8. Elainne Marie Vibal - Region V

Here is the schedule of the NAMCYA competitions and outreach programs:

November 18, 2014
10:00 AM Opening Ceremonies, CCP Little Theater
2:00 PM Piano Competition, CCP Little Theater

November 19, 2014
2:00 PM Trombone and Trumpet Competitions, CCP Little Theater
2:00 PM Guitar Competition, CCP MKP Hall

November 20, 2014
10:00 AM Traditional Music Ensembles, Philippine Normal University, Manila
2:00 PM Voice Competition, CCP Little Theater
3:00 PM Traditional Music Ensembles, Philippine Women’s University, Manila
4:00 PM Rondalla Competition, CCP Main Theater
November 21, 2014
10:00 AM Traditional Music Ensembles, SM Baliuag, Bulacan
4:00 PM Choir Competition, CCP Main Theater
5:00 PM Voice Competition Winners Outreach Program, Paco Park, Manila

November 22, 2014
2:00 PM Choir and Rondalla Outreach Program, Il Centro Entertainment Center, Sta. Lucia Mall
4:00 PM Winners of Traditional Music Ensembles Competition, CCP Little Theater

November 23, 2014
5:00 PM Concert of Winners, CCP Main Theater

Ticket price:
Free admission

For inquiries:
NAMCYA 836-4928, 836-4929

Saturday, November 08, 2014

Pianist Rudolf Golez to perform 24 Chopin Études in Redondo Beach debut

November 14, 2014, 8:00 PM
Redondo Beach Performing Arts Theatre
1935 Manhattan Beach Blvd.,
Redondo Beach, CA 90278

Rudolf Golez, piano

Frédéric Chopin
     Études, Op. 10
          No. 1 in C major
          No. 2 in A minor
          No. 3 in E major Tristesse
          No. 4 in C sharp minor
          No. 5 in G flat Black Keys
          No. 6 in E flat minor
          No. 7 in C major
          No. 8 in F major
          No. 9 in F minor
          No. 10 in A flat major
          No. 11 in E flat major
          No. 12 in C minor Revolutionary
     Études, Op. 25
          No. 1 in A flat major
          No. 2 in F minor
          No. 3 in F major
          No. 4 in A minor
          No. 5 in E minor
          No. 6 in G sharp minor
          No. 7 in C sharp minor
          No. 8 in D flat major
          No. 9 in G flat major
          No. 10 in B minor
          No. 11 in A minor Winter Wind
          No. 12 in C minor

Filipino pianist Rudolf Golez makes his Redondo Beach debut in a solo piano concert performing Frédéric Chopin’s two sets of Études, Op. 10 & Op. 25 this November 14, 2014, 8:00 PM at the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Theatre in California.

The set of Études represents the highest level of pianistic prowess and is universally regarded as one of the most difficult in the repertoire. Few composers approximate the depth and breadth of the lot, prior or since its writing by the Polish composer. The substance of the set is in the musical content of each study, whilst adressing a particular technical difficulty. Most importantly, they serve as a blueprint for the entire compositional output of Chopin.

Not many program the 24 Études in one concert, although the great pianists at one point in their lives have done so, and even added other works in the same programme. The great Josef Hoffman, added the Military Polonaise to his concert of the 24. Ruth Slenczynska added the set of Ballades to the Études- a bit much for one night! Other greats have never played them in one sitting, as they did not probably feel the 'need' to do so. This distinction goes to Artur Rubinstein and Vladimir Horowitz. I personally saw Rudolf perform the 12 Études from Op. 10 at the Philam Life Auditorium during the month long celebration of Chopin’s Bicentenaire back in 2010.

Rudolf Golez started lessons with his mother at age four but showed no signs of musical talent. It was not until age ten, that he was inspired to pursue music studies because of a movie 'The Waltz King', a biographical film of the great Viennese composer Johann Strauss, Jr. Within a year of studies, Rudolf gave his first piano recital playing Chopin's 'Heroic' Polonaise. He then proceeded to the Juilliard School at age thirteen under the tutelage of Seymour Lipkin. Further studies brought him to Graz, Austria and back to his homeland - Philippines, where he got his Masters at the University of the Philippines. He is currently faculty of the Philippine Women's University and Liceo University in the Philippines. In 2004, he was a prizewinner of the 1st ASEAN Int'l Chopin Competition. This is his debut performance in Redondo.

Rudolf has played in many countries worldwide, as a representative of the Philippine's arts and music program. He played in Australia, China, and most notably, Russia, at the St. Petersburg Conservatory.

Ticket prices:

For inquiries:
(310) 963-0237,

Friday, November 07, 2014

Mozart, Haydn, Sibelius and four PPO musicians take spotlight in Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra's November concert

November 14, 2014, 8:00 PM
Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo (CCP Main Theater)
CCP Complex
Pasay, Metro Manila

Reynato Resurrecion Jr., oboe
Ariel Sta. Ana, clarinet
Adolfo Mendoza, bassoon
Jay-ar Mesa, horn
Olivier Ochanine, conductor

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Sinfonia Concertante in E flat major for Oboe, Clarinet, Horn, and Bassoon, K. 297b
Franz Joseph Haydn Symphony No. 97 in C major, Hob. I/97
Jean Sibelius Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 43

The Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra's upcoming concert delivers four times the fun as they highlight four of their own this November 14, 2014, 8:00 PM at the Cultural Center of the Philippines’ Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo (CCP Main Theater). Featured soloists in this concert are PPO members namely oboist Reynato Resurrecion Jr., clarinetist Ariel Sta. Ana, bassoonist Adolfo Mendoza, and horn player Jay-ar Mesa.

The quartet will be featured soloists in Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante in E flat major for Oboe, Clarinet, Horn, and Bassoon, K. 297b, a controversial piece since it’s still debated upon if it’s really by Mozart or not. The orchestra, to be conducted by their principal conductor and music director Olivier Ochanine will also perform Franz Joseph Haydn’s Symphony No. 97 in C major, Hob. I/97 and Jean Sibelius’ Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 43.

Oboist Reynato Resurreccion Jr.

Reynato Resurreccion Jr. is an Assistant Principal oboist of the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra. He won several prizes from the National Music Competitions for Young Artists (NAMCYA), twice for solo instrument, and first prize for chamber music category with the UST Woodwind Quintet. He graduated from the University of Santo Tomas Conservatory of Music under the tutelage of the late Professors Ludovico Mendoza and Mariano Mendoza. He also studied under Professor Tsuji Isao, a Principal Oboist of the Yumiuri Symphony Orchestra, in Elisabeth University of Music in Hiroshima, Japan where he obtained his Masteral Degree Major in oboe performance. While in Japan, he was a member of the Elisabeth University Orchestra and Symphony band, a member of the International Music Friendship Club, and was one of the twelve winners in the Asian Music Student's Competition held in Tokyo. In August of 1996, he was chosen to participate to the Asian Youth Orchestra's concert tour in Asia as an English Horn player. He was also the Principal Oboist of the Philippine Youth Orchestra and the UST Symphony Orchestra. At present, he is a faculty member of the UST Conservatory of Music and an active member of the Clarion Chamber Ensemble.

Clarinetist Ariel Sta. Ana

Ariel Sta. Ana is a two-time winner of the National Music Competitions for Young Artists (NAMCYA), first taking the second prize in 1998 and winning first prize in 1992. He received his musical training at the UST Conservatory of Music under Prof. Dalmacio Cruz and at the Elisabeth University of Music in Hiroshima, Japan earning his Master of Music degree in Clarinet Performance in 1996, with Prof. Tadayoshi Takeda as his mentor. In 1999, he received his second Master of Music degree from the Elisabeth University of Music in Orchestra Conducting under the tutelage of Prof. Kazukiyo Inoue. He was a member of the Manila Symphony Orchestra in 1988 and was a concertmaster of the ASEAN Youth Symphonic Band held in Singapore in 1992.  In Japan, he has been a member of the Hiroshima Wind Orchestra for two years. He was also one of the founding members of the Hiroshima International Music Friendship Club and performs regularly with the International Music Festival in Hiroshima, Japan. Ariel is the principal clarinet player of the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra (PPO) and the coordinator of the Woodwind Department of the UST Conservatory of Music.

Bassoonist Adolfo Mendoza

Adolfo Mendoza finished his Bachelor of Music in Bassoon performance at the University of Santo Tomas’ Conservatory of Music under Prof Romeo Verayo and Prof Arnaldo Custodio. He studied with the NHK principal bassoonist Prof. Koji Okazaki at the Elisabeth University of Music in Hiroshima Japan for his Master's Degree. He was also a full scholar at the Hongkong Academy for performing arts under Prof Kam Sui, principal bassoonist of the Hongkong Philharmonic Orchestra. He won second place at the National Music Competitions for Young Artists (NAMCYA) Solo Bassoon Category C in 1992. He was also member of the UST Woodwind Quintet, which won the first prize in the NAMCYA Chamber Music Category in 1993. He was an active member and the principal bassoonist of the UST Symphony Orchestra, UST Symphonic Band and the UST Woodwind Quintet. He was also a winner of the International Students Music Competition for solo instrument in Tokyo, Japan. Mendoza joined the Asian Youth Orchestra (AYO) in 1996 which performed in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan and in the United States of America. He was also a member of the AYO Woodwind Quintet which performed at the White House in Washington, D.C. He was the bassoonist for the musical "Miss Saigon" for its Manila run at the Cultural Center of the Philippines from September 2000 - March 2001 and in Hong Kong and Singapore from March to August 2001. He was featured in the CCP's Filipino Artists Series in September 2002 with Mary Ann Espina, and as soloist of the PPO in the same year. He was the featured artist at the 9th San Agustin International Music Festival with Spanish Organist Miguel Gonzales in 2007.

Horn player Jay-ar Mesa

Jay-ar Mesa took up Creative and Performing Musical Arts Major in French horn in the University of the Philippines, Diliman under the tutelage of Leopoldo Lopez. In 2002, he started playing for Banda 99 in Binangonan, Rizal under the baton of Victor Bolante, where he became a conductor in 2008. He also became a member of the University of the Philippines (UP) Symphonic Band in 2005, principal player of the UP Symphony Orchestra in 2006, and assistant principal French horn player of the Manila Symphony Orchestra in St. Scholastica’s College, Manila from 2006 to 2008. He has been chosen as a delegate and principal French horn player in the Southeast Asian Youth Orchestra and Wind Ensemble (SAYOWE) from 2006 to 2010, in the Asian Youth Orchestra in 2012, and in the Myanmar Symphony Orchestra in 2013. Currently, he is a member of the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra.

Ticket prices:
P1500 Orchestra Center
P1200 Orchestra Side
P800 Extreme Orchestra Side
P500 Balcony I Center
P400 Balcony I Side
P300 Balcony II
-50% student discount
-20% senior citizen discount

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

Magic theater show Wally Watthead from Finland lights up PETA

November 14-16, 2014, 10:00 AM & 3:00 PM
November 21-23, 2014, 10:00 AM & 3:00 PM
PETA Theater Center
No. 5 Meynard Drive, New Manila
Quezon City

The PETA Theater Center becomes a “stage to all the world” as it presents a treat for the whole family, Finland’s Amazing Magic Theater’s Wally Watthead and His Lost Glow happening this November 14-16 and 21-23, 2014.

In this show by magician Janne Raudaskoski, the lead character Wally Watthead (Raudaskoski), a lightbulb, joined by his best friend Simon the Simcard (voiced by Jonathan Hutchings) and his leading lady, the screen projected Polly the Picture (played by Tuija Nuojua) go on a journey of magic tricks, clowning, mime, black light theater, video, special effects and most important of all, laughter, as they try to find Wally’s lost glow.

Janne Raudaskoski

Janne Raudaskoski, a Finnish and Nordic champion in magic, is one of Finland’s most radiant professional magicians. A professional magician since 1997, he is also known for his magic theater productions like the all-ages Wally Watthead and His Lost Glow and The Outsider which is more for teens and adults. In his shows, Raudaskoski combines magic, theater, clownery, mime and different kinds of special effects with video.

Ticket prices:
P800 VIP
P600 Regular

For inquiries:
PETA 725-6244 local 21-23, (0915) 493-3728,
TicketWorld 891-9999

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Disaster preparedness exhibit Earth Manual Project at the Ayala Museum

November 8-December 7, 2014
Third Floor Gallery, Ayala Museum
Makati Avenue corner De La Rosa Street
Greenbelt ParkMakati

The Japan Foundation, Manila, in partnership with Ayala Museum, is proud to present the traveling exhibition Earth Manual Project on the third floor gallery of Ayala Museum from November 8 to December 7, 2014.

An initiative of KIITO (Design and Creative Center Kobe), Earth Manual Project encourages a country of frequent natural disasters, such as the Philippines, to also become a country of excellent disaster preparedness. The exhibition’s maiden run happened last year in Kobe, Japan, wherein 23 projects from different Asian countries showcased activities centered on disaster risk reduction and post-disaster relief and recovery.

The Manila run of the exhibition includes 11 projects that tackle earthquake, typhoon and flood: Iza! Kaeru Caravan!, Jishin ITSUMO Project and Red Bear Survival Camp by NPO Plus Arts (Japan), Design for Flood by Thailand Creative and Design Center (Thailand), Climate School Project by Dakila (Philippines), The Filipino Spirit is Waterproof by Ayala Museum (Philippines), Paper Partition System by Shigeru Ban (Japan), RooSuFlood: Knowledge to Fight Flood by RooSuFlood (Thailand), “Lost Homes” Model Restoration Project by Osamu Tsukihashi (Japan), Core House: Extensive Live Post Earthquake by Ikaputra (Indonesia), FLOATING WOMBS: A healing project through the arts – heARTS by Alma Quinto (Philippines) and Forms of Recollection by Plus63 Design Co. (Philippines).

The exhibition is an opportunity for visitors to make their own disaster preparedness manual based on the presented projects, as well as for audience to hear stories and expertise from overseas creators. Talks are slated on the first two Saturdays, with speakers Osamu Tsukihashi of “Lost Homes” Model Restoration Project on November 8, 2014; and Hirokazu Nagata of NPO Plus Arts, Ruttikorn Vuttikorn of Club Creative Co. Ltd., and Dan Matutina of Plus63 Design Co. on November 15, 2014.

Earth Manual Project is also made possible through the support of KIITO, NPO Plus Arts, AIG, Muji, Yoshinoya, Plus63 Design Co., Capitol University and the Ateneo de Manila University, Japanese Studies Program.

Admission fees:
P150 Regular
-50% student/senior citizen discount

For inquiries:
Japan Foundation, Manila (JFM) 811-6155 to 58,

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

13th Israeli Film Festival

The 13th Israeli Film Festival turned out to be the first ever event by Embassy of Israel under its new Ambassador Ephraim Ben Matityau. It was my first time to see and meet him as well. And right from the onset, he along with Deputy Chief of Mission Adam Michael Levene gave the guests at Greenbelt 3 Cinema 5 a taste on how the film festival will be: with a lot of laughter. As Ambassador Matityau informed the audience in his opening speech that the opening film, Hunting Elephants, stars Hollywood actor Patrick Stewart (known to many a either Jean-Luc Picard from Star Trek: The Next Generation or Professor Charles Xavier from the X-Men film franchise), he then jokingly blamed Adam Levene for failing to bring the actor to the festival. Adam quickly quipped that he would be beamed up, a clear reference to Star Trek although I am not sure if many among the audience were able to pick that up.

RAd and Israeli Ambassador Ephraim Ben Matityau

A significant development in this year’s film festival is its partnership with the Film Development Council of the Philippines. This means that after the Greenbelt run, the films will tour in Baguio, Davao, Zamboanga, and Iloilo Cinematheques as announced by FDCP Chairman Briccio Santos. I am not sure if all eight films to be screened in Greenbelt will be brought on tour though. As of now, no screening schedule has been released yet.

RAd and Adam Michael Levene

I was able to ask Adam Levene, in line with Patrick Stewart being part of Hunting Elephants, if it is usual for Israeli films to have Hollywood actors in it. He said that it is only in recent years when there has been a noticeable crossover between Israeli and actors from other countries. And more noteworthy for him is the presence of more Israeli actors in Hollywood like Natalie Portman (who holds both American and Israeli citizenship) and Gal Gadot who was recently announced as portraying Wonder Woman in the super heroine’s upcoming feature film. He also proudly mentioned that in recent years, Israeli films had been nominated for the Academy Awards’ Best Foreign Language Film category. One such film is Footnote from 2011 which was included in last year’s 12th Israeli Film Festival. Other films that were nominated are Ajami in 2009, Waltz with Bashir in 2008, and Beaufort in 2007. But he noted that no Israeli film has ever won the Oscar though.

Ambassador Matityau and FDCP Chairman Briccio Santos cut the ribbon

Hunting Elephants

The film that opened the 13th Israeli Film Festival was Hunting Elephants by director Reshef Levi. The film is a comedy about a very smart and often bullied young boy Jonathan (Gil Blank) who witnesses the death of his father, finds out that his mother is having an affair with his father’s former boss, and realizes that their down on their luck with finances. And not just that, he has to spend most of his afternoons at a nursing home with his grandfather Eliyahu (Sasson Gabai), a stern and bitter old man whom he has never met before, and his grandfather’s best friend and former partner in crime Nick (Moni Moshonov). Jonathan’s mother’s desperate attempt to get a loan led to the arrival of his grandmother’s brother Michael, sorry, Lord Michael Simpson (Patrick Stewart), a disillusioned and struggling actor still holding on to his non-existent nobility and fortune.

When things don’t get any better for any of them, Jonathan, Eliyahu, Nick and Michael plot to rob a bank where the boy’s father used to work. The boy’s smartness and knowledge of the bank’s security system, Eliyahu and Nick’s militant past (they’ve robbed banks before) seem to work for their advantage. But Michael, who treats this stick up as yet one of his roles on stage casts major doubts if the group will able to pull this heist off. As to the outcome of the film, if this unusual crew was indeed able to rob a bank successfully and get away with it, I wouldn’t say since one has to watch the film to find out for himself.

It’s safe to say though that Patrick Stewart stole most of the film. Since he has cemented himself in the annals of pop culture with his career defining roles in the Star Trek and X-Men movie franchises, it was very amusing to see him in a role that had him cast in a self depreciating light. The Hamlet scene with Stewart could possibly be the most memorable and jaw dropping scene for all the Trekkies out there. They probably never imagined that they’d be seeing the actor who played Captain Jean-Luc Picard dressed up like that.

As for me, I felt that the characters’ quirks and oddities were stretched to the max. I had the impression that the nursing home was a place for old men and women whose libido remained unabated. This prevalence of sexual vulgarity in the film didn’t spare Jonathan’s mother, the bank manager and also one of the caretakers in the nursing home. Even though the film is fictional, I did worry about Jonathan’s well being since he spent most of his time with these people who aren’t exactly the best role models out there. I somewhat hoped that Jonathan will turn out well after the film since he has been through a lot and that it will be a shame if a smart kid like him goes down the drain later in life.

Other films to be screened in the 13th Israeli Film Festival are Alex is Lovesick, Total Love, Up the Wrong Tree, Big Dig, Pick a Card, The Matchmaker, and a re-screening of A Matter of Size at Greenbelt 3 Cinema 5. Admission is free.

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Italian pianist Christian Leotta performs in Manila

November 11, 2014, 7:30 PM
Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino (CCP Little Theater)
CCP Complex
Pasay, Metro Manila

Christian Leotta, piano

Johann Sebastian Bach
     Capriccio sopra la lontananza del suo fratello dilettissimo BWV 992
Franz Schubert Piano Sonata in A minor, D 784, Op.143
Gioachino Rossini
     Memento homo
     Une caresse à ma femme
Ludwig van Beethoven Piano Sonata No. 23 in F minor, Op. 57 Appassionata

The Embassy of Italy in Manila, the Philippine-Italian Association and the Cultural Center of the Philippines, in cooperation with Furnitalia and with the support of Trevi Foundations Phils. Inc., Sta. Elena Golf & Country Estate, SSI Group Inc., Diamond Hotel, Shopwise, Global Executive Solutions Group and Lombardi's Authentic Italian Restaurant present Italian pianist Christian Leotta in a one night concert billed as An Evening with Christian Leotta: From Bach to the Romantic Piano of Schubert, Rossini and Beethoven this November 11, 2014, 7:30 PM at the Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino (CCP Little Theater).

Born in Catania, Italy, Christian Leotta is an award-winning Italian virtuoso pianist. He has a vast repertoire and is now recognized for being the youngest pianist since Daniel Barenboim to perform and record all 32 Beethoven Piano Sonatas. He began his study of piano at the age of 7, furthering his studies at the Milan Conservatory under Mario Patuzzi and is a former pupil of the acclaimed pianist Karl Ulrich Schnabel. Christian studied at the Theo Lieven International Piano Foundation and also with Rosalyn Tureck at the Tureck Bach Research Foundation at Oxford, England. Likewise, he studied at the Literature and Philosophy faculty of Milan State University. Christian officially began his career in 2002 in Montreal at the age of 22 and began to perform the complete Beethoven Piano Sonatas, which he completed in a period of less than a month.

Pianist Christian Leotta

Christian Leotta has worked with major orchestras such as the Münchner Philharmoniker, the Wiener Kammerorchester, the Italian RAI National Television Orchestra, the Milan’s Symphony Orchestra “Giuseppe Verdi”, regularly performing in important theatres and concert halls such as the Philharmonie at the Gasteig in Munich, the Konzerthaus of Vienna, the Tonhalle of Zurich, the Sala Verdi and the Auditorium of Milan, the Salle Claude-Champagne of Montreal, the Great Hall at the Bunka Kaikan Theatre of Tokyo.

The international press hailed Christian as "one of the major Beethoven soloists of our time" (Pizzicato, Luxembourg), defining his complete recording of the 32 Piano Sonatas as "a major addition to other sets currently available" (Fanfare, USA); "his prodigious technique used to better express the poetry of Beethoven’s music" (The Whole Note, Toronto), to "his capability of really seizing your attention at unexpected moments" (All Music Guide, USA), gaining a reputation as "a pianist of the highest order: technician, musician and interpreter all at once" (La Presse, Montreal). Leotta has been defined by the legendary Rosalyn Tureck as "an extraordinary talent with a beautiful innate musicality", and praised by the great Karl Ulrich Schnabel for "his respect of the indications of the Classical and Romantic composers as perfect and their understanding considerable."

An Evening with Christian Leotta: From Bach to the Romantic Piano of Schubert, Rossini and Beethoven is for the benefit of the Philippine-Italian Association Endowment Fund.

Ticket prices:
P1000 Orchestra Center
P800 Orchestra Side
-20% senior citizen discount

For inquiries:
CCP Box Office 832-3704
Philippine Italian Association 815-1310
TicketWorld 891-9999
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