Monday, February 06, 2017

Noli Me Tangere, the Opera's final bow and this week in concerts

Noli Me Tangere, the Opera takes a final bow

Despite a packed Friday schedule, I was able to rush back to the Cultural Center of the Philippines and catch the second half of the closing performance of Noli Me Tangere, the Opera. I was finally able to see Bianca Camille Lopez as Maria Clara and also Mari Yapjoco as Basilio. I would've wanted to see a different Ibarra and Sisa aside from Ronan Ferrer and Stephanie Aguilar respectively but the alternates already took their final bows in earlier shows. As expected, the intense scene of Sisa and Basilio near the end was the most applauded. I felt sorry for the impatient young woman beside me who left during the Awit ng Gabi ni Sisa. She missed one of the best moments of the entire opera. Such a shame.

Like one cast member told me, the opera does grow on you. With just a second viewing of the second half, the music started to make a stamp on me with the leitmotifs (especially that of Sa Lupang Pangako) becoming more evident. The charming quartet Pusong Pinagtali has also endeared itself to me. And the pacing that I felt was disjointed before was now tighter and flowed better. The production was also able to remedy some of the technical miscues. I only had some issues with the lighting as the patterns on the floor looked contemporary and out of place in a period piece like this.

I was extremely pleased to see a lot of young people among the audience. Opera productions in here are often joked as a gathering of senior citizens. But such was not the case for Noli Me Tangere, the Opera. with a great mix of the young and old in attendance. For once, I was glad to have belonged to the older demographic.

The opera may have taken its final bows (for now) but that doesn't mean that there aren't any more shows to look out for this week. Here's a selection of music performances happening over the next few days. 

First off is the return of Korean superstar soprano Sumi Jo for a one night cnthis February 7, 2017, 8:00 PM at the Meralco Theater. This performance comes at the heels of her successful concerts in Hong Kong. Learn more about Sumi Jo Divine Diva concert here.

The night of February 9, 2017 will be filled with music with at least three performances happening.

The Ayala Museum kicks off its 2017 Concert Series with a pre-Valentine’s Day presentation Caught in a Madz Romance featuring the world renowned Philippine Madrigal Singers led by choirmaster Mark Anthony Carpio at 6:30 PM at the Ayala Museum.

Caught in a Madz Romance
February 9, 2017, 6:30 PM | Ayala Museum

Philippine Madrigal Singers
Mark Anthony Carpio, choirmaster

Ticket prices:
P700 Regular | P560 Discounted Rate| P500 Senior Citizens | P300 Students

For a unique music crossover in a club atmosphere experience, head over to the Beato Angelico Gallery at the University of Sto. Tomas at 7:00 PM for Classical X Electro featuring Hamburg based string orchestra Ensemble Resonanz and local electronic artist similarobjects. Check out more details about this performance here.

At 8:00 PM over at the Cultural Center of the Philippines’ Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo (CCP Main Theater) will be the world premiere performance of Diwata ng Bayan. With music by Carmela Buencamino Sinco and libretto by Ed Maranan, this opera is presented by the University of the PhilippinesCollege of Music in line with the celebrations of its 100th year anniversary.

Diwata ng Bayan, a new full-length lyric opera is a love story between two characters named Matias Ylagan and Mayumi Lualhati, set during the turbulent years of the Philippine-American war in the 1900s, touching on critical issues such as clash of cultures, dispossession of land, collaboration with the colonial power and the unfinished revolution of 1896. The hero and heroine also play the roles of mythical characters named Dimalupig and Diwata in the sarsuwela which is integrated into the middle part of the opera.

Ervin Lumauag and Criselda Go lead the cast that also includes Keith Segura, Rica Nepomuceno, Maria Carmila Molina, Jeconiah Retulla, JM Espiritu, Emlyn Santos, Malvin Bethoven Macasaet, Paul Manet Martinez, Michelle Mariposa, Angelica Rose Benipayo, Ma. Rovelyn Bautista, Keisha Joy Paulo, Bianca Louise Nicole Baltazar, Cassandra Imperial, Joshua F. Cadeliña, Myron de la Cruz, Jhon Paul Fino, Rodney Erick Abuel, Airo Saret, Raymond Leslie Diaz, and Jomar de la Cruz.

Heading the creative and technical team is Dr. Ramon G. Acoymo as the overall Production and Artistic Director. Prof. Rodney Ambat conducts the Diwata ng Bayan orchestra. Rounding up the team is Jose Christe Nombres for Light Design and Technical Direction, Eric Anthony Pineda for Costume Design, and Ricardo Eric Cruz for the Set Design.

Diwata ng Bayan
February 9, 2017, 8:00 PM | Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo (CCP Main Theater)

Ticket prices:
P1500 | P1300 | P1200 | P1000 | P800 | P700 | P500
50% discount for students
20% discount for senior citizens, PWD, government and military personnel

Back by popular demand, the power vocals of Aegis and the symphonic sounds of the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra team up once again for Aegis in Symphony, Symphonic Aegis #HugotPaMore on February 11, 2017, 8:00 PM at the CCP’s Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo (CCP Main Theater). Find out more about this concert here.

See the next generation of concert pianists via the Henrietta Sydeco Tayengco-Limjoco Mozart Piano Concerto Competition Winners’ Concert this February 12, 2017, 4:00 PM at the Fleur de lis Theater of St. Paul University Manila.

Pianists Gabriel Allan Paguirigan, Ye Yun Yi, Miguel Lorenzo Panagsagan, Jet Stephen Chong, Kirsten Chantrice Fabellar, Rinaldi Alvin Yonathan, Betina Edith Bernabe, and Klyde Francis Ledamo will perform works by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Johann Sebastian Bach, Felix Mendelssohn, and Camille Saint-Saëns. The Manila Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Aries Caces accompanies Ledamo and Chong’s performance of Felix Mendelssohn’s Piano Concerto for Two Pianos in E major.

This concert is presented by the Henrietta Sydeco Tayengco-Limjoco Piano Competition, in cooperation with the Piano Teachers' Guild of the Philippines Foundation, Inc. and Steinway Boutique Manila, and in partnership with the Manila Symphony Orchestra and St. Paul University Manila.

The best thing about this concert? Admission is free. Years later, when these young pianists make it big, one can say that he/she was there to witness their budding greatness at this concert.

Henrietta Sydeco Tayengco-Limjoco Mozart Piano Concerto Competition Winners’ Concert
February 12, 2017, 4:00 PM | Fleur de lis Theater, St. Paul University Manila
Ticket price:
Free admission

The Società Dante Alighieri Manila and Lyric Opera of the Philippines present the Gala Premier of Giacomo Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi which is now going to be staged at the Cultural Center of the Philippines’ Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino (CCP Little Theater) on February 12, 2017, 7:00 PM.

This production, under the music direction of Michelle Nicolasora , is the 2017 opener of L’Opera on Wheels that aims to make classic opera accessible to a much broader audience. Baritone Noel Azcona sings the title role. Joining Noel in this production are Elisanta Cortes, Jasmin Salvo, Randy Gilongo, and Nomher Nival.

Following the Gala Premier, subsequent performances on March 3-4, 2017, 7:00 PM will be staged at the Power Mac Spotlight Center in Circuit Makati.

Gianni Schicchi
February 12, 2017, 7:00 PM | Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino (CCP Little Theater)

For inquiries:
SDA Manila (0998) 858-1695,

Such a packed week and unfortunate that it's physically impossible for me to see all of them. See you at the concerts!

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