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Friday, June 21, 2024

Performing arts’ opening salvo

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How’s your first month of 2023 coming along?

Coming from the busiest and most festive time of the year, January is traditionally the quiet month for the performing arts industry. I’ve always thought of January as the warm-up before things get so hectic once more.

It is the time when cultural organizations, performing companies, and other art institutions are planning their artistic programs for the year ahead, or simply taking a breather before starting the creative engine again.

Looking at my calendar, things are really starting to pick up steam, especially at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP).

The members of the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra (PPO)

We continue with the special screening of the CCP Met Opera Live in HD, featuring Italian composer Gaetano Donizetti’s La Fille Du Regiment yesterday (January 10) at the Ayala Malls Cinema. This special program of the CCP Film, Broadcast and New Media Division, is in partnership with the Metropolitan Opera of New York, aims to showcase operatic productions through high-definition digital video technology and Dolby sound, recreating the experience of watching an opera production at the Met “live.”

Our outreach projects kick off with the back-to-back concert of the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra in Guimaras and Iloilo.

I believe this is the first time that the CCP resident orchestra company is performing in the province of Guimaras, happening today (January 11), at 7:00 p.m., at the Guimaras Museum.

The PPO moves and performs on January 13 (Friday), 6:30 p.m., at the Iloilo Convention Center as one of the opening events of the Dinagyang Festival, the biggest religious and cultural festival in the province.

Under the baton of resident conductor Maestro Herminigildo Ranera, PPO will perform “Poet and Peasant Overture,” “Carmen Suite No. 1,” “Andante Cantabile” from String Quartet No. 1, Sabre Dance, “On the Beautiful Blue Danube Waltz” and selections from the Phantom of the Opera in Guimaras.

Meanwhile, for the Iloilo Dinagyang Opening Salvo Concert, the orchestra will play “Nabucco Overture,” “Carmen Suite No. 2,” “Sabre Dance,” selections from Annie, Mutya ng Pasig, Pakiusap, and Tritsch Tratsch Polka, traditional lullaby “Ili Ili Tuloy Anay,” “Star Wars Medley,” Aegis in Symphony, and many more.

A scene from ‘La Fille Du Regiment’

The concerts are free and open to the public. Friends in Iloilo and Guimaras, please do come and enjoy world-class performances from The Nightingales. Local talents Jomel Garcia (tenor) and Amabelle Pamocol Castro (soprano) will serenade the crowd for the Iloilo concert.

Those who are not in Iloilo and Guimaras can still watch the concerts; they will be live-streamed via the official CCP Facebook page.

The last installment of Triple Threats concert series, featuring Poppert Bernadas, pushes through on January 14 (Saturday), 7:30 p.m., at the Tanghalang Ignacio B. Gimenez (CCP Blackbox Theater).

The concert, dubbed Ang Musika, Ang Teatro, at Ako, was originally scheduled on December 21. It was postponed when a viral infection affected Poppert’s vocal cords.

Even if the show was sold out, the CCP (upon consultation with Poppert and the production team) decided to postpone the show to give enough time for the singer to heal.

While we always say that the show must go on, it is important to prioritize our health. We can only give our 100 percent in any task or endeavor if we are at our healthiest. As the former US First Lady Michelle Obama once said: “We need to do a better job of putting ourselves higher on our own to-do list.”

Filipino singer Poppert Bernadas

There are two art exhibits I’ve been meaning to check out. One is the 9th Anniversary Art Exhibition of the United Women’s Artists Association of the Philippines, on display until January 28, at the Galerya Amalia/the LRI Design Plaza, located along Nicanor Garcia Street in Makati City.

Butchie Peña, a friend I met in one of the media fam trips years ago, is part of the exhibit. I’ve always admired the watercolor paintings she has been posting on her Facebook page. Looking forward to her exhibits in 2023.

Another friend, Mimi Tecson, has an ongoing group exhibit, titled “Nocturnal,” on display until January 23, at Arte Bettina, located at 3/F Greenbelt 5, also in Makati City. Curated by Arturo Sanchez, Jr., the exhibit also features works by Ces Eugenio, Wesley Valenzuela, Jaime Pacena II, Paulo Barreras, Severo Baring III, and Jhon Lery Capili.

Please check these out, as well as other artistic and cultural events happening near you. I’m sure you’ll find something that would interest you. This 2023, let’s keep our souls satiated.

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