culture / Entertainment / music / Theater

A grand musical at the CCP

By Nickie Wang

The UST Conservatory of Music and UST Symphony Orchestra will turn the Cultural Center of the Philippines Main Theater into a splendid stage with a grand musical event slated today and tomorrow at 8 p.m.

With the direction by Floy Quintos, lighting by Ruel Beronio, and set design by Ricardo Cruz, the impressive roster of UST faculty, alumni, and students come together to present Love Unspoken, a pre-Valentine and a post-New Year concert, which features an operatic setting of excerpts from various operas, operettas, and Broadway musicals.

Part of the repertoire is a familiar excerpt from Donizetti’s “Lucia di Lammermoor” which will be interpreted by a sextet. There will be quartets from Verdi’s “Rigoletto” and Puccini’s “La Boheme,” as well as well-known strains from Puccini’s “Tosca,” and Mascagni’s “Cavalleria Rusticana.”

The aforementioned operatic favorites will be staged side by side with scenes from operettas and Broadway favorites, including Romberg’s Student Prince, Bernstein’s West Side Story, Webber’s Phantom of the Opera, and Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess. These will all be complemented by the orchestral overtures to Rossini’s “La Gazza Ladra” and Strauss’ “Die Fledermaus.”

“We are talking about staging a musical that involves more than 100 performers including the 60-member orchestra under the baton of Herminigildo Ranera,” announces CCP vice president and artistic director Raul M. Sunico during a recent press conference.

The repertoire is a collection of different musical compositions but they will not appear fragmented. As Sunico assures, there will be a good flow of numbers and performances as a couple of songs will sound like a medley, “it all depends on the director.”

Performers in the event include Rachelle Gerodias, Andrew Fernando, Clarissa Ocampo, Irma Ponce Enrile-Potenciano, Gloria Dizon-Coronel, Thea Perez-Prosia, Nenen Alfornon, Naomi Sison, Patrice Pacis, Elisanta Cortes, Ferleoni Medina, Minette Padilla, Lemuel de la Cruz, Randy Gilongo, Ronan Ferrer, Eugene de los Santos, Jun Francis Jaranilla,  Nohmer Nival, Jillbert Chua, Christoval Tan, plus special participation of voice students for choral setting.

According to Sunico, who is also the current dean of UST Conservatory, the event will highlight the musical talent of the country’s oldest university while at the same time introducing the audience to the beautiful drama in the world of opera.

The mission of Love Unspoken is to create a venue to that will give opportunities to the faculty, students, and alumni of the said college, and also to promote positive insights about operas and similar musical showcases.

“One of the negative insights about opera is that it’s only for elite audience. We want to remove that notion and entice new audience to watch shows like this by incorporating some familiar Broadway favorites in the musical,” Sunico says.

The end-of-the-month opera at the CCP also serves as UST’s prelude to its 400th anniversary celebration that will take place in 2011, sometime in January and February. The university is preparing an even grander musical showcase according to Sunico.

“The university officials had signified their approval of a full-length musical next year for the anniversary special, so Love Unspoken serves the first glimpse of what the group can do. We are offering not just a regular performance, we are offering something palatable,” the college dean affirms.

Love Unspoken is the third time that the CCP and UST Conservatory collaborate to promote the exceptional talents the school has produced all throughout the years. The first musical was stage in 2005 and then in 2007.

“With me around, I’m hoping that we could stage more musical like this or better yet make this an annual event,” Sunico ends.

For tickets and other information call the UST Music Office (731-4022, 406-1611 local 8246), or the CCP Box Office (832-1125.)

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