UPDATE: Featured performing artists on June 10 are Miguel Castro, Sweet Sisa Samaniego and Los Lipeños.
At this time when we are inundated with too much foreign pop music, a show like this is a welcome respite. It’s only when my husband and I rehearse some Filipino art songs at home that my daughter gets to hear them. Better than none.
Last April 8, I took my daughter and my mom to the Cultural Center of the Philippines for an afternoon of Filipino music, something we rarely hear nowadays.
We were in for a treat. The show featured Lisa Cabahug and Lemuel dela Cruz, accompanied by Augusto Espino on the piano for the first part.
The second part featured a guitar ensemble, called the Kabataang Gitarista (click the link for related story). This is one of the projects I have handled when I was working for the CCP. Proud of these young guitarists who played quite challenging and interesting pieces!
Missed this show? Don’t fret, because another one’s coming our way!
Harana sa Dapit Hapon is an afternoon musicale featuring immortal kundimans, harana, balitaw, danza and unforgettable love songs by great Filipino composers. Featured performers on June 10 are performing artists Miguel Castro, Sweet Sisa Samaniego, and Los Lipeños. Succeeding performances will be held on July 8, September 9, October 7, and December 9 this year. Noted classical singers and performers have been invited for the succeeding shows.
The event is free to the public. Senior citizens, students and the general public are cordially invited.
The project is by the CCP and the Tribung Pilipino Foundation.
Last year was indeed a milestone year for my daughter. I could never been any happier with her biggest achievement–being behaved inside a closed theater venue!
My husband and I try to make every experience as enjoyable and educational as possible. She definitely enjoys traveling, something she got from her parents, definitely, who used to be part of active touring choral groups. She calls every trip outside a “field trip,” and since that’s the peg of every trip outside, we make them homeschooling opportunities.
We make sure to choose activities that will introduce her to the seven arts. Luckily, we live in a place surrounded by theaters, museums, and other places of arts. Likewise, this blog has taken me and my daughter to different events we both have enjoyed and learned from. She loves listening and making music, so no wonder we take her to concerts of various musical forms.
Here’s a roundup of art-related activities we have done the past year.
We took her to her first orchestral concert– that of the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra in an outdoor venue–Rizal Park Open Air Auditorium. That concert was a tie-up with the Far Easter University and I blogged about it here. We also chanced upon the Chang Kai Shek Youth Choir at the SM Aura for the Chinese New Year celebrations on the last day of this month.
Aria got a taste of some jazz music through the Euro-Pinoy Jazz concerts at the Maestranza Park in Intramuros. We also asked our cousin, Joy of iBake to make a cake decorating activity for Aria, who loves doing art works. We also passed by a Marian exhibit at the Mall of Asia organized by Radyo Veritas. They do this at least twice a year.
Not much activity this month, but we caught the PPO again at the CCP for the Children’s Concert.
We spent Easter Sunday at Movie Stars Cafe (click here to know how to get a 10% discount when you visit!) and Beauty and the Beast was showing! Good thing because this prepared her for the musical which she was able to watch last January. This month was also a milestone for her–her first full orchestral concert inside the CCP Main Theater! She also watched Mommy conduct her Children’s Choir for the Madz et al concert.
We supported Daddy and Leana, my niece, who performed in a concert of Ryan Cayabyab’s songs. She also watched Mommy and her choir again in San Sebastian Basilica for the Musica Sacra Festival.
Some friends from the classical music world, Ervin Lumauag, Krystl Buesa, and Alejandro Consolacion had a recital-concert at the Rizal Park. No rain stopped this concert of theirs. Then we also watched the concert of the famed Time Ensemble at the PICC Meeting Room. An intimate concert featuring varied repertoire. I was surprised Aria sat and listened well to each song, she was even dancing along the front act performers, the Voce Fich.
We went to two kids’ expositions, or expos– first was the Smartkids Asia expo where my blog won an award. Another is the Toy Expo of Toy Kingdom. Both events were held at the SMX Convention Center. Seeing new toys and stuff for kids is just a delight for the family.
I had the privilege of performing as woodsprite in the UP-produced Rusalka, an opera by Antonin Dvorak. According to my family, Aria was cheering from her seat every time I appear on stage. Thank God for daughters! Aria also attended the Manila International Book Fair, where we also sang for a book launch. Once again, there was a Marian exhibit called Mary and the Popes at SM Mall of Asia. We also visited Exploreum at MOA for the first time.
October was a busy month for Mommy, so Aria had the chance to tag along Mommy everywhere! First was in a choral conducting recital in a church in faraway Quezon City. She was well behaved throughout the recital! Proud of my little girl. Also, I took her to the culminating activity of the CCP Hands-on Choral Workshop, where members and alumni of the Philippine Madrigal Singers served as conductors. Through this blog, I also got to bring her to Kids Workshop in Greenhills, San Juan City, a great place for kids to play, learn, and have fun. They intersperse storytelling and art activities while kids play in their big play area.
November was jampacked with activities for this blog. We watched the fashion show and launch of P.S. from Aeropostale. We also watched the Dancing Lights at Ayala Triangle and the concert of the PPO and the Ateneo Chamber Singers at Salcedo Park, both in Makati.
This month was a month of firsts for my little one. It was her first time to perform in public officially. First in the Christmas Party in Mathemagis, a Singapore Maths program she is enrolled in. Apparently, she volunteered herself to sing for the party. Then she also sang and danced as Youth animator at our church on Christmas Day. Went back to Movie Stars Cafe for their Frozen show. We were also fortunate to watch Cinderella by Ballet Philippines and the Madz’ Christmas concert.
February is National Arts Month. It is also the Month of Hearts. It is never too early or too late to introduce arts to everyone. As the Cultural Center of the Philippines puts it, “O ‘di ba, mas maganda kung may arts sa buhay mo?” (Isn’t is more beautiful if you have arts in your life?).
For the past eleven years, the Cultural Center of the Philippines opened its doors for one whole day in this annual festival of arts.
I have been in all sides of this festival — first as performer with the Philippine Madrigal Singers, as a production staff for two festivals when I was working for the center, and now as spectator and supporter of this wonderful activity.
For arts enthusiasts, we can only wish this would not just be one day. With so many things to watch and so many activities happening simultaneously, one cannot watch everything in one day! For families, this has been a great bonding activity for them to celebrate the arts. For the performers, I am sure they are as excited as us to present their craft. And for its production, my friends in the field of cultural work, they have tirelessly prepared for this. Logistically impossible as it may seem, they have successfully carried out this gargantuan task of bringing together this once-a-year remarkable event.
Some information are made available here. Tune in the CCP’s website, Facebook, and Twitter for more details in the coming days.
Pasinaya: CCP Open House Festival. Biggest multi-arts festival in the country. Pay what you can, see all you can. Dance, theater, music, literature, film, visual arts.
Performances, workshops, arts market, museum visits, food booths, arts and crafts market, photo competition, discounted tickets to selected CCP shows for the whole year, international and local performers. Makes the CCP the happiest place on earth on that day.
Come and catch a multi-cultural flare of Performing Arts at this one-day arts market.
Get to know and interact with the top performing groups in the Philippines and neighboring ASEAN countries – Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar, Vietnam, Brunei, Indonesia, Cambodia and Lao PDR at the 2nd CCP and ASEAN Arts Market which will be held on February 14, 2015 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines.
The event will offer opportunities for networking, showcasing of performance samplers and business matching of performances and other programs of arts organizations and agencies in the Philippines.
Show programmers, organizers and arts enthusiasts are welcome to attend.
The workshop is now on its 12th season, and has attracted choral groups and conductors from all over the Philippines as well as other countries. This year, we had a choir from Kuala Lumpur participating in the workshop.
This was not the first time for me to join as trainor, but everything seemed new to me this time around.
This choir joined the workshop again this year, with some familiar faces and new ones who got to experience the Madz training through the workshop. I guess they find something good and new in each workshop that they’ve participated three times already!
Early this year, the Cultural Center of the Philippines called itself as a Center for Choral Performance, where major choral events are lined up in the Center until next year, the highlight being the second Andrea O. Veneracion International Choral Festival in July 2015.
This year’s choral workshop was made even special because of several factors. Aside from the fact that it had been in hiatus for two years (there were no choral workshops held in 2012 and 2013 because of Madz trips abroad–incidentally, the years I worked for the Center), the workshop also featured a special Artist Talk by no less than Mr. Ryan Cayabyab, who created a new arrangement of one of his songs, premiered by the participating choral groups.
In Mr. C’s talk, he took the audience back to the days when fate had prepared the road for his musical journey, as a son of an opera singer who did not encourage him to take the same career his mother took, as a young UPIS student who was just tinkering on the piano, and as a teenager who would try out different careers–from winning a painting contest to applying as a disc jockey, and eventually getting the biggest gig that paved the way for his musical career. His story was unbelievable, humble, yet very inspiring.
The participants were fortunate to premiere a Mr. C work, Ikaw pa rin ang mahal ko, the theme song of Sa Ngalan ng Ina, originally sung by another OPM hero, Basil Valdez. Here’s a sampling from the Madz Facebook page:
Choirs from various schools, communities, parishes, and companies joined the workshop. Individual conductors, or choirless conductors as they called themselves, who want to be better conductors learned through the sessions with Madz Choirmaster himself, Mark Carpio.
The trainors were assigned two choirs each, who each sang a song of their preference, and one song which came from the trainor and will be performed together. I chose What the World needs now is love, a really simple danceable arrangement of the Bacharach song with piano. As they’ve easily learned the piece, I also gave short pieces as some sort of exercise for them.
I was surprised to know that trainors will also conduct, as I cannot remember doing that during the previous workshop I was part of. I even confirmed this to Sir Mark, to my surprise and excitement. It was my first time to conduct on the CCP’s Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo stage!
The choral groups may have different backgrounds and reasons for participating, some of them have mentioned this during the opening ceremonies. But to me, they are definitely champions by just being a good solid group, thirsting for knowledge that will help improve themselves and their choirs as they sing for God and for their schools, churches, companies, and communities. They’ve worked hard for those five days, which seemed really short, but all did and went well.
For us, trainors, nothing is more gratifying than seeing the choirs take what you’ve taught them to heart. We’ve witnessed this during the culminating activity. And as we look back at the first day we met them, a lot of good had happened. We’re successful enough to shared a piece of the Madz way. And we hope we could share this to more choristers in the generations to come.
Huge thanks to the Madz family for the opportunity to work with these great choristers and for what seemed to be a reunion of sorts among us alumni especially during break times. Likewise to my former workmates at the CCP and the Artist Training Division for being a venue for these choirs to create more wonderful choral music.
UPDATE: Join the Rusalka Raffle and get to watch on September 11 at the CCP! Details at the end of this post.
We were Disney children, my sister and I. Grew up singing to Disney songs and exchanging dialogues. No wonder, my child does the same. Only, it is Frozen in her generation.
One such Disney cartoon we both loved, and well, my sister loves forever, would be The Little Mermaid. She probably memorized the entire movie, and had her hair colored red. Yes, that’s how much she loves being Ariel.
Anyways, the Little Mermaid, written by Hans Christian Andersen, was also adapted for opera, more than half a century after, by Antonin Dvořák. Dvořák is a Czech composer who is known for his symphonies, the most popular being The New World Symphony. Astronaut Neil Armstrong took a recording of this work to the first landing to the Moon during the infamous Apollo 11 mission in 1969.
Rusalka, meanwhile, is his famous opera, which is still being actively performed today. Some elements of the Little Mermaid were used in this work.
Who isn’t familiar with this beautiful aria from Rusalka? In “Song to the Moon” (“Měsíčku na nebi hlubokém”), Rusalka asks the Moon to tell the Prince of her love.
Finally, Rusalka will be fully staged here, and yes, I will be part of its Philippine Premiere!
This will also be the first production in which the cast consists of students and alumni from different music schools in Metro Manila. We’re in the thick of rehearsals as of the moment, and we are all really excited for this. Follow me on Instagram (@touringkitty) as I post some photos of rehearsals.
I will be playing First Wood Sprite for the September 11 and 23 shows. See details of the shows below:
“RUSALKA: A Lyric Fairy Tale Opera”
A Philippine Premiere
“RUSALKA” is a love story between a water nymph and a human. See how the two lovers conquered challenges, how characters from different worlds communicate, and how Dvorak intertwined through his music the mystic of Rusalka.. The opera will have a Filipino setting and will have runs at the Cultural Center of the Philippines and the University of the Philippines.
STAGE DIRECTOR Alegria O. Ferrer
SCENOGRAPHER Danilo S. Sylvestre
CONDUCTOR Josefino Chino Toledo
ORCHESTRA Grupo 20/21
Cultural Center of the Philippines – Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino, CCP Complex, Pasay City
September 11 (Thur), 2014 // 7:30 PM
September 12 (Fri), 2014 // 7:30 PM
Tickets P600 and available through Ticketworld. 891-9999. Online tickets here: bit.ly/RusalkaPHCCP
UP College of Music – Abelardo Hall Auditorium, UP Diliman, Quezon City
September 23 (Tue), 2014 // 6:30 PM
September 24 (Wed), 2014 // 6:30 PM
Tickets P500 and available through the College of Music at 929-6963.
Want to watch Rusalka on September 11 at the CCP? Join the Rusalka Raffle! Draw will be on Thursday, September 11, 9:00AM. Thanks to the RusalkaPhil2014 team for sponsoring this raffle!