Latest Stories

‘Noli Me Tangere: The Opera’ debuts in New York

MICHAEL Dadap,musical director of “Noli” in NY; Loida Nicolas Lewis, producer; Bayani de Leon, son of composer Felipe de Leon

“Noli Me Tangere: The Opera,” a landmark adaptation of the Jose Rizal novel by two Philippine National Artists, composer Felipe de Leon and Guillermo Tolentino who wrote the libretto, will go onstage in New York City on Oct. 4, 5 and 6, 2013, as part of the 25th anniversary celebration of the Foundation for Filipino Artists Inc.

INEZ Antoni Mendezona

The opera will be sung in the Philippine national language, Filipino, with English subtitles.

The musical presentation, an opera in three acts, follows the story of Juan Crisostomo Ibarra, who returns to the Philippines after pursuing scholarly studies in Europe. He plans to open up a school and marry Maria Clara, his betrothed. However, parish priest Padre Damaso, the archenemy of the Ibarras, is out to hinder Crisostomo’s plans, which creates “a dramatic storyline of forbidden love, betrayal and revenge.”

ANDREW Fernando

“Lovers of Philippine culture would have heard of Rizal’s classic novel,” says Loida Nicolas Lewis, the project’s lead producer. “When they hear the ‘Noli’ opera sung in the Filipino language, Filipino-Americans everywhere will be curious and amazed that this masterpiece could be presented in New York.”

“Noli Me Tangere: The Opera” will feature musical direction by Michael Dadap, renowned conductor of the children’s orchestra in New York, and sets and costumes by Jerry Sibal, a prolific Filipino designer, also based in NYC.


The New York production features an all-star cast of performers and singers, led by Sal Malaki, a Filipino tenor who is considered one of the most seasoned artists in the Los Angeles Opera. Malaki plays Crisostomo Ibarra.

Playing Maria Clara is Inez Antoni Mendezona, an internationally-acclaimed performer whose voice and stage presence have been captivating audiences since she made her European debut in Tobias Picker’s “Emmeline.”


Andrew Fernando, artistic director of George Yang’s Klassical Music Foundation, takes on the role of Padre Damaso, the abusive Spanish friar who was the symbol of oppression in “Noli.”

Maria Cristina Navarro portrays Sisa, an iconic character who is forever remembered as the mother searching for her two children all over the streets of Manila. Navarro is a veteran of Filipino operas; her most recent portrayal being the titular role in Dr. Ramon Geluz’s “Karim and Jasmin.” She has also performed in Switzerland, the United States, Austria and the Philippines.

ROBERTO Perlas Gomez

Roberto Perlas Gomez, meanwhile, playing Ibarra’s radical friend Elias, has over 90 operatic roles to his name with various opera houses. Young singer Kirby Asunto, who recently sung for Manny Pacquiao’s Las Vegas fight, joins the cast as Basilio.

“Noli Me Tangere: The Opera” will run Oct. 4-6 at The Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College on Lexington Avenue and 68th Street in Manhattan. Tickets are $150 and $100 for gala night Friday (8 p.m.) and $100, $80 and $60 for Saturday (8 p.m.) and Sunday (2 p.m.). For tickets and more information, visit www.nolioperany.org. Or call/email Carissa Villacorta or Pauline Mangosing +63917-5955480, +63922-8171293; carissa.villacorta@gmail.com, pauline.mangosing@gmail.com

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Felipe de Leon , Guillermo Tolentino , Jose Rizal , National Artist for Painting , New York , Noli Me Tangere: The Opera , Travel

  • starlightshimmers

    Should be sung in Spanish, the language that Jose Rizal originally wrote it. Filipinos seem to have a phobia with admitting the impact the Spanish language played in Filipino nationalism.

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week break?
  2. ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  3. This is not just a farm
  4. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?
  5. Clams and garlic, softshell crab risotto–not your usual seafood fare for Holy Week
  6. Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week?
  7. Sarah Geronimo and Matteo Giudicelli sing ‘All of Me’–and we all swoon
  8. 12 other things you can do at Pico de Loro Cove
  9. Moist, extra-tender blueberry muffins
  10. The truffled mac ‘n’ cheese, eggs benedict, chicken leg confit are excellent
  1. Dominique–Gretchen and Tonyboy Cojuangco’s daughter–now an endorser
  2. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?
  3. Marcos grandson to wed beautiful Rocha scion
  4. France makes work beyond 6 p.m. illegal
  5. Sarah Geronimo and Matteo Giudicelli sing ‘All of Me’–and we all swoon
  6. South Koreans crave Asia’s smelliest fish
  7. How Vitamin B can be a remedy for ‘manhid’ and neuropathy
  8. Ever heard of HydroBob?
  9. 90 percent of Filipino households don’t practice proper toilet hygiene, sanitation
  10. Boots Anson-Roa to wed in Eddie Baddeo
  1. Mary Jean Lastimosa is new Miss Universe Philippines
  2. Did Angara ruin Pia Wurtzbach’s chances at Bb. Pilipinas?
  3. Dominique–Gretchen and Tonyboy Cojuangco’s daughter–now an endorser
  4. Manila in shock over model Helena Belmonte’s death
  5. Vinegar test helpful vs cervical cancer
  6. From Jeannie to mom of suicide victim
  7. San Vicente beaches hidden but not for long
  8. Borgy and Georgina are back; others are off–again
  9. Sen. Angara: I thought Pia Wurtzbach gave a good answer
  10. Ex-Givenchy model fights for ‘Yolanda’ survivors


  • Nebraska toddler gets stuck inside claw machine
  • Philippine eagle rescued by Army turned over to DENR
  • Gunmen attack Iraq military base, kill 10 soldiers
  • South Korea president shouted down by distraught parents
  • Classmates celebrating 60th birthday among missing in ferry sinking
  • Sports

  • Vietnam says it will not host Asian Games
  • Nadal passes clay landmark with 300th victory
  • Wawrinka waltzes through with Monte Carlo walkover
  • Power Pinays smash India in Asian Women’s Club volleyball opener
  • PH youth boxers off to stumbling start in AIBA World tilt
  • Lifestyle

  • Pro visual artists, lensmen to judge Pagcor’s photo contest
  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • This is not just a farm
  • Clams and garlic, softshell crab risotto–not your usual seafood fare for Holy Week
  • Moist, extra-tender blueberry muffins
  • Entertainment

  • Jones, Godard, Cronenberg in competition at Cannes
  • Will Arnett files for divorce from Amy Poehler
  • American rapper cuts own penis, jumps off building
  • Jay Z to bring Made in America music fest to LA
  • Why Lucky has not bought an engagement ring for Angel
  • Business

  • Total says makes ‘very promising’ oil find off Ivory Coast
  • ‘Chinese Twitter’ firm Weibo to go public in US
  • World stocks subdued, Nikkei flat on profit taking
  • Asia stocks fail to match Wall Street gains
  • Fired Yahoo exec gets $58M for 15 months of work
  • Technology

  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Filipinos #PrayForSouthKorea
  • Taylor Swift tries video blogging, crashes into fan’s bridal shower
  • DOF: Tagaytay, QC best at handling funds
  • Smart phone apps and sites perfect for the Holy Week
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • Malaysia quarantines 64 villagers over MERS virus
  • DFA: 2 Filipinos survive Korean ferry disaster
  • PH asks airline passengers to check for MERS
  • Syria most dangerous country for journalists, PH 3rd—watchdog
  • Japan says visa-free entry still a plan