MANILA, Philippines—This July, Dulaang UP is bringing back to the stage last year’s hit musical, National Artist Felipe Padilla de Leon’s “Noli Me Tangere: The Opera.” In this operatic rendition of Rizal’s timeless novel, director Alexander Cortez successfully melds the classic and the fresh to create a theatrical feat that reaches out across all audiences.
Besides opening another exciting season for DUP, the restaging of “Noli Me Tangere: The Opera” is also DUP’s contribution to the celebration of the birth centennial of Padilla de Leon, and is a timely and relevant reimagining of one work whose importance transcends space and time.
With music direction and vocal coaching by renowned soprano, Camille Lopez Molina, “Noli Me Tangere: The Opera” features the collaboration of a talented set of both budding and seasoned opera singers, most of whom are reprising their roles from the first run. Ivan Nery who returns to the role which catapulted him to fame, Crisostomo Ibarra, comes fresh from a first place finish at the prestigious Jovita Fuentes Vocal Competition. Myramae Meneses who is once again essaying the role of Maria Clara claimed second place in the same competition. Fellow cast mates Aissa Guilatco (Tia Isabel) and Arman Ferrer (Crisostomo Ibarra alternate) are finalists in the said contest, too. Elainne Vibal who alternated as Maria Clara in the initial run now plays Sisa, alternating with Jean Judith Javier. Playing the role of Padre Damaso are Jonathan Velasco, Michael Bulaong and Chris Ong, who recently returned from the US for a series of performances.
The production design and costumes by distinguished designer Gino Gonzales are impressive. The remarkable 19th century Filipino atmosphere is the handiwork of the collective artistry of lighting designer Jon Jon Villareal, sound designer Jethro Joaquin, and choreographer Dexter Santos. Winter David provides the video support with special props designed and executed by John Gaerlan. Pow Santillan renders the graphics design with photos by Jojit Lorenzo and Dino Dimar.
“Noli Me Tangere: The Opera” is made possible by the UP Office of the President, UP Diliman Office of the Chancellor, Office of the Dean College of Arts and Letters, UP Office for Initiatives in Culture and the Arts, Sen. Edgardo Angara, Ms. Irene M. Araneta, Dr. Joven Cuanang, NCCA Chairman Jun de Leon, and Radyo 5 92.3 News FM.
The musical’s remaining play dates are July 21-22, 25-29; August 1 & 2, 8-12 (Wednesday to Friday, 7pm; Saturday and Sunday, 10 am and 3pm. Due to the UPCAT exams on Aug 4 & 5, there will be no performances from Aug 3 -5. Noli resumes Aug 8) at the Wilfrido Ma. Guerrero Theater, Palma Hall, University of the Philippines Diliman. For sponsorship and ticket inquiries, please contact the Dulaang UP Office at 926-1349, 981-8500 local 2449 or 433-7840.