FOR 2015, the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) presented 1,169 productions, involving 24,000 artists and viewed by audiences numbering 685,000. These took place in 293 days of the year.
The statistics are from Chris Millado, CCP vice president and artistic director, who spoke at a recent CCP institutional press conference during which he gave the media a preview of what would be in store for audiences in 2016.
This year will be CCP’s 47th anniversary. Activities are a whirl of concerts, recitals, dance presentations (classical, contemporary and folkloric); operas in high definition (at the Ayala cinemas); musical plays and musical revues, choral competitions, straight plays, exhibits, workshops, film showings, festivals and other attractions.
Millado, who started the proceedings by reciting a poem on the creative process by the late National Artist Rolando Tinio, said the outreach program “continued to be aggressive through its regional partners, the educational institutions. Artists from various genres engaged audiences in the regions.”
As for Cinemalaya, he noted that “its films have made waves here and in international festivals and we would like to believe that the CCP had a hand in this.”
He added: “We are particularly proud of the Kabataang Gitarista, composed of underprivileged youths who have had successful concerts.” And there has been a resurgence of original Filipino musicals as well as foreign blockbusters.
The Virgin Labfest (Untried, Untested and Unstaged plays), now on its 12th year, sold out its two-week run and, for the first time, toured the schools.
The press launch was enlivened by performers in music, theater and dance. Foremost soprano Rachelle Gerodias and her husband, Korean baritone Park Byeong-in, interpreted flirtatiously a love duet from Mozart’s “Don Giovanni.” Young talents from Philippine Ballet Theater performed the bravura pas de deux from “Don Quixote.” And tenor Arman Ferrer led the ensemble in a rousing patriotic song from Tanghalang Pilipino’s “Mabini Mandirigma.”
Enthusiasts can look forward in January to a series of concerts by the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra (PPO) and the Metro Manila Concert Orchestra (MMCO), among other offerings, plus Puccini’s “Tosca” (recently performed at CCP) but this time as a New York MET production in HD at the Ayala Cinemas. Tickets cost P400 but you can get a ringside seat at the MET and get to see how the crew prepare the sets backstage and listen to interviews of the stars.
February will bring the “uncensored” Manila Fringe Festival, Ballet Philippines’ “Opera: A Rebirth in Arabesque,” the MET Opera in HD, Bartok’s “Bluebeard’s Castle,” and the musical “Sister Act,” based on the 1992 movie starring Whoopi Goldberg.
Highlights for the rest of the year include “Tangoblitz” (April), Philstage Gawad Buhay, Virgin Labfest 12 and the International Woodwind Festival (June); Tanghalang Pilipino’s 30th anniversary concert, a musical revue, and PBT’s “The Great Classics” (July); the 12th Cinemalaya and “Triple Threats: the Ensembles” (August); CCP Gala “Musikal!” (September); an opera production to be announced (October); the 5th National Theater Festival and Tanghalang Pilipino’s “Balangiga” (November); and , bringing the year to a close, a Bayanihan Fiesta dance concert and a Danilo Dalena retrospective exhibit (December).
“These are only few of our 100 activities for next year,” said Millado. “It takes almost a year to finalize plans, and the program directors have just submitted their plans for 2017.”