The Opera at the MET series, a project of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) with the New York Metropolitan Opera, came to a successful conclusion with the showing at Greenbelt Cinema 3, in Makati City, of Puccini’s “Madama Butterfly” and “Turandot,” and Wagner’s epic “Tristan und Isolde.”
Once again tickets were sold out. It was like being in a front row seat at the MET, better because the camera takes you backstage and you see the activities going on. And there are interviews with the cast and crew.
The series will resume in November.
Two seminal drama companies, Philippine Educational Theater Association (Peta) and Repertory Philippines, celebrated their 50th anniversary, respectively, with slam-bang reunions, reminiscences, special presentations, a gathering of talents past and present, a review of accomplishments, and a resolve to face the future.
Peta has lined up more activities from August to December, while Rep will round up the year with the musicals “Beauty and the Beast” and “Hair.”
Another major drama company, the Philippine Stagers Foundation (PSF), headed by lawyer-performer-director Vince Tañada, celebrated its 16th year with a “sweet 16” special show at Luxent Hotel in Quezon City.
PSF members, known for advocacy theater in Filipino, let their hair down by going Broadway.
With the campus-based Ateneo Blue Repertory, known for Broadway musicals, it was the other way round. It commemorated its anniversary with the hit musical “Kung Paano Ako Naging Leading lady,” backed up by professional talents Vincent de Jesus, EJ Yatco and Delphine Buencamino.
“Musical theater, theater in general, is an instrument for change,” company manager Bea Racoma said.
The new Thuy, boyfriend of Kim in the London production of “Miss Saigon,” is balladeer Gerald Santos, who auditioned for the role before Claude-Michel Schonberg, no less, and was shocked when the composer upbraided him for being one second late in his tempo. But he went on to impress Schonberg, who reportedly found his performance “amazing.”
“Miss Saigon” did not even win best musical when it was first presented. The honor went to some other show, the name of which escapes me now.
But it was “Miss Saigon” —galvanized by Filipino talent—which went on to become popular around the world. —CONTRIBUTED