He sang a ravishing “Traviata” duet with Nelly Miricioiu at the Ayala Museum and then delivered a powerful aria, “Che gelida manina” (“La Boheme”) to a rousing reception. He debuted at Sydney Opera, survived a Polish opera to great acclaim in Melbourne (Szymanowski’s “King Roger”), and capped the year with another lead role in “Boheme” at Israel Opera in Tel Aviv.
For this reason, Arthur Espiritu is Tenor of the Year.
Espiritu became the third Filipino to make a big impact in Israel’s classical music scene after tenor Otoniel Gonzaga who sang a role in “Fidelio” many years back and pianist Cecile Licad who played a Mozart concerto under the baton of Russian conductor Mark Gorenstein.
Before “La Boheme,” Espiritu had sang the role of Tamino in Mozart’s “Magic Flute” in the same opera house to good audience reception.
“La Boheme” was performed by the Israel Symphony Orchestra of Rishon LeZion (the Israel Opera’s resident orchestra) under the baton of Francesco Cilluffo, alternating with Israeli conductor Karin Ben-Yosef.
Indeed 2017 was such a very busy year for the Filipino tenor. “I had so much memories from it from performing and teaching the art of singing.”
For now, the tenor is back in Manila with his first daughter Malaya. “It is exciting. When Malaya was born, I was already in Europe, so I was not there to see her come into this world. I am so happy to be able to come home.” –CONTRIBUTED