When in Manila, you are never going to run out of artistic talents. You could even feel the air pulsate with creativity and culture. From street rapping to high-end theatrical operas, you can expect the Filipinos to excel in their craft.
For its maiden Opera production, Lyopera brings to Manila George Bizet’s Carmen, a popular opera comique which has been missing from the Philippine scene for almost two decades. Carmen is a woman you’ll love. She is independent, confident, and romantic. Carmen is a woman you’ll hate. She is spiteful, cunning, and opportunistic. She’s both and she’s unforgettable.
The very powerful voices of Ana Feleo and Camille Molina (Carmen), Randy Gilongo and Abdul Candao (Don Jose), Kaye Liggayu and Margarita Giannelli (Micaela), and an endless string of very talented stage actors sing new life to this fantastic masterpiece. Be captivated as they act and sing out the story of a gypsy who became obsessed with a corporal. Set in Spain, and sung in French, this lively opera production is bound to captivate the Filipino audience. I cannot help having goose bumps as their ethereal voices filled the auditorium.
Carmen is directed by Ms. Laurice Guillen, a renowned director who took on the challenge of directing the opera, the first theatrical production she has directed in four decades, and the first opera she has ever directed. The brilliant Bizet composition was rendered perfectly by Manila Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Prof. Arturo Molina. The adaptation was faithful to the realism Carmen is known to have introduced to the operatic scene. The costume and lighting was geniusly designed and planned so that even though costume and set are not elaborate, they worked well in evoking the right feel as the opera went on to focus on the characters. The opera was simply riveting.
Lyropera’s brave dream of making opera, a stereotyped elitist art form, appreciated by Filipino audience is made easier by the realistic and character-driven approach of Carmen with a theme Filipinos are no stranger to. In partnership with Alliance Francaise, the cast prepared for their roles by taking French lessons to give it the authenticity it needs, underwent acting, blocking, and craft workshops to perfect the production. The Opera ran from October 26 to 28 2012 at the Sta. Cecilia’s Hall of St. Scholastica’s College in Manila. The sold out tickets was testament to the production’s dedication to giving the audience a great rendition of this famous legend.
So When in Manila, to check out different artistic offerings from the Filipinos. Be mesmerized as you become entertained by another level of talent of Filipinos. Just like me, who went on humming the Habanera all the way home. The infectious melodies and the trilling voices of these dedicated Filipino opera singers haunted me beautifully until I finally went to dreamland.
Carmen Comes to Manila