Noli Me Tangere: The Opera Shows Filipinos Are Truly Capable of Great Things

Noli Me Tangere: The Opera  Shows Filipinos Are Truly Capable of Great Things




With a limited historic run until September 28,  Noli Me Tangere: The Opera, Manila is produced by JS Productions Inc. and supported by honorary chairs spearheaded by Fil-Am philanthropist Loida Nicolas Lewis, had successful runs in New York City and Washington D.C. in the past year before brought home to the Philippines.  

The opera is now celebrated as a result of the collaborative artistry of two Philippine National Artists, composer de Leon and Guillermo Tolentino, who is responsible for the libretto.   

New York-based top event designer Jerry Sibal, who is executive producer, uses huge LED displays and projections to create a visual effect that instantly brings viewers to 19thcentury Philippines. This is successfully complimented by great costume design by Sibal as well. 


(8) Photo Credit by BroadwayWorld.com_ Rachelle Gerodias and Sal Malaki as Maria Clara and Ibarra

Rachelle Gerodias and Sal Malaki as Maria Clara and Ibarra (photo courtesy of


(4) Photo Credit by _ Sal Malaki and Andrew Fernando as Crisostomo Ibarra and Padre Damaso

Sal Malaki and Andrew Fernando as Crisostomo Ibarra and Padre Damaso (photo courtesy of


Author and columnist Nelson Navarro said, “What’s clear is that the Filipino lyrics by Guillermo Tolentino is as singable as Italian or any language used in opera. With a first-rate cast, deft staging by Freddie Santos and under the baton of Rodel Colmenar, this production really took wing. Never a dull moment in two and a half hours. Sal Malaki as Cristomo Ibarra, Rachel Gerodias as Maria Clara, Antoni Mendezona and Eggo Velasco as Basilio were in top form. Malaki’s heroic tenor and Gerodias’ endearing soprano turned out a compelling but tragic love story set in a country on the brink of revolution. Mendezona’s colaratura in the mad scene all but stole the show, followed by Velasco’s powerful boy tenor solo. Sumptuous and eye-catching describe costumes and sets by Jerry Sibal. We also owe this import from America to Edwin Josue, co-producer, and Loida Nicolas Lewis who says she was reduced to tears in Chicago that she worked heaven and hell to bring De Leon’s underrated masterpiece home. 

“Rodney Colmenar led the (Manila Philharmonic) orchestra with unobtrusive and loving competence. If Filipino opera can only boast of one masterpiece, this one definitely fits the bill. How we wish there was more in the lamented past and the door is open for contemporary opera of equal worth and relevance. I salute my dear friend Loida Nicolas Lewis for boldly championing this production and bringing it home to its native land, if only to show that we Filipinos are truly capable of great things,” he added.

The Manila production of Noli Me Tangere: The Opera is headlined by world-class talents. 


Photo 15 - The Cast of Characters at Noli Me Tangere Opera Manila

The cast of characters at Noli Me Tangere: Opera Manila


Playing liberal-minded and outspoken Crisostomo Ibarra is Sal Malaki, one of the most seasoned artists of the Los Angeles Opera Company, having performed in more than 100 Los Angeles Opera productions since 1995. 

Rachelle Gerodias, who will play Maria Clara, is the country’s premiere and most sought-after sopranos and an awardee of the Aliw Award’s Hall of Fame for Best Female Classical Artist. 

Andrew Fernando, playing the iconic Padre Damaso, was the 2003 First Prize winner of the prestigious Loren L. Zachary National Vocal Competition and was hailed by Los Angeles Times as “the young singer to watch.” 

Switching roles from Maria Clara in New York to Sisa in Manila, Antoni Mendezona is a versatile soprano who garnered a rave review from The New York Times for playing hotel clerk Veronique in Pasatieri’s The Hotel Casablanca.

Don’t miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see the play that has wowed audiences around the world! Noli Me Tangere: The Opera will run for a limited time from September 11 to September 28 at the Newport Performing Arts Theater, Resorts World Manila in Pasay City. Students with valid IDs can avail of discounted tickets for balcony seats at P500 each through the generosity of San Miguel Corporation and Ramon Ang, Chair and CEO.


Noli Me Tangere: The Opera

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Noli Me Tangere: The Opera  Shows Filipinos Are Truly Capable of Great Things