Saturday, May 17, 2008

We hear you, Joanna

Hi Gibbs. I hope you can upload the cuts from Jo's CD soon. With her being cast as Maria in West Side Story, I'm sure a lot of people would love to listen to her voice, especially her audition piece Think of Me from Phantom. Thanks, Gibbs! -- TheBachelorGirl

You asked for it, Lorna--you got it.

Or, perhaps the better words to say are, “Sorry for the delay?” Because I did promise a couple of months ago, in an entry about Filipina West End star Joanna Ampil and my brief video interview with her, that I would upload sample tracks from her just-released CD in a follow-up post.

That follow-up entry has been put off time and again--laziness, is all--but I've no excuse now. Not with Lorna reminding me about it, and not with the good news that Joanna is coming home later this year to star as Maria in Stages' production of West Side Story (alternating with pop singer Karylle).

This marks the first time that Joanna will perform in a theater production before Manila audiences. That makes this show, in consumer shorthand, a “must-see.” In fact, it's nothing less than a coup for Stages to have signed her up for this role (props to you, director Audie Gemora!).

For the last 16 years, Joanna has made a huge name for herself in London, appearing successively in some of the West End's biggest musicals. It bears repeating what Mark Duffy, of the Association of Irish Musicals Society, said of her performance in the 2005 musical revue The Musical of Musicals: “...Joanna as Princess Jade shows why she is a major West End performer with stunning vocals.”

Vocally, I think, she's highly equipped for the role of Maria, as her soprano singing in the CD shows. Now, about Karylle, I'll be honest: I've never particularly liked her as a singer--or at least what I've seen of her so far on TV, with her nasal sound and wobbly notes. But who knows? She just might surprise us yet. I hope she does. If my doubts prove baseless, I'd be happy to eat my words, pass the ketchup, please...

For the playlist below, I chose four songs that, collectively, showcase Joanna's remarkable vocal versatility: the light-operatic, worlds-away-from-Sarah-Brightman Think Of Me and All I Ask of You (from Phantom of the Opera--she duets with Niklas Andersson in the latter song), the hard-driving pop-rock number Out Tonight (from Rent) and the full-throttle Broadway warhorse I Dreamed A Dream (from Les Miserables). The last track is, in my book, one of the most heart-rendingly beautiful versions of Fantine's anthem I've ever heard.

Ladies and gentlemen, Joanna Ampil.

PLUS: We see you, Joanna.


TheBachelorGirl said...

Thanks for playing my request/s DJ Gibbs! Seriously, thanks so much!!! Now, I'm more excited than ever!!! :-D And, you're absolutely right about her rendition of I Dreamed a Dream being one of the best ever. Medyo teary eyed ako by the end.

Oliver Oliveros said...

Bravo, Jo. See you in July!

Anonymous said...

Sobrang galing. am not really a fan of les miserables. but hearing miss ampil, all i can ask is WHERE CAN WE BUY THE CD HERE IN THE PHILIPPINES. gibbs, tulong naman dito!

erasmusa said...

i recently uncovered a photo of myself with her taken years before i saw her in london. that reminded me that she has been back here before, except that not very many watched her perform. i'm happy that she finally has the chance to share her talent with more people in manila.

the only question i have about the casting is the chemistry between the marias and christian bautista. that remains to be seen. :)

gibbs cadiz said...

you're welcome, lorna! have you drawn up your list of new bloggers to entice to the theater? hehe. :)

bravo indeed, OLIVER. :)

ANONYMOUS, sorry po, the cd is not available locally. sa amazon ata available na siya. :)

ABBY, i've the same question. i suppose waiting to see how the casting pans out is part of the excitement. :)

ribbiticus said...

wow! she is great! can't wait for the show! :)

Minnie said...

Whoa! Thanks for posting this playlist-- I am amazed at her talent, Gibbs! :)

Was wondering, would you mind if I repost your article in my multiply (with full credit to you, of course. :) )? I am selling tickets to the opening night of the West Side Story and this will definitely help me introduce Joanna Ampil to people who are not familiar with her amazing talent yet. :)

If you can also help me sell tickets, that would be awesome, too! Hehe. Thanks, Gibbs! :)

gibbs cadiz said...

same here, RIBBITICUS! :)

MINNIE, sure, repost away! lemme know the url so i can visit, too. can't help you sell tickets, though, sorry--or i'd be out of a job. :)

Minnie said...

Hi Gibbs, thanks for letting me repost your entry! Understand that you cannot help me sell tickets-- no worries! Allowing me to repost your blog is a great help for me as it is! (BTW, I linked it instead because I could not figure out how to share the songs through on my multiply site! Hehe) :-) Looking forward to reading more of your posts!

ps-- can i send you my URL via email instead? Please let me know how I can contact you. Thanks! :-)

gibbs cadiz said...

MINNIE, you can e-mail me at gibbs_c [at] yahoo [dot] com. :)

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