Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Philippine Opera Company's 2008 opera season

The Philippine Opera Company (POC) will open its second Opera Season in September 2008. For the past nine years, POC has been the only opera company in the Philippines mounting full opera seasons. It is now the home of both seasoned and promising opera singers in the country.

This year, the Philippine Opera Company celebrates a decade of exquisitely weaving and delivering fine and world-class entertainment. POC has seen an uptrend in the awareness and appreciation of opera and classical-related performances among Filipinos, particularly the young educated segment of society, especially in the last five years. This favorable development led to the launching of its first annual Opera season in 2006.

Founded in 1999, the Company is managed by classical singers who perform at major venues in Manila as well as abroad. It is committed to extending opera beyond its expected fields of interest by performing in malls, churches, community centers, parks, and schools as well as in theatres, thereby making opera more accessible to more audience.

The POC is committed to developing a new generation of classical singers and audiences, and to develop our own Filipino style of presenting opera. POC also helps develop opera appreciation among Filipinos by performing outreach programs for schools, government agencies and private corporate organizations throughout the country with the funding from the outreach arm of POC, Friends of Philippine Opera Foundation.

This year, POC announces an exciting and interesting line-up for its 2nd Opera Season. This season will open with MAGIC FLUTE, which is regarded by many as Mozart's most irresistible opera. MAGIC FLUTE is a fantasy masterpiece that combines animation, black theater and puppetry performed by live artists.

It will open on September 19-27 at the CCP Little Theater and will be directed by Kokoy Jimenez, the man behind the longest-running children’s educational television program, “Batibot”.

To coincide with the 150th anniversary of Giacomo Puccini’s birth, Puccini’s best-loved opera LA BOHEME follows on October 3, 4, and 5. Perhaps more than any other classic opera, LA BOHEME lends itself to contemporary interpretation. The time period has been moved from 1830 to 21st century so that contemporary audiences will recognize and relate to. Innovative director Floy Quintos updates Puccini's timeless tale in an extraordinary new production, following the stories of a circle of young artists’ struggle against poverty and their quest for integrity.

The cast is composed of the country’s leading as well as new and promising names in the field of opera. LA BOHEME will be staged at the Cultural Center of the Philippines’ Main Theater and accompanied no less by the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of international conductor, Helen Quach.

Magic Flute and La Boheme are co-productions with the Cultural Center of the Philippines.

The 2008 season closes with the re-staging of Terrence McNally's Tony Award-winning play, MASTER CLASS, about the legendary opera diva Maria Callas.

This moving drama depicts a fictional class conducted by Callas in Juilliard at the end of her career, during which she recounts her long tumultuous life as opera’s grand dame and reveals a rare glimpse into her private life as paramour to the billionaire Aristotle Onassis.

Starring Ms. Cherie Gil in the title role of Maria Callas, MASTER CLASS will be directed by theater stalwart Michael Williams.

MASTER CLASS will run for 10 shows at the Carlos P. Romulo Theater, RCBC Plaza, Makati City on October 9, 10, 11, 12, 17, 18, 19, 23, 24 and 25, 8 p.m.

For tickets, block sales and sponsorship please contact Philippine Opera Company at 892-8786 or TicketWorld at 891-9999 or

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