Thursday, December 11, 2008

Video: Sarah Geronimo and Mark Bautista sing sarsuwela

Not lately, though--this performance of Awit ng Pabo at Loro, from the 1919 sarsuwela Dalagang Bukid (originally made popular by National Artist Atang de la Rama) was performed by the two young singers at the Lagi Kitang Naaalala musical tribute to Filipino National Artists held at the Cultural Center of the Philippines Main Theater in 2002.

A look at the video tells you Sarah and Mark underwent a crash course in sarsuwela singing. Notice the way Sarah shapes her mouth to get the notes out--something she's never had to do when it comes to singing pop. Brave attempt, and more proof that she can go beyond overwrought pop ditties if she wants to (remember her dazzling cameo as a young Katy dela Cruz here?).

Mark actually fares better--his deep, throbbing voice feels exactly right for ardent sarsuwela warbling. Plus, doesn't he look extra-dashing in period clothes, with lacquered hair to match?

Now, I'm not sure if it came before or after Sarah and Mark's performance, but there was another night of Lagi Kitang Naalala where this song was sung by... guess who?

Let me quote Inquirer columnist Rina Jimenez-David in her September 15, 2002 piece: "Piolo Pascual and Dianne dela Fuente, young actors and singers, surprised the audience with their energized and confident interpretation of 'Awit ng Pabo at Loro,' an obscure song from the zarzuela 'Dalagang Bukid.'"

Piolo and Dianne! I wonder how they sounded compared to Sarah and Mark. If only Viva Video had seen fit to issue a more comprehensive DVD document of the event--that is, a more complete concert line-up, with better packaging and more polished technical values.

The DVD I bought at Astrovision had crappy sound and visuals, no chapter or song selection breaks, and the laziest extra possible for an event like this, which purported to honor the country's musical and artistic heritage--rushed, unimaginative interviews with show director Chris Millado and Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra conductor Chino Toledo. Haay. We never get these things right.

Argh, I'm ranting again. Enjoy. And if you want to hear how this song sounds when sung by classically-trained voices, check out this video clip of husband-and-wife tandem Lionel Guico and Cynthia Culig-Guico performing the number during the necrological services for the late and much-loved UP theater professor Ogie Juliano.


Dennis N. Marasigan said...


The Sarah-Mark excerpt came from Lagi Kitang Mamahalin which the CCP co-presented with GMA 7 and Viva. Piolo and Diannes were among the performers in Lagi Kitang Naaalala which was earlier co-presented with ABS-CBN.


gibbs cadiz said...

hi DENNIS, thanks! so there were TWO shows, with different titles! the video mentions only one--lagi kitang naaalala, and apparently mashes up numbers from both shows. maybe that should account for why some numbers had terrible audio and some sounded better. i'd love to watch a copy of lagi kitang mamahalin, too! :)

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