Saturday, July 03, 2010

Meet the cast of Philippine Opera Company's Master Class

The Philippine Opera Company will re-stage the Tony Award-winning play, "Master Class," with a new cast supporting lead actress Cherie Gil as the legendary opera diva Maria Callas.

Playing the students in her master class are Juan Alberto Gaerlan and Al Gatmaitan (alternating as Anthony Candolino), Florence Aguilar as Sophie de Palma, Ana Feleo and Kay Balajadia-Liggayu (alternating as Sharon Graham) and Francis Amora as the pianist Manny.

Juan Alberto Gaerlan completed his Professional Diploma Studies in Western Opera at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, where he graduated with distinction. He has made numerous performances here and abroad and was last seen as Rodolfo in Philippine Opera Company's and the Cultural Center of the Philippines' production of Giacomo Puccini's "La Boheme".

Al Gatmaitan is under the tutelage of Ronan Ferrer at the University of Santo Tomas Conservatory of Music. He has appeared with various theater groups such as Dulaang UP, PETA, Spazio Teatro and Teatro Calabria in Italy. He has been part of several telenovelas in ABS-CBN and recently appeared in the movie musical "Emir."

Ana Feleo is an Aliw Awardee for Best Actress in a Musical for 2007. She received her music education at the UP College of Music under the tutelage of Professor Emeritus Fides Cuyugan- Asensio. She pursued further coaching with W. Stephen Smith in Juilliard last 2008 in preparation for her role as Musetta in POC-CCP's "La Boheme."

Florence Aguilar graduated magna cum laude in voice from the UST Conservatory of Music. She was part of the Singapore Lyric Opera's twin bill production of "Cavalleria Rusticana" and "I Pagliacci," of the Philharmonic Chamber of Choir of Singapore's Bach's Mass in B minor, and the "I Love My Love" concerts conducted by Maestro Lim Lau and Johannes Prinz, respectively.

Kay Balajadia-Liggayu graduated from the UP College of Music with a degree in Bachelor of Music, major in Voice. She was a national champion of the National Music Competition for Young Artists in 1996. She has performed in various opera, musical and zarzuela productions. She was the featured soloist at the Las Pinas International Bamboo Organ Festival 2010.

Francis Amora is a BM graduate in Piano Performance from the Philippine Women's University Conservatory of Music. He is currently taking up his Masters in Piano Performance at the UST Conservatory of Music under Dean Raul Sunico.

"Master Class" is directed by veteran stage actor Michael Williams.

It will run at the Carlos P. Romulo Theater, RCBC Plaza, for 10 performances on July 29, 30, 31, August 6, 7, 8, 12,13, 14 and 15, 2010. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 3:30 p.m.

For tickets, call Philippine Opera Company at 8928786 or 8817168 or TicketWorld at 8919999. For more information, visit

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