Friday, May 18, 2012

Philippine Opera Company's Ang Bagong Harana returns June 6-10

The Philippine Opera Company’s “Ang Bagong Harana” returns on June 6-10 at the RCBC Theater in time for the Philippine Independence Day Celebration.

“Ang Bagong Harana” is a revue featuring traditional and contemporary Filipino songs, sung by a troupe of 10 young classically-trained singers.

“The show was envisioned as love song to our country,” says Karla Gutierrez, who heads the Philippine Opera Company. “We wanted to show audiences that there is so much wealth that Filipinos can mine from our traditional and contemporary music. In this age of globalization, it is all the more crucial for us to know who we are and what we have that we can call Pinoy. A lot of performers may say that we are the best in the world. But we wanted to go a step further and prove it by using our own traditional and contemporary material. And we wanted to showcase young singers who have committed themselves to classical singing and to our traditional material."

The company of 10 singers is made up of theater actors and singers Karla Gutierrez, Aizel Prietos, Charley Magalit, Janine Santos, Marian Santiago, Lawrence Jatayna, Jack Salud, Nazer Salcedo, Marvin Gayramon and Al Gatmaitan. Most have appeared in plays and musicals.

The show, conceived and directed by Floy Quintos, begins with an evocation of a lost innocence, as expressed through traditional children's songs sung by the company. From there, the love song to country moves through various evocations---a “kundiman” suite framed against the backdrop of revolution, a tribal suite based on the indigenous respect for the environment, a suite of folk songs framed against the backdrop of a fiesta, a tribute to Sylvia La Torre that reconnects with our “bodabil” roots. Then it moves into the present, using OPM classics like Fredddie Aguilar's “Anak” to make pointed social commentary.

“We kept getting inquiries about a repeat run,” says Gutierrez, “which is why we are bringing back the show in it's original form, with most of the original cast. It is a difficult effort to try and do something truly Filipino nowadays. But after the warm response that we got last year, we know that there is an audience that is hungry for this kind of entertainment that reconnects us to our souls.”

“Ang Bagong Harana” runs June 6-9, 8 p.m. with matinees at 3:30pm on June 9 and 10, at the Carlos P. Romulo Theater, RCBC Plaza, Makati City.

For tickets, please call Philippine Opera Company 8817168 or 0917-5272880 or TicketWorld 8919999. Like Philippine Opera Company on Facebook.

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