JSSP’s version of Salzburg Festival

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Becky Garcia

Becky Garcia

I was transported to Austria when I attended the Salzburg Festival-themed benefit dinner of the Johann Strauss Society of the Philippines (JSSP) on March 28 at the Makati Shangri-La Hotel.

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Salzburg Festival, which originated from Salzburg, Austria in 1920, is a world-famous music and drama festival. For this local version, the festival featured internationally renowned soprano Rachelle Gerodias and Korean baritone Byeong In Park.

Accompanying them was the Manila Symphony Orchestra conducted by Dr. Ernest Hoetzl who was especially flown in from Austria for the occasion. Overtures and arias from Mozart’s operas and popular melodies from the soundtracks of the Sound of Music and the Lord of the Rings enchanted the guests immensely and even singing along the songs familiar to them.

Bangladeshi Ambassador John Gomes, and Brunei Ambassador Malai Halimah Yussof

Bangladeshi Ambassador John Gomes, and Brunei Ambassador Malai Halimah Yussof

Now on its 17th year, the society continues to mount musical presentations to fulfill its mission to develop and enhance the appreciation and love for dance and music, as well as perpetuate the close cultural ties between the Philippines and Austria while it extend financial assistance to numerous cultural, socio-civic and charitable organizations.

Congratulations to the Steering Committee headed by JSSP President Olga Severino Martel, overall chairman of the event, with the able support of JSSP Chairman and Consul General of Monaco Fortune Ledesma, co-chairmen Consul of Gambia Agnes Huibonhoa, Consul of Tanzania Betty Chua and Virginia Lane assisted by Fanny Blanco and Ditas Posadas.

Ambassador Tonet and Madame Linda Lagdameo

Ambassador Tonet and Madame Linda Lagdameo

Meanwhile, everyone can look forward to another exciting summer season as the top-notch 5-star resort in Bohol, The Bellevue Resort, owned and managed by The Bellevue Hotels and Resorts (BH&R) under the leadership of chairman Johnny Chan, managing director Patrick Chan, marketing and communications corporate director Ryan Chan and The Bellevue Resort managing director Dustin Chan, sponsors this year’s highly-anticipated sporting event, DEFY 123 Triathlon 2015.

Happening on May 23 and 24 at the resort, the race will test the limits of the participants as they will have to complete a 1-kilometer swim, a 110-kilometer bike and a 12-kilometer run.
Formally starting the DEFY 2015 fever was a launch party held at the most happening entertainment spot in Alabang, The Bellevue Manila’s Vue Bar, with the highly-efficient organization committee led by Ryan Chan, Jerry Santos, Teddy Tong and Anthony Kierulf warmly welcoming guests.

Italian Ambassador Massimo and Madame Agnes Rocigno

Italian Ambassador Massimo and Madame Agnes Rocigno

Race director Guy Concepcion discussed the new and challenging bike and run courses and added that the swim course gets a thrilling twist as it will be an open water swim from Virgin Island to Balicasag Island. See you there!

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