Makati Rotary Club’s current president Eddie Yap—real estate developer by profession, classic music authority-impressario by avocation—conceptualized, as executive producer, the concert presented at the new Shangri-la Hotel BGC Hotel ballroom on the occasion of the club’s 50th anniversary.
Eddie gave his speech at one end of the hall while I sat at the opposite end; thus I could hardly make out his words of wisdom, although I did hear the lusty applause that often interrupted his speech.
Further, Eddie’s program notes inevitably revealed his firm and authoritative grasp of the history and schools of classic music in Europe, America and Asia.
That night, the concert Eddie presented featured celebrated soprano Rachelle Gerodias Park and her eminent Korean husband, baritone Byeong In Park; debutant soprano Stefanie Quintin; long-admired and virtually self-taught tenor George Yang in Ernesto De Curtis’ Come Back to Sorrento; and Elena Yap Lee and Brian Ocana in Rudy Waltz.
Surprise of surprises! Rotary Club members and their ladies, led by president Eddie Yap and his charming wife Dellie, sang and danced to Polonaise from Tchaikovsky’s opera Eugene Onegin.
The rest of the performers rendered arrias from Rossini and Puccini operas, songs from operettas by Strauss and Lehar. The Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra gave excellent accompaniment under Maestro Olivier Ochanine who also brilliantly conducted works by Strauss, Denza, Rodgers and Hammerstein.
At my table were Chic Francisco, former Ambassador Lani Bernardo and his lovely wife Conchitina, and architect William Coscolluela who designed the Zuellig, Phil-Am Life, Andrew Tan buildings and the RCBC Plaza.
Heartiest congratulations to Makati Rotary President Eddie Yap for a most delightful and memorable dinner-musicale which celebrated 50 glorious years of the Club.