THE Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra, the country’s premier orchestra, serenaded the public with classical strains from beloved operas at the Tanghalang Maria Makiling of the National Arts Center in Los Baños, Laguna. The concert, presented by the Cultural Center of the Philippines and the Filipinas Opera Society Foundation, Inc., was the second of the Imelda Ongsiako-Cojuangco Memorial Opera Concerts.
Entitled “PPO Sunsets at Makiling,” audiences were treated to selections from the opera “Carmen” (Bizet), “Libiamo ne lieti calici” from La Traviata (Verdi), Overture from William Tell (Rossini), Intermezzo from Cavalleria Rusticana (Mascagni), Nessun Dorma from Turandot (Puccini), and “Kay Tamis ng Buhay from Noli Me Tangere” (F. P. de Leon), among other works.
Conducted by PPO Associate Conductor Herminigildo Ranera, the well-attended annual concert featured up and coming opera singers including soprano Nerissa De Juan, mezzo soprano Ma. Krissan Manikan, tenor Lorenz Lapresca, and baritones Belford Mabunga and Joseleo Logdat. International Filipino baritone Andrew Fernando served as music director and vocal coach.
PPO Sunsets at Makiling is one of the CCP’s flagship outreach programs in the arts that bring the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra (PPO) to audiences in Los Baños and other cities and towns outside Laguna for a rare experience of live orchestral music. Set against a beautiful backdrop of sunset in the mountains, the concert features light popular works written by the great Classical Music Masters.