Korean and Filipino opera singers star in La Traviata at the CCP
March 2, 2012, 8:00 PM
March 3, 2012, 8:00 PM
March 4, 2012, 5:00 PM
Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo (CCP Main Theater)
Pasay, Metro Manila
Yun-Kyoung Yi, soprano
Rachelle Gerodias, soprano
Daesan No, baritone
Andrew Fernando, baritone
Jae Wook Lee, tenor
Arthur Espiritu, tenor
Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra
Jae-Joon Lee, conductor
For years, I’ve been trying to watch an opera but I’ve always failed to see one. Now, the Cultural Center of the Philippines in cooperation with the Opera Guild Foundation of the Philippines, and Daejeon Opera Company of Korea are staging the one of the most popular operas there is which is La Traviata by Giuseppe Verdi. The opera will run on three consecutive nights from March 2-4, 2012 at the Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo (CCP Main Theater) which is just the first of three opera productions scheduled for this year at the CCP.
The opening night on March 2, 2012 at 8:00 PM features Korean opera singers led by soprano Yun-Kyoung Yi, baritone Daesan No and tenor Jae Wook Lee. The March 3, 2012 performance (also at 8:00 PM) will feature Filipino opera stars soprano Rachelle Gerodias, baritone Andrew Fernando and tenor Arthur Espiritu. The final performance on March 4, 2012 at 5:00 PM will once again feature the Korean leads. The Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra, under the baton of Korean Maestro Jae-Joon Lee, will provide the live music while the UST Singers will make up the chorus in this production directed by Floy Quintos.
I was able to watch a stripped down version of Così fan tutte some time back and it made me want to see a full production of an opera and I am very glad that I didn’t have to wait that long for it to happen. Knowing who the people are behind the production and witnessing Rachelle, Andrew and Arthur sing excerpts during the press conference only heightened my excitement. It didn’t matter that I had no idea what those songs were since I only know Libiamo and Sempre Libera which they purposely avoided since I was told that it’s better for the audience to hear these popular numbers during the actual performance itself.
Here are some interesting info regarding the Korean and Filipino leads that can hopefully convince people to check La Traviata out.
Soprano Yun-Kyoung Yi
A 2nd prize winner of the Bellini International Voice Competition in Italy, Yun-Kyoung Yi has performed the lead parts in La Traviata, Lucia di Lammermoor, Rigoletto, and La Boheme, among others. Yun-Kyoung Yi graduated from Keimyung University, majoring in Voice in 2000. She took her graduate degree also at Keimyung in 2003 and earned two diplomas from ARENA accademia and AIDM accademia in Italy in 2007. She is currently a visiting professor at her alma mater Keimyung University.
Soprano Rachelle Gerodias
Soprano Maria Rachelle Gerodias is one of the Philippines’ most awarded sopranos. She received her Master’s Degree in Vocal Performance and Vocal Literature from the famed Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. She holds a Professional Diploma in Operatic studies from the prestigious Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. She made her European debut in the role of Liu in Puccini’s Turandot at the VOLSKOPER WIEN in Vienna, Austria.
Baritone Daesan No
Daesan No’s opera credits include the title role in Falstaff and Rigoletto and the roles of Leporello in Don Giovanni, Bonze and Yamadori in Madama Butterfly, Scarpia in Tosca, Escamillo and Marcello in Carmen. He has won numerous awards, one of which was the Placido Domingo Fellowship Award at the Academy of Vocal Arts. Daesan No earned his Graduate Performance Diploma and Master of Music Degree from the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore.
Baritone Andrew Fernando
Filipino bass baritone Fernando completed his Professional Diploma and Professional Certificate in Opera Performance at the Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts where he was awarded a full scholarship. Fernando is an Opera Pacific Resident Artist for which he has sung many roles including Friedrich Bhaer in Little Women, Marullo in Rigoletto, Masetto in Don Giovanni, Zaretsky in Eugene Onegin and a Prison Guard in Dead Man Walking.
Tenor Jae Wook Lee
Jae Wook Lee has performed in various concerts all over the world, including the Philippines, in lead roles of operas such as La Traviata, Rigoletto, Nabucco, La Boheme, Madama Butterfly, and Tosca, among others. Lee is an award winning singer, having bagged top prizes in the Korean National Vocal Music Competition, Montserrat Cabelle, Rosetum and Nino Carta international vocal competitions.
Tenor Arthur Espiritu
Filipino-American tenor Arthur Espiritu is the winner of the 2009 George London Award and the La Scala Award. He received an Artist Diploma from Oberlin College Conservatory of Music and earned both a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Music degree from the University of New Orleans.
A lot of people do find opera intimidating for a lot of reasons: the style of singing is so different from popular music, the language is foreign, and it may only be for the upper class. For me, I always try to keep and open mind and be willing to experience new things. I’ve always admit that my knowledge about opera is very limited and I see this production of La Traviata as a way of educating myself. And nothing beats learning about opera than by watching an actual production itself and I plan to catch both sets of leads in order to maximize my learning experience. I just hope that most people will have the same mindset as well not just in opera but in other art forms as well.
P1500 Orchestra Center
P1000 Orchestra Side
P600 Balcony I Center
P500 Balcony I Side
P300 Balcony II
-50% student discount
-20% senior citizen discount
CCP Box Office 832-1125 loc. 1409, 832-3704