Mozart, Handel and Gardel live June 19

Mozart, Handel And Gardel Live June 19

Mozart, Handel And Gardel Live June 19

Manila’s classical music enclave is packed with live shows opening here and there after more than two years of online isolation.

Add to that the good news of new theaters opening their doors to the performing arts community.

The Ayala Museum venue has completed renovations and will soon feature live concerts.

But the biggest news is the opening of the 1,500-seat Samsung Theater for Performing Arts (STPA) in the Makati Circuit district this Sunday (June 19, 5 pm), just in time for the Manila Symphony Orchestra’s Father’s Day concert featuring for MSO Music Academy students, the Manila Junior Symphony Orchestra with the participation of the Makati Youth Orchestra.

The family concert called “PAPA MIA” is a happy blend of both classic pop favorites.

Mozart, Handel And Gardel Live June 19
Violinist Jeanne Marquez, linked to Juilliard. Home for a brief visit. From Jeanne Marquez’s Facebook page.

The main attraction is the young violinist Jeanne Marquez, from Juilliard, playing Tango Por Una Cabeza, by Carlos Gardel, with arrangements by John Williams.

“This girl (Marquez) is linked to Juilliard and is sounding better than ever when I heard her. Hard work and dedication! I feel like a proud daddy,” Diomedes Saraza Jr., her teacher, said after the first rehearsal.

The Makati Circuit district is now known as the city’s arts, entertainment and culture district.

Europe-based Filipino ballerina Anna Villadolid visited the new venue and said: “What a glorious space equal to the beautiful theaters you see in Europe. I already feel special just walking into the grand lobby!”

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French, British, Spanish, Italian, German and Japanese cultural attachés visited the country’s newest performing arts venue and were very impressed.

(Cultural attachés are diplomats with a special responsibility to promote the culture of their homeland.)

MSO Executive Director Jeffrey Solares said: “The space is very elegant and the location is very accessible. As far as acoustics go, there could still be some improvements. Maybe we need to build an acoustic shell to be able to mount orchestral concerts without the need for electronic amplification.”

“I feel excited and rejuvenated relearning the ropes of organizing live audiences. Of course, we have to deal with health protocols that include vaccination and RT-PCR testing, among others. It’s such a relief that our art is finally going somewhere again,” she added.

Another welcome surprise is seeing your online students participate in live rehearsals. “We’ve finally seen how they’ve evolved during the pandemic and how they’re dealing now with opening live shows. Some of our students have grown more mature over the years.”

What was obvious during the first rehearsals was that the young musicians were very eager to perform on a real stage with a real audience.

The lessons musicians young and old have learned during the pandemic can be summed up like this: learn to adapt, expand horizons, be creative and flexible.

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The past year has also seen MSO members win several international competitions and are now enjoying scholarships abroad. “I hope they all come back and contribute to raising the standards of musicians here in the Philippines.”

Another welcome development within the ranks of the MSO is the recent marriage of conductor Solares to violinist Sara Maria Gonzales.

“My wife and I are connected to the MSO, the MSJO and the Academy. With our marriage comes a commitment to ensuring that these institutions succeed and flourish. We started thinking about long-term plans for the MSO Foundation and really ensuring a stable future for all our programs”, enthused Solares.

Mozart, Handel And Gardel Live June 19
Newlywed musicians from MSO: conductor Jeffrey Solares and violinist Sara Maria Gonzales. From Jeffrey Solares’ Facebook page.

Meanwhile, a concert season is on hold as the orchestra campaigns for more backing from sponsors.

The MSO Foundation envisioned a symbiotic relationship between its three main projects: the professional orchestra, the youth orchestra (MSJO) and the academy.

Solares concluded: “All are welcome to join our growing family of supporters. It takes a village to build a world-class orchestra. Everyone can be a part of this musical village that we are trying to build.”

(June 19 at 5pm at the Samsung Theater for Performing Arts includes Divertimento in F, Allegro by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart; Concerto Grosso No. Good from “Wicked” by Stephen Schwartz; The River Flows in You by Yiruma; Concerto in A Minor by Antonio Vivaldi; Humoresque by Antonin Dvorak; The Two Grenadiers by Robert Schumann; Minuet by Johann Sebastian Bach; Folk Song Atin Cu Pong/Arr. Ryan Cayabyab; “O My Precious Baby” (Iona Ventocilla-Borja, soprano) Tango “For a Head” (Jeanne Marquez, violin) by Carlos Gardel. For inquiries, call 09154415294.)

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