Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Catch Ang Bagong Harana this week

Philippine Opera Company's Artistic Director Karla Gutierrez writes about the Age of Innocence for Filipinos. There are too few authentic Philippine cultural shows but this one genuinely captures our culture in its many facets, and is also a genuine labor of love. Catch this beautiful show from September 29 - October 1 at the RCBC Plaza. For tickets, please call 8817168 or 0917-527-2880.

Mounting a show like this is an act of faith. All around, the commercial theater and concert scene is full of imports, both the ideas and the actual productions. When we at the Philippine Opera Company decided to make a tradition of our Harana series, we said to ourselves “This is going to be a tough job. But we want to do it because we need to be reminded of how beautiful our music is, and how much our souls can be enriched by hearing these sung again.”


So, with a cast of twelve dedicated singers, plus the members of the Ramon Obusan Folkloric Group, we set out creating the production. The stirring arrangements of Jessie Lazaten, Von de Guzman and Paulo Zarate were more than enough basis for the staging and the choreography. As the production took shape, we felt more and more inspired and encouraged by the over-all picture that we were painting for an audience: a picture of an Age of Innocence that we Filipinos so badly need to return to.


From children’s songs to tribal chants, from planting songs to courtship ditties, from stirring kundiman to the delightful showstoppers by Sylvia la Torre, from the works of the three C’s—Canseco , Cruz and Cayabyab, the portrait we paint is of a race that is inherently good, inherently strong and kind and noble. The music we need to hear again and again, has painted the portrait of a people we need to reminded we once were.


And that is why we wanted to push through with “Ang Bagong Harana,” despite the financial constraints, despite the constant struggle to find sponsors and sell tickets, despite the seeming foolhardiness of doing a Pinoy Musical revue when every other Pinoy seems interested in listening to anything but his own traditional music. Now, more than ever, we need to believe in ourselves. The songs that have served us well in the past will also serve as well as we go bravely into the future.

So, we thank those who believed in our vision, the sponsors who chose to see beyond just media values and audience numbers, the ticket buyers who chose this show, the friends who have been so supportive and giving. We thank them---and you---for choosing to experience “Ang Bagong Harana”, and in so doing, have chosen to believe in the very best that the Filipino can be.

Written by Karla Gutierrez

Artistic and Managing Director

Philippine Opera Company


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