Sunday, June 10, 2012

An evening of Johann Strauss music at the Makati Shangri-La



Last Friday, almost all the major stalwarts of Manila society trooped to the Makati Shangri-La in tuxedoes and long gowns to attend the 2012 Johann Strauss Society of the Philippines Gala Concert and dinner hosted by the Johann Strauss Society of the Philippines.

The Johann Strauss Society of the Philippines (JSSP) was founded by Madame Kazuko Siazon, wife of former Secretary of Foreign Affairs Domingo Siazon, and Mrs. Letty Syquia.

Today, it continues its very commendable charity, cultural and social activities under the patronage and hard work of Mrs. Olga Severino-Martel, Consul Fortune Ledesma, Consul Agnes Huibonhua, Mrs. Virginia Lane and Mrs. Betty Chua; as well as many other distinguished and hardworking ladies.

The dinner-concert last Friday was completely full. As emcee Johnny Litton quipped: "Outside of Malacanan, I've never seen so many ambassadors in one room."




THE VIENNA TRADITION

As always, for almost several decades, eminent Austrian conductor Dr. Ernest Hoetzl, who is often called an Austrian Ambassador of Music, flew into Manila from Vienna to conduct the concert with the Philippine Philarmonic Orchestra. He regularly conducts orchestras all over the world including the Orchestra of the Hermitage St. Petersburg, the Vienna symphony, and the Singapore Symphony Orchestra.

The program itself was a very enjoyable medley of old and new favorites, plus a local composition by the eminent National Artist Felipe de Leon Sr.



Overture from the Opera
"The abduction from the Seraglio"
Wolfgang Mozart

Hungarian Dance # 10
Johannes Brahms

Elien Magyar
Johann Strauss

Intermezzo from the Operetta 1001 NightsJohann 
Johann Strauss

Pambungad
Felipe de Leon Sr.

Egyptian March
Fata Morgana Polka
Wo Die Zitronen Bluhen
Johann Strauss

Bahn Frei
Johann Strauss

EXCELLENT FOOD

Meanwhile, the dinner itself was very good. I usually have no expectations about most dinners created for over a hundred people, as this basically amounts to elaborate catering, even in the best hotels.

But the dinner on Friday night tasted like a wonderful meal at a fancy restaurant. I liked it so much, in fact, that I congratulated Makati Shangri-La general manager Reto Klauser when I saw him walking around the lobby after dinner. I said: "That was really wonderful."

Gala Dinner Menu

Smoked salmon and potato carpaccio 
with bacon, green peas and mustard dressing

Wild mushroom soup with truffle foam

Viennese red wine braised beef with crispy fried onions

Trio of apple strudel, sacher torte and fruit tart

The concert was over by 11 PM but my day just wasn't yet. From there I went to meet one of my two friends joining me on a Travelife Germany & Czech Republic adventure next week -- and we excitedly planned the details of our trip over midnight tea.

Just another day in a never-ending, and never-endingly eventful Travelife.




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