Noli Me Tangere: The Opera debuts in New York
NEW YORK—The First Tagalog Opera is set to stage in New York City on Oct. 4, 5 and 6. As part of its 25th anniversary celebration, the Foundation for Filipino Artists, Inc. will present the musical masterpiece “Noli Me Tangere: The Opera.” The Opera is an adaptation of Philippine national hero Jose Rizal’s novel of the same name and, stems from the collaborative artistry of two Philippine national artists, composer Felipe de Leon and Guillermo Tolentino, who were responsible for the libretto. The Opera will be sung in the Philippine national language with English subtitles.
“Lovers of Philippine culture would have heard of Rizal’s classic novel,” says Loida Nicolas Lewis, the project’s lead producer. “When they hear the ‘Noli’ opera sung in the Filipino language, Filipino Americans everywhere will be curious and amazed that this masterpiece could be presented in New York.”
Musical direction is by Michael Dadap, renowned conductor of the Children’s Orchestra Society in New York, provides the musical direction; sets and costumes are by Jerry Sibal, a prolific Filipino designer, also based in NYC.
The New York production features an all-star cast of performers and singers, led by Sal Malaki, a Filipino tenor who is considered one of the most seasoned artists in the Los Angeles opera, as he plays the lead role of Crisostomo Ibarra. Playing the role of Maria Clara, Ibarra’s sweetheart, is Inez Antoni Mendezona, an internationally-acclaimed performer whose voice and stage presence have been captivating audiences since she made her European debut in Tobias Picker’s Emmeline. Andrew Fernando, artistic director of George Yang’s Klassical Music Foundation, takes on the role of Padre Damaso, the abusive Spanish friar who is the symbol of oppression in the Noli.
The opera will run from Oct. 4 (Gala Night), 5 and 6 at The Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College on Lexington Avenue and 68th Street in Manhattan. Tickets are $150 and $100 for Opening Night on Friday (8 p.m.) and $100, $80 and $60 for Saturday (8 p.m.) and Sunday (2 p.m.).
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