GLORIA Dizon-Coronel, one of the country’s premier sopranos and a well-loved voice mentor of the UST Conservatory, marked her 50th year in the classical musical industry by the concert, Gloria: A Jubilant Celebration, at the Cultural Center of the Philippines’ (CCP) Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino last August 31.

Thomasians who performed along with Coronel were soprano Rachelle Gerodias and pianists Najib Ismail and Julie Deloso Mendoza. Other performers were world-class baritone Nomer Son and Korean alumna Sung-Hye Sim.

The UST Singers and their conductor Fidel Calalang, Jr. also performed at the event with members Aristotle Molina, Noel Azcona, Vidagrace Kahlil Mirang, Eunice Escrupolo, May Anne Abeleda, and Juan Paulo Azul as soloists.

The concert featured songs by George Frideric Handel, Vincenzo Bellini, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Mike Velarde, and Manuel Velez.

Opening the event were performances of Coronel belting out “But Oh, What Art Can Teach,” “Vaga Luna,” “Per Pieta, Bell’idol Mio,” and Mozart’s “La Ci Darem La Mano” as a duet with Azcona.

Sopranos Abeleda and Escrupolo sang Bellini’s “Mira, O Norma” while “Flower Duet” was performed by Sung-Hye and Mirang of the UST Singers.

A solo performance by Gerodias, Rossini’s “Una Voce Poco Fa” left audiences in awe and served as a prelude to her duet with Molina.

Meanwhile, Gaetano Donizetti’s melancholic “Ciascun Lo Dice” and cheery “Convien Partir” were performed by Coronel and selected UST Singers.

The rest of the songs performed were Filipino songs like Velarde’s “Bakit/Gunita” and Leon Ignacio’s “Masayang Dalaga.” His “Ang Buhay Estudyante” was sung by baritone Son, followed by “Niyaring Dibdib” as a duet with Coronel. The comical duet portrayed Son as a hopeless romantic and a persuasive suitor of Coronel in his futile attempt in wooing the woman of his dreams.

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With Calalang on the piano, UST Singers sang a medley of “Libis Ng Nayon,” followed by the choir’s performance with Coronel, “Ang Maya.” She concluded the concert with a song of thanks to everyone who contributed to her success.

Coronel was trained under one of the country’s most respected sopranos, Salvacion Oppus-Ynigues, who was also a professor at the Conservatory. Coronel was also featured as an orchestra soloist of Buenaventura Band of Baliwag by Anong Buenaventura and Antonio Buenaventura. After graduating from the UST Conservatory, she pursued further voice studies in Florence, Italy. She was later given a scholarship to study opera singing in Sienna, Italy by American patroness Louise Branch. This was where she also earned her Master’s Degree in Performance and Perfection Course at the Accademia Chigiana.

Coronel received various awards such as Talaang Pandangal from the UST Alumni Association and Artist of the Year from the Philippine Government Cultural Association. She has been actively concertizing with “Tribong Pinoy,” a cultural group headed by art patron Danilo Dolor for the last 30 years.

Coronel said that the secret behind preserving her unique voice is a life of happiness in the University.

“I enjoy my life with my students,” said Coronel. “They don’t give me so much headache.” She added that her passion for music prevents her from retiring.

As one of her former students, Gerodias said she is proud to have been under the tutelage of Coronel.

“I feel so privileged to be able to sing with my teacher,” Gerodias said. “She taught me everything as a singer. Not a lot of singers her age can sing like that. She lives up to her name. Gloria, she shines, she glows.”

'Uli na 'ko, 'day!


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