Photo by Michael Angelo M. Reyes/The Varsitarian

THE UNIVERSITY of Santo Tomas Symphony Orchestra serenaded a full house at “Marawing Salamat: The Best of Opera and Fashion,” a benefit concert for the Duyog Marawi Organization held at the Cultural Center of the Philippines’ Main Theater last April 6.

The first half of the concert was a line-up of arias from famous operas weaved to become a war story. Randy Gilonggo, Mary Patrice Pacis, Naomi Sison and Noel Azcona, faculty members and alumni of the Conservatory of Music, played the leading roles. Arias performed included Dvorak’s Mesicku na nebi hlubokem from the opera Rusalka, Toreador from Bizet’s opera Carmen, and Puccini’s Nessun Dorma from the opera Turandot.

Other soloists were Tonton Pascual, Rica Nepomuceno, Sherwin Sozon, Ana Feleo and John Glenn Gaerlan.

The story was about a group of soldiers’ safe return from war, only to find themselves in another conflict with their disloyal wives.

“We had to come up with a scenario where all these arias could be used, presented in a manner relevant today,” said Carlos Siguion-Reyna, director and co-writer of the Opera portion in an interview with the Varsitarian.

Duyog Marawi, the main beneficiary of the event, is a Church-based organization formed in response to the siege of Marawi by the terrorist group Maute in 2017.

“They [benefactors and sponsors] saw our projects through our website and told us they wanted to help our cause and that they had already thought of some ideas,” said Bishop Edwin de la Peña, prelate of Marawi, told the Varsitarian.

“The trauma of the victims [of the Marawi siege] is so deep that it will take a long time for them to totally heal,” he added.

The proceeds will mainly go to the organization’s projects for the displaced children and families of Marawi City.

The second half was a fashion show that featured designs by local fashion designers. Models strutted on stage to the music of Filipino composers Ernani Cuenco, Levi Celerio, Nicanor Abelardo and several others.

Gilonggo, Sison, Pacis, and the other soloists took the stage once more to sing songs like Sarungbanggi, Hatinggabi, Mutya ng Pasig, Bituing Marikit,and Gaano Ko Ikaw Kamahal, accompanied by the Symphony Orchestra under the baton of conductor Herminigildo Ranera.

The fashion show had three themes: “The Pomp and Pageantry of Carnival Queens,” which relived the famous Kahirup Balls of Iloilo and Negros in the 1920s; “The Goddesses of 4 Elements,” which showed nature-inspired ball gowns; and “Miss Philippines,” which presented modified Filipiniana fashion.

Lito Perez, Edgar Allan, Albert Andrada and Jontie Martinez were among the designers who participated in the fashion show.




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.