Thomasian baritone performs in Rossini opera in Barcelona

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Photo courtesy of Zip de Guzman

BARITONE Cipriano “Zip” de Guzman performed a key role at Liceo Barcelona’s production of Rossini’s “La Cenerentola, ossia La bontà in trionfo” last April 11 and 12.

De Guzman, who holds two degrees from the UST Conservatory of Music, portrayed Alidoro, a philosopher and tutor of a prince.

De Guzman said he worked with popular Spanish mezzo- soprano Teresa Berganza and scenographer Paco Azorín in the production.

De Guzman has been in Barcelona since January this year after finishing his Master’s in
Voice at the Elisabeth University of Music in Hiroshima, Japan, where he won first prize in
the opera category in the 7th American Protégé International Vocal Competition.

His musical experiences enabled him to attend master classes of Spanish baritone Carlos
Álvarez and Spanish bass Eric Halfvarson at the Liceu Barcelona.

The European residency and opera exposure are the latest achievements for De Guzman, 34, who started his romance with singing as a chorister in a Catholic church in Bambang, Pasig.

“I only wanted to sing in the church and help the choir [when I was
younger],” he told the Varsitarian. “I wanted to be in another profession, but whenever I started working or doing another thing, circumstances always would bring me back to singing.”

Before enrolling in UST, De Guzman has earned a bachelor’s degree in communication arts at the University of the East Manila as an academic scholar.

But he couldn’t resist the lure of his childhood passion so he studied Bachelor of Music Education Voice Emphasis in 2012 and Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance minor in Choral Conducting in 2015 at the UST Conservatory of Music. He graduated cum laude in both degrees.

De Guzman said his mentors were Irma Ponce-Enrile Potenciano and Fidel Calalang Jr. “[Some of the best values I’ve learned in UST] are being God- centered and being grounded,” he said. “Faith and your relationship with God are very important,”

He later went to Hiroshima to acquire his Master’s in Vocal Performance at the Elisabeth University of Music. His mentor was Japanese baritone Hiroharu
Orikawa.

While in Japan, he won second place in the 10th Yokohama International Music Competition in 2016.

Before Japan, he was the vocal coach and chorister of Manila Chamber Singers, during which he helped the choir to bag the first prize for both Folk and Cultural Traditions category and the Contemporary Choral Music category at the 15th International Choral Kathaumixw British Columbia, Canada in 2012.

In 2017, De Guzman auditioned and got the role of the bullfighter and boisterous Escamillo in French composer Georges Bizet’s “Carmen,” in a production in Malaysia by the KL City Opera.

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