CONSERVATORY of Music alumni and faculty paid homage to veteran sopranos and voice pedagogues Gloria Dizon-Coronel and Irma Ponce Enrile-Potenciano in “Pagpupugay at Pasasalamat,” the Conservatory of Music’s annual concert tribute to Thomasian performing artists last May 12 at the Cultural Center of the Philippine’s Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo (Main Theater).

Under the baton of Reynato Resurrection Jr., UST Symphony Orchestra (USTSO) opened the evening with Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Prometheus Overture,” followed by Franz Schubert’s “Symphony No. 8 in B minor.”

USTSO proceeded with the overture from French composer Georges Bizet’s opera “Carmen,” this time with Conservatory of Music professor Herminigildo Ranera at the helm.

Maestra Potenciano took the first solo which was Italian composer Francisco Cilea’s “Io Son l’umile ancella” from the opera “Adriana Lecouvreur.”
Potenciano, who graduated with a Bachelor of Music degree in 1961 and a Master of Arts degree in 1964, has been part of the Conservatory of Music faculty for 58 years.

Her talent was honed under the tutelage of the late soprano Salvacion Oppuz-Yniguez,
After her studies at the University, Potenciano pursued studies abroad, enrolling at the New England Conservatory of Music and studying under several music mentors such as Felix Wolfes, Olga Eisner, Hans Bruck, Reynaldo Reyes and Aurelio Estanislao.

Potenciano also studied under National Artist Jovita Fuentes, an opera singer and the first National Artist for Music, and Russian conductor and opera impresario Boris Goldovsky.

“I enjoy zarzuelas and operas. It’s difficult to sing operas because maraming characters, but it is harder to sing straight recital,” Potenciano told the Varsitarian.

The concert also featured performances by Conservatory alumni and faculty members – most of whom were former students of Potenciano and Coronel – such as Rachelle Gerodias-Park, now the country’s leading soprano, and professors Elisanta Cortes, Naomi Paz Nemenzo, Mary Patrice Pacis, Ronan Ferrer and Thea Perez. They were accompanied by the USTSO under the baton of Ranera.

Music professors Perez and Ferrer sang “Makikiliti kang totoo” from the hit Filipino opera “Walang Sugat” by Fulgencio Tolentino and Severino Reyes.
“She [Potenciano] taught me that first, you should love what you do… Second, you have to work hard and third, you have to be patient in what you do,” said Perez.

Gloria Coronel
It was then Coronel’s turn to steal the show with an aria titled “Ako’y Lubayan,” also from “Walang Sugat.”

Coronel obtained her bachelor’s degree from the Conservatory of Music in 1958, and has been part of the Conservatory faculty since 1967.

After graduating from the Conservatory, Coronel furthered her studies in Music in Italy as a recipient of the Cardinal Spellman Scholarship before receiving another scholarship in Sienna from Louise Branch, an American patroness of the Arts.

“I believe what I have is God-given, I myself am wondering why, at 82, I have not lost my zest for singing,” said Coronel.

In high school, Coronel said she had been taking lessons with Oppus-Yniguez, honing her talents as an orchestra soloist under the guidance of National Artist for Music Antonino “Anong” Buenaventura.

“I am happy [to perform] with my co-performers, [and the fact] that we can entertain and give them pleasure,” Coronel said. “With the young ones, [It’s important to] educate them with our Filipino heritage.”

Gerodias-Park serenaded the audience with Johann Strauss’s “Main Herr Marquis” from the operetta “Die Fledermaus.”

“She’s just the best teacher, I learned everything from her,” Gerodias said. “She practiced what she preached – what she taught me she would apply to herself as an artist and a performer.”

The concert finale was a medley of songs by Thomasian National Artist for Music Ernani Cuenco performed by the students, alumni, faculty members and the two stars of the evening, Potenciano and Coronel.

This concert was also a way for Potenciano and Coronel to bid the Conservatory farewell as both of the professors will would be retiring from teaching.


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