How does a song become a song? Is it when
words fill the music? Or when music finds its own words?
The stars have descended to earth on Sunday
night as three legendary women each on their own fields of expertise shared the
CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo stage for a once-in-a- lifetime treat.
Internationally- acclaimed singer- theater actress Lea Salonga, prima ballerina
Lisa Macuja and world-class piano performer Cecille Licad came together on two
special evenings (March 17 and 18) -- The Legends and The Classics.
We watched the March 18th 6pm show because
the 17th was already sold-out. I was with my parents that night and I thought
it was the perfect birthday treat for me. We arrived at exactly 6pm at the
magnificent halls of CCP. Since I'm on a tight budget and the Orchestra seats
tickets are a bit pricey, we opted for the Balcony seats. Anyways, we were a
bit late-- but that's ok, we managed to get our seats just in the nick of time.
As soon as the stage curtains moved, we were
treated to Ms Salonga's a capella rendition of Basil Valdez's masterpiece, Nais
Ko. And then, Ms Licad joined the number as she gave her passionate rendition
of the song while Ms Macuja roused the crowd with her dance performance. Giving
more body and soul to the whole concert was the FilHarmonika under the baton of
Ms Salonga's equally talented brother, Gerard Salonga. Ballet Manila also lent
their talents to this big show. After all, it was Ms Macuja who produced the
After a magnanimous opening number, the show
gave way to each of these women's talents.
Ms Macuja performed "Romeo and
Juliet". Despite her age (she's already 48), we never saw any sign of
decline on her talent-- she remained as graceful and as passionate as ever.
This was followed by Ms Salonga's rendition
of As If I Never Said Goodbye. As soon as the song was finished, she continued
with a medley of her acclaimed Broadway solos. She sang I Dreamed A Dream and
On My Own from Les Miserables; Memory from Cats and For Good and Defying
Gravity from Wicked. I especially loved the way she sang Defying Gravity
because one could hear the triumph in her voice-- I actually had goosebumps.
After her butler gave her a glass of water
(which audiences found funny and amusing, hahaha), Ms Salonga sang a medley of
well-loved Disney classics. She sang Colors of the Wind from Pocahontas, A
Whole New World from Aladdin and Reflection from Mulan. It was some sort of a
mash-up and it's really beautiful.
Then she sang a cover of Jose Mari Chan's
Hahanapin Ko. It was heart rending. Yun lang. Pak.
Shempre, her number would not be complete
without singing the song that brought her to international acclaim-- I'd Give
My Life For You from Miss Saigon. Ms Lea told the audience that she first sang
that song at the very stage she was standing in that night. It was an honor,
according to her, to sing it again in that same stage and in front of her
fellow Filipinos. As soon as her voice filled the auditorium, it's as if a
spell was cast-- a thunderous applause came in after her magical performance.
Haaaay, I wish I had a voice like hers. Char.
Anyway, Ms Salonga exited and gave way to
piano prodigy Cecille Licad. Ms Licad started with a rendition of Gottschalk's
Pasquinade, Caprice Op59 and Souvenirs d' Andalousie, Caprice de Concert Sur La
Cana, Op22. She also performed Chopin's Andante Spianatro et Grande Polonaise
Brillante, Op22. At yes, kahit di ko alam ang mga pamagat ng mga pieces nya,
keri lang. My heart is ready to absorb the music from heaven. Char ulet.
Ok, so moving on. One would assume that Ms
Licad's quiet facade is all there is to her. But as soon as she touched the
keys and danced her fingers with it, one would see her emotions brought to
life. Wow lang. While she was playing, I closed my eyes to feel the music more
and yes, I felt the passion with each note she played and every rest she took.
When she raised her arms and flailed it for a glorious finish, everyone were
just clapping and hooting. World-class indeed.
The best performances were the
collaborations. Ms Licad and Ms Macuja joined forces with one of the best
cellists we have, Wilfredo Pasamba, to perform the Dying Swan. The soft melody
from Ms Licad's grand piano blended well with the mighty notes coming from Mr
Pasamba's cello. The beauty of the music was further enhanced when Ms Licad
entered the stage and danced like the white swan. Bravo! Kabog si Natalie
Ms Licad again lent her dancing prowess when
Ms Salonga assumed the stage to sing a Michel Legrand Medley. She was
accompanied by Ballet Manila dancers. The colors of their costumes complement
the beauty of Ms Salonga's voice. Wow ulet.
The enchanted evening was capped by the
trio's performance of Willy Cruz's Sana'y Wala Ng Wakas. I thought it was
George Canseco's, but anyway. Haaaaaaaaaay. As in grabe. No words. The
performance would speak for itself. And of course the five-minute standing
ovation after that closing number. The audience, including me, were just awed
by their superb performances.
What's something good about that concert is
that there's no "pa-diva" or "sapawan" chenes. They did
their own thing. I guess there's no reason for "sapawan" because all
of them are already legends on their own rights, hence the title of the
concert. Although there were a bit of technical glitches-- the focus of the lights and the mic which is kinda mahina-- the performance itself redeemed it all. The AVP used to introduce the segments of the show was also good. The audience demography was mixed-- thundercats are everywhere, pero what's nice to see is that most of the members of the audience are families. Parents brought their kids to watch the show. Cool.
Ms Macuja would be retiring as soon as she
reach her 50th year. I hope that there will be a repeat of this concert with
other legendary artists and music icons like Ryan Cayabyab and the Philippine
Madrigal Singers. Because why not. Bigatin yun. Hahaha. This should be the
standard of Philippine concerts, walang sapawan, tamang performance lang pero
rock na rock talaga. \m/ Such a rare coming together of the country's best is something one should not dare miss. It is something to cherish and behold. :)
5 out of 5 stars
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Labels: blessings, concert, experiences, family kemelars, Filipino pride, life, playdate, the legends and the classics