The Perfect Treat (The Legends and The Classics, reviewed)


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 show.

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. Hahaha.

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 Portman.

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

Related Articles from the Web:
- Paul Henson of ABSCBN praises Lea, Lisa and Cecille
- TV5 shares a story on the concert's presscon

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felix felicis: The Perfect Treat (The Legends and The Classics, reviewed)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Perfect Treat (The Legends and The Classics, reviewed)


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 show.

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. Hahaha.

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 Portman.

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

Related Articles from the Web:

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