MANILA -- The Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra (PPO) is celebrating its golden anniversary with a gala concert on May 12 at the Metropolitan Theater.
Established in 1973, the PPO has become the country's leading orchestra, continuously honing its craft and bringing world-class performances to audiences locally and abroad.
Originally intended to accompany performing artists at the CCP Theater when the orchestra was founded in 1973, the PPO had been reorganized in 1979, with Prof. Oscar C. Yatco at the helm. Three years later, the PPO was born with a new vision – to be ranked among the best in the world.
As the PPO looks back at its humble beginnings, the CCP resident orchestra will recreate in part its very first concert, which happened on May 15, 1973.
The PPO's debut concert, conducted by Maestro Luis C. Valencia, featured Alfredo S. Buenaventura's "Bathaluman" and National Artist Lucrecia Kasilag's "Divertissement for Piano and Orchestra." The late National Artist was the president and artistic director of the center back then.
Under the baton of Maestro Rodel Colmenar, the PPO will relive that first concert, performing Buenaventura and Kasilag masterpieces, with young pianist Aidan Ezra Baracol as guest performer.
Filipino tenor Arthur Espiritu will perform "Salut! Demeure e Chaste et Pure!" from "Faust," "Che gelida manina" from "La Boheme," and "Kundiman ng Langit."
The anniversary concert will culminate with a must-watch performance of renowned pianist Dr. Raul Sunico, playing George Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue" under the baton of PPO resident conductor Herminigildo Ranera.
The PPO's 50th Anniversary Gala is slated on May 12, 8 p.m., at the Metropolitan Theater, the temporary home of the PPO while the CCP Main Building is undergoing rehabilitation.
To coincide with the concert, the CCP and PPO are partnering with Widescope Entertainment to launch “Serenata,” a seven-track album of Philippine folk songs from various regions of the country, on Spotify.
Originally released in 2014, the album includes: "Atin Cu Pung Singsing" (Kapampangan), "Sarung Banggi" (Bicolano), "Ti Ayat Ti Maysa Nga Ubing" (Ilocano), "Sampaguita" (Original Spanish “La Flor de Manila”), "Malinac lay labi" (Pangasinense), "No Te Vayas De Zamboanga" (Chavacano), and "Walay Angay" (Ilonggo).
National Artist Ryan Cayabyab gave a fresh interpretation to the seven well-loved folk songs, without compromising their traditional musical characteristics and making them multi-layered compositions.