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Feature: POC operates on opera "para sa masa"

Tagbilaran City (25 May) -- IF by opera, one thinks only of the elite and bourgeois, think again.

In a rare show of artistic appreciation as a standing ovation in Bohol, the Philippine Opera Company (POC) no doubt has intimately touched the soul of the Boholano masa.

The POC, in its outreach program of bringing down the opera from its elitist pedestal touched base in Bohol through popularizing Filipino opera and music and drama appreciation for the masa, a standing ovation was in order.

Last Friday, at the Bohol Cultural Center, Boholanos had a rare and yet full night of moving renditions of POC's well-loved repertoire of Filipino music in theaters and opera music.

Brought in Bohol by the Philippine Heritage Festival Incorporated for the Heritage Month of May, the POC was also sponsored by Bohol Provincial Government in cooperation with the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and the Department of Tourism.

Claiming as the only opera company in the country that produces regular opera productions since 1999, the POC is managed by Filipino classical singers who want to share the celebration of the happy fusion of music and drama in the hope of developing the country's new generation of classical singers and appreciative audiences.

"POC's exquisite performance at the Bohol Cultural Center is definitely one important way of bringing to the masa in Bohol a live opera music performed by no less than world class singers doing a rare version of presenting the highly elitist opera to the Filipinos," admits a cultural worker who paid P150 to claim a seat during the concert.

Performing the company's package showcasing the evolution of Filipino music through song and movement, the Harana strings authentic indigenous and fuses with western theatrics and yet gets a way with it as it plays with religious tenacity on blending the performance with the native Philippine music traditions.

The Harana repertoire includes the Igorot Suite, which develops on the chanting and the classic Igorot dancing in its Philippine Skyland rituals.

It also brings to the audience the Muslim suite which ornately portrays in vivid colors the Arabian and Indo-Malaysian cultures moved by rhythmic music and dancing.

The Visayan suite was indeed received with ardent applause as the expression of the simple pleasures of living in the lowlands was sang in its most eloquent language through a dance theater.

The company also performed the Maraic Clara suite, while highlighted the women's role in nation-building, and the contemporary classics ended the presentation prompting a standing for a classic display of theatrical power characteristic of operas. (PIA-Bohol) [top]

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