It's about time that we give honor to a humble peasant who changed the course in Philippine History. He may not have held an influential position in society nor did he have a good educational background but he fought hard against the odds for the sake of his country. The man of action who was eventually betrayed by his own countrymen because of jealousy deserves to be given top honors. Let us bring his memory to mind in a grand opera befitting a true hero.
As the whole nation celebrates the 150th birth anniversary of its National Hero, Andres Bonifacio on November 30, 2013, Tanghalang Pilipino in cooperation with the Cultural Center of the Philippines, National Commission for Culture and the Arts and National Historical Commission of the Philippines proudly present a New Filipino Opera in two acts based on the libretto of National Artist for Literature, Virgilio Almario and set to music by leading Asian contemporary composer, Josefino Chino Toledo.
Entitled San Andres B, it is not a historical account based purely on Andres Bonifacio’s life and the events leading to the 1896 Revolution. The opera is about awakenings… a coming of age in our quest for a collective national consciousness. Andres Bonifacio as the embodiment and representation of this Filipino consciousness became the driving force behind this quest to free the nation from all sorts of bondage – colonial rule, abject poverty and ignorance. In this pioneering work, we give importance to his contributions toward nationhood, a process not exclusive to the Philippine Revolution of 1896. It is reimagining Andres Bonifacio as a true hero of equal or even greater stature than Jose Rizal, a daunting task given the cultural conditioning by which we have all been accustomed to. Nevertheless, this opera will put your senses on overdrive as it was meant to be. Rich musical textures and riveting lines, it is thought-provoking and relentlessly uncompromising. The text and music are complementary, creatively and expertly staged by Director Floy Quintos using simple and symbolic images to drive home the point. It is a lean cast, composed of lead actors, chorus and dancers, all coming together to bring to life this monumental work – a groundbreaking task in Philippine classical music and a true reflection of Andres Bonifacio’s re-imagined identity.
The music encapsulates life itself. Sometimes comical, sometimes harsh, other times comfortable, mostly engaging you personally in whatever capacity. It is the kind of work that you will either love or hate, but one thing is for sure, you will never leave the theater without an opinion, and a strong one at that. The text is written in metaphors – radical, intriguing, constantly challenging one’s sense of love for country. It taunts you to look inwardly and then begin the process of outward transformation.
This opera is not for the weak in spirit. This is for the brave Filipino who is ready to confront the harsh realities of life and stare at the face of danger without fear of getting knocked down. It is uncomfortable at times, emotionally exhausting, mentally draining, forcing us to look at the dark side of our beings, confronting the evils of society and emerging triumphant despite the numerous challenges.
The cast features some of the most outstanding contemporary classical singer in the country, led by Dondi Ong as Andres Bonifacio, and Margarita Roco as Gregoria de Jesus. Completing the main ensemble is Antonio Ferrer as Emilio Jacinto and Marvin Gayramon as Jose Rizal. The supporting chorus is composed of AUIT chamber ensemble members as well as actors from Tanghalang Pilipino and dancers from Ballet Philippines. Directed by well respected and multi-awarded Filipino playwright Floy Quintos, this production will be unlike no other as it breaks new territory in the realm of contemporary Filipino operas.
Accompanying this stellar cast is GRUPO 20/21, a newly formed modular chamber music ensemble dedicated primarily to the performance of varied 20th and 21st century music of Filipino and Asian music artists and composers. San Andres B is GRUPO 20/21’s initial project.
Choreographer: Kris Belle Paclibar – Mamangun
Production Designer: Eric Cruz
Costume Design: James Reyes
Lighting/Technical Design: Jay Aranda
Sound Engineer: Aji Manalo
PLAYDATES: November 29 – December 8, 2013
(Fri) November 29, 7pm ; December 6, 8pm
(Sat) November 30, 3pm and 8pm; December 7, 3pm and 8pm
(Sun) December 1 and 8, 3pm
Tanghalang Aurelio V. Tolentino
Cultural Center of the Philippines
Regular: Php 800; Student: Php 400
20% Discount on the regular price for senior citizens, government employees, military employees and PWD’s. (Please present valid ID)
For tickets, call TicketWorld at 891-9999, Tanghalang Pilipino at 8321125 local 1620-1621 or contact 0917-750-0107 / 0918-959-3949 for more details.