The Barber of Seville’: A Triple Celebration at the CCP

The enthralling and long-awaited opera, “The Barber of Seville”, held recently at the CCP Main Theater, commemorated the 65th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the Philippines and Italy, the 60th anniversary of Rustan’s and the 50th anniversary of the Philippine Italian Association. Visionary Italian director Antonio Petris was also the set and costume designer, with Rugerro Barbieri, former Music Director and Principal Conductor of the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra, as Guest Conductor.

The theme revolves around a starlet, her agent, a nobleman and a hairdresser, and much of the pleasure of the show comes from the innovative orchestrations and the melodies that soar. It was a showcase for its sparkling Filipino and Italian ensemble.  Premiere soprano Rachelle Gerodias, celebrated tenor Arthur Espiritu and U.S. based baritone Andrew Fernando along with visiting multi-awarded baritones Mario Cassi and Marco Filippo Romano fashioned an absurd to witty, hilarious and irresistible piece of theater.

Heading the Opening Gala were: Rustan Commercial Corp and Philippine Italian Association President Nedy Tantoco, Italian Ambassador Luca Fornari and Silvana Fornari, The glittering list of guests included: Vice-President Jejomar Binay, Senator Bongbong Marcos and wife Liza Araneta Marcos,  Senator Loren Legarda, Senator Franklin and Mila Drilon,  Former Chief Justice Artemio Panganiban, Ambassador of Argentina Joaquin Daniel Otero, Ambassador of Israel Menashe Bar-On, among others.

Official hotel sponsor was The Peninsula Manila, with Metrobank Card, in cooperation with Resorts World Manila, MEGAWORLD and One  Mega Group Inc.  (Do visit my website: and view more articles at



A scene from “The Barber of Seville’ Opera presentation at the Cultural Center of the Philippines
2Nedy Tantoco, Philippine Italian Association President and head of Rustan Commercial Corporation, center, with from left: Patrick Jacinto, Mandy Eduque, Senator Franklin Drilon and Bienvenido Tantoco, Jr.
Vice-President Jejomar Binay, Liza Araneta Marcos, Senator Bongbong Marcos, Vicky Lopez and Ernest Escaler
Italian Ambassador H.E. Luca Fornari, Ambassador Isabel Wilson and Madame Silvan Fornari
Susan Macuja, Tessie Luz, Letty Syquia, Elena Colome and The Lady HB
Andrew Tan of Megaworld, former Rep. Teddy Boy Locsin and Louie Locsin
Nedy Tantoco, Ching Cruz, Silvana Diaz and Diana Jean Lopez
Head of Metrobank Foundation, Chito Sobrepena, Sari Yap, Anna Sobrepena, Editor in Chief, Lifestyle Asia and Madame Silvana Fornari
Frank Evaristo, Jojo Zabarte, Georgina Padilla y Zobel and Frannie Jacinto
Nedy Tantoco, Senator Loren Legarda and Marybeth de Leon
Atty. Louie Sison, Ping Valencia, Triccie Sison and Nestor Jardin