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: www.tinajacinto.com and view more articles at www.facebook.com/tinahidalgojacinto)