Philippine Opera’s ‘Harana’ tours the Netherlands

by Oliver Oliveros

Ana Feleo in HaranaAMSTERDAM (June 3) — Philippine Opera Company’s (POC) hit show “Harana” tours the Netherlands on June 8-15, 2009.  A first for the country’s premier opera company, “Harana” will also have a special performance at Theater de Compagnie in Amsterdam on June 11 at 7:30 p.m.

“Harana” features eight of country’s highly celebrated singers Ana Feleo, Deeda Barretto, Karla Gutierrez, Florence Aguilar, Sherwin Sozon, Lawrence Jatayna, Noel Rayos and Miguel Castro.

When the show opened last year, it reaped good reviews from both the audiences and critics:  “How long have we waited for such an endearing piece of artful, delightful entertainment,” said Jullie Yap-Daza on the Manila Bulletin. “’Harana’ has garnered prolonged, deafening applause,” noted Rosalina Orosa in her column on the Philippine Star.

“Harana” (serenade) refers to the traditional form of courtship where a man woos a woman’s affection by singing underneath her window. In the 1920s, harana or kundiman became a mainstream musical style, with many popular performers including Diomedes Maturan and Ruben Tagalog performing it.

“Harana” takes its audiences to a spectacular cultural journey showcasing the very best of Philippine music. From the indigenous Cordilleras and pre-colonial period to contemporary and fusion, each musical suite is theatrically presented with authenticity and visual excitement.  Sherwin Sozon and Florence Aguilar in Harana

The show consists of six suites: Igorot, Maria Clara, Rural, Muslim, Folk and the Contemporary. Repertoire includes timeless classics like “Bituing Marikit,” “Dahil Sa Isang Bulaklak,” “Pamaypay ng Maynila,” “Iyo Kailan Pa Man,” “Kalesa,” “Ang Maya,” “Ano Kaya Ang Kapalaran,” “Dumbele,” “Ay Salidumay,” “Waray-Waray,” “Sa Kabukiran,” “Manang Biday,” “Atin Cu Pung Singsing,” “Pobreng Alindahaw,” “Saan Ka Man Naroroon,” “Gaano Ko Ikaw Kamahal” and “Hindi Kita Malimot.”

The creation of each “Harana” suite is a product of thorough research with the commitment to preserve indigenous Philippine music and its appropriate dance and folklore.

Direction by Kokoy Jimenez, music arrangements by multi-awarded composer/arranger Von de Guzman, choreography by Irina Feleo and costume designs by Zenaida Gutierrez.  

“Harana” is produced in cooperation with the Yuchengco Group of Companies, Narda’s, Dita Sandico-Ong, Shangri-la Plaza and Onesimus.


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