FIRST LOOK: Set Design of NOLI ME TANGERE-OPERA
New York, September 27, 2013-- BroadwayWorld.com recently sat down with the president and CEO of Jerry Sibal Design (formerly Design Fusion) Jerry Sibal, who is also the set and costume designer for NOLI ME TANGERE-OPERA, where he generously shared with us his set design concepts for the opera that will play a limited run at The Kaye Playhouse in Hunter College from Friday, October 4 to Sunday, October 6.
"For my set design for 'Noli Me Tangere,' I'll try to capture the essence of the period by projecting images of Spanish ancestral houses that will enhance the mood when telling the story. I'll also build several uneven panels on both sides of the stage, creating a three-dimensional illusion instead of the stage looking flat. Since the stage is not that huge, cast members--around 30 actors--can perform on the multi-tiered platforms, producing depth, fullness on stage," Sibal revealed.
The Philippines' National Hero Dr. Jose Rizal's novel "Noli Me Tangere" inspired the 1896 Philippine revolution against Spain, and much later, the 1957 opera adaptation of the same name, created by Philippine National Artists Felipe Padilla de Leon (music) and Guillermo Tolentino (libretto).
"Through 'Noli Me Tangere,' the American audience will see the strong influence of Spain on Philippine culture, social and moral values because the Philippines is the only country in Asia that has Spanish reputation. People say that 'Filipinos lived in a convent--during the Spanish occupation--for four centuries, and lived in Hollywood--during the American occupation--for 40 years'," explained Sibal, who was raised in Binondo, Manila, where the novel made into opera is set.
The musical presentation, an opera in Three Acts, follows the story of Juan Crisostomo Ibarra who returns to the Philippines after pursuing scholarly studies in Europe. He plans to open up a school and marry Maria Clara, his bethrothed. However, parish priest Padre Damaso, the archenemy of the Ibarras, is out to hinder Crisostomo's plans, which creates "a dramatic storyline of forbidden love, betrayal and revenge."
"Noli Me Tangere" stars world renowned Filipino opera singers Sal Malaki (Juan Crisostomo Ibarra), Antoni Mendezona (Maria Clara), Andrew Fernando (Padre Damaso), Robert Perlas Gomez (Elias) and Maria Christina Navarro (Sisa), and young singer Kirby Asunto (Basilio).
The opera will be using its original lyrics in Tagalog, the first language of most Filipinos. However, supertitles will be provided for American audience members to understand the lyrics and the story.
For tickets ($60-$150), call 646-415-1853, email email@example.com or visit nolimetangereoperanyc.org.