Meet the Cast of NOLI ME TANGERE Opera; Show Runs 10/4-6
"Noli Me Tangere," the opera, plays at The Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College (Lexington Avenue and East 68th Street) for a limited run only from Friday, October 4 to Sunday, October 6.
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," featuring musical direction by Dadap and sets and costumes by Sibal, stars world renowned Filipino opera singers Sal Malaki (Juan Crisostomo Ibarra), Antoni Mendezona (Maria Clara), Andrew Fernando (Padre Damaso), Robert Perla Gomez (Elias) and Maria Christina Navarro (Sisa) and young singer Kirby Asunto (Basilio).
The songs are sung in Tagalog; supertitles in English are provided.
Sal Malaki, Juan Crisostomo Ibarra
Sal Malaki, tenor, leads the pack of truly exceptional Filipino musical artists in "Noli Me Tangere." He plays Juan Crisostomo Ibarra, the opera's protagonist; according to many, Crisostomo reflects the ideologies of Jose Rizal.
Probably destined to play Crisostomo, Sal, nearly five months ago, held a concert to honor Rizal's 152nd birthdate in Schaffhausen, Switzerland, which the Philippine hero visited in 1887.
Sal is one of the most seasoned artists of the Los Angeles Opera Company, which is led by world-renowned tenor and conductor Maestro Placido Domingo. Last year, Sal officially made his 100th production with Los Angeles Opera--a very rare feat, which he achieved since joining the company in 1995.
Some of his career highlights include a Grammy Award for the Los Angeles Opera production of Kurt Weill's "The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny," which has a live DVD recording produced by EuroArts, directed by John Doyle and conducted by James Conlon; his portrayal of Giuseppe in Los Angeles Opera's production of Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata, also recorded for DVD, directed by Marta Domingo; and his portrayal of Uncle Yakuside in Giacomo Puccini's Madama Butterfly.
Sal was also part of the highly successful concert tour in London, Paris and New York, led by Maestro Gustavo Dudamel, together with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Los Angeles Master Chorale, held earlier this year.
Antoni Mendezona, Maria Clara
Via this opera adaptation of "Noli Me Tangere," Antoni Mendezona, a Spanish-Filipina coloratura, looks forward to reliving her traditional, religious upbringing in the Philippines. So aptly, she plays Maria Clara, the fiancée of Crisostomo, who was raised to be God-fearing and loyal to her own family.