In the midst of so many foreign pop acts and musical productions from Broadway and the West End, one small theatrical effort made waves four years ago. It was a musical revue featuring traditional and contemporary Filipino songs, sung not by legends of Classical singing, but by a troupe of dedicated artists. The show was Philippine Opera Company’s “Ang Bagong Harana”.
In celebration of its 15th Year Anniversary Philippine Opera Company's bringing back "Ang Bagong Harana" this October. "Ang Bagong Harana" is very fitting to celebrate POC's Pearl Anniversary not only because it is one of POC's successful shows but also to promote that our heritage is our country’s best asset. “Ang Bagong Harana” will also remind us to put our country's future first especially in the coming election.
From children’s songs to tribal chants, from planting songs to courtship ditties, from stirring kundiman to the delightful showstoppers by Sylvia la Torre, “ANG BAGONG HARANA” will showcase the best of all the Filipino composers from different music genres --- Nicanor Abelardo, Ryan Cayabyab, Willy Cruz, Francisco Santiago, Antonio Molina, Resti Umali, George Canseco, Ernani Cuenco, Levi Celerio, Jose Estrella, Constancio De Guzman and Felipe de Leon, to name a few.
What was the secret of this small revue’s success?
“Ang Bagong Harana” was envisioned as love song to our country,” says Karla Gutierrez, who heads the Philippine Opera Company. ”We wanted to show audiences that there is so much wealth that modern Filipinos can mine from our traditional and contemporary music. In this age of globalization, it is all the more crucial for us to know who we are and what we have that we can call ‘Pinoy’. A lot of performers may say that we are the best in the world. But we wanted to go a step further and prove it by using our own traditional and contemporary material. And we wanted to showcase young singers who have committed themselves to classical singing and to our traditional material. And it was a show that had the audience who came to see it at the Carlos P. Romulo Theater at RCBC Plaza, weeping and applauding with joy.”
With all the warm response it generated, Philippine Opera Company was all the more convinced that there is a hungry audience for this ‘brand of entertainment’ that reconnects Filipinos to their souls. It’s the one thing we cannot face the future without.
And that is why we continue to show “Harana”, despite the seeming foolhardiness of doing a Pinoy Musical revue when every other Pinoy seems interested in listening to anything but his own traditional music. Not every Filipino feels a connection with their cultural heritage. Some may think traditions are old-fashioned and no longer relevant, and that they are unnecessary during these modern times. This is why we need to be exposed to our cultural heritage for only upon understanding our culture may we begin to value it.
Now, more than ever, we need to believe in ourselves. The songs that have served us well in the past will also serve as well as we go bravely into the future.
Why do we need to do “Harana”? We at Philippine Opera Company have chosen to do it because now more than ever, when globalization is the future of the world, we need to remind ourselves of who we are, where we are, where we have been, and what we held dear.
We stand ready to remind our countrymen if we wish to survive as Filipinos and protect our culture, our heritage is not a luxury or a cost, but a necessity.
The songs you will hear in “Harana” are our legacy and our best gift to the world. In singing them again, we say to the world, “This is who we are” … “This is our heritage”… “This is the cultural journey all Filipinos should take”.
“Ang Bagong Harana” features Karla Gutierrez, Cris Go, Lorraine Lisen, Melissa Camba, KL Dizon, Cristiani Rebada, Michael Odoemene, Noel Rayos, Lawrence Jatayna and Nazer Salcedo with the special participation of the Ramon Obusan Folkloric Group.
Directed by Floy Quintos with music arrangements by four of the country’s most awarded arrangers Von de Guzman, Jessie Lasaten, Jesse Lucas and Paulo Zarate.
“Ang Bagong Harana” will run at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium, RCBC Plaza on October 17 and 24 at 8pm and October 18, 23 and 25 at 3pm.
For ticket sales, please call Philippine Opera Company at 822-9609 or 0917-5272880 or TicketWorld at 891-9999 or Like Philippine Opera Company on Facebook.