Celeste talks about her fears
After three decades, Celeste Legaspi finally returns to the concert scene. The longer she stayed away from the limelight, the more her legend grew. Catch the chanteuse par excellence in “Celeste” on Aug. 5 at the Theatre in Solaire (call 8919999).
With Ryan Cayabyab as musical director, the show will surely make you fall in love with OPM all over again.
Let the celestial beauty of Celeste’s music enchant you.
Here’s my chat with Ms. Celeste:
What’s your heart’s desire for OPM? I wish for composers to be able to portray for future Filipinos not only the beauty and love we experience in our country, but more importantly, the challenges we face and the courage, strength and grace we find as a people to confront and overcome them.
What can singers of this generation learn from singers of yours? We were wide-eyed and in awe of the singers before us. From them, we learned elegance and perseverance. Then with us were new composers and writers who made a world of difference. They put together words and music that made the ’70s distinct. Perhaps we also inspired those authors.
Aside from professionalism and discipline, perhaps that is what this generation of singers can learn from us. That they should recognize, cultivate and propagate original words and music that are being created during their time; not to just rely on what the rest of the world is creating, but allow and expect their music to grow with these influences. That will truly mark their generation.
After three decades, what scares you about your show? That my asthma will prevent me from doing my best; that the audience will not come; that it will not be like what we prepared; that I will not be able to have another concert again.
If you could only sing one song, what would it be? “Tuliro.”
Any funny or embarrassing moment onstage?
I could tell you about that time I was in a baro’t saya and the cotton slip under it unraveled and fell in one swoop all around my saya.
But my most embarrassing and scary moment was when I had to do a two-hour solo concert at the CCP in the ’80s, and I lost my voice! How I managed to survive it then is still a question I do not have an answer to.
How do you manage to age gracefully? Because I’m asthmatic, I have had to exercise religiously, eat sensibly, stay away from late nights and other vices. I focus on important things. Everything else, like ego, wrinkles and money are debris, although Gary V. kneeling beside you, singing your song really helps.
But most of all, I indulge in a lot of learning—my mother’s family has Alzheimer’s— so learning continuously is vital. Plus, a lot of time with family.
What is your personal anthem and why? “Tuliro.” It’s a very personal song and was a most precious gift.
Tell us the story behind “Saranggola ni Pepe.” It was 1975, several years into martial law. My husband showed me these lyrics and said it’s like “Gulliver’s Travels,” and it’s like it’s meant for children … then, took my son’s ukulele and sang it to me.
If your life story were made into a song, what would the title be and who would you want to sing it for you? “She Was Blessed.” That little girl who sang “Saranggola” with Gary V. during the “ASAP” tribute. She has soul!
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