Wednesday, September 19, 2018
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Let’s help make this musical dream a beautiful reality

/ 12:01 AM September 25, 2017
Sherwin Sozon

Sherwin Sozon

Something profound and character-redefining happens when some people discover a cause that’s bigger than themselves.
In tenor-businessman Sherwin Sozon’s case, the key change came some years ago, when he helped put up and spearhead the Lyric Opera of the Philippines production company and advocacy.

As its name implies, the group seeks to popularize opera in this country by making it more portable, accessible and affordable.


Theater and music buffs know only too well that opera is a very occasional feast in this country—like, one “major” production every two years?

So, Sherwin’s group is right: to popularize it, make it less cumbersome and costly to produce, so you can have many performances for the price of only a few. And stage them in smaller venues all over the land, so more people can avail of them.

Fullest expression

There’s no doubt that Filipinos love music, the fullest expression of which in vocal performance is opera.
By rights, therefore, opera shows should be SRO affairs—except for some turnoffs: The first is language, with most iconic romantic operas in Italian and French. The problem is being licked in part with the use of projected English translations, or “surtitles.”

Another limiting factor is operatic presentations’ rarity, which the Lyric Opera group is trying to solve.
Then, there’s the issue of cost of productions and ticket prices, which is similarly being addressed with Lyric’s current one-act opera offering, Puccini’s “Gianni Schicchi,” available to per-performance buyers at an encouragingly affordable rate.

Indeed, with the one-act opera made available on such friendly terms, no school or community in the country wouldn’t be able to enjoy it.

Talk about bringing opera to the appreciative masses, this is it! (Call Lyric Opera and/or Sherwin at 4119677 or e-mail

Aural feast and treat

These thoughts came to mind when, upon Sherwin’s invitation, we enjoyed a performance of Lyric Opera’s “Gianni Schicchi” in Makati.

We were gratified to see that, despite the affordable fee per performance, the portable production didn’t scrimp in terms of the quality of the stellar operatic voices that made the show a sparkling aural feast and treat.

Indeed, many buyers should take advantage of this opportunity to finally bring opera to their part of the metro or country, perhaps as fund-raisers for their groups’ key projects.


The cast of “Gianni Schicchi”

The cast of “Gianni Schicchi”

Cities and towns’ cultural officers should also sponsor performances of the show for the musical enjoyment and edification of their communities.

Even well-to-do music lovers can foot the affordable bill for a performance, as their gift to students and other people where they live!

Lyric Opera Philippines and its prime movers deserve to be supported in this welcoming wise, because they’ve had a tough time making their “necessary” musical advocacy a thriving proposition.

They have persevered despite these problems and pitfalls, but it would be great if they got some positive vibes, instead.
All they want is to share the beauty and bounties of good music with many music lovers in other parts of the country—
so, let’s all make their laudable musical dream happen!

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