How to deal with concert stars–from Celine Dion to Lady Gaga

/ 12:50 AM May 29, 2018

Lady Gaga

Ovation Productions is unequaled on the concert scene. I fondly call Renen de Guia, the man behind it, Concert Producer King. His production company has mounted sold-out shows for countless foreign artists. It only goes to show that Renen has given Filipino concert producers a good name worldwide.

Ovation’s latest feat is the Celine Dion Live 2018 Tour, which it is coproducing with AEG Presents. The world-renowned chanteuse’s show will be at the Mall of Asia (MOA) Arena on July 19 and 20 (visit That’s “CelineCredible.” Renen truly deserves a standing ovation.


Here’s my chat with Renen:

Any amusing anecdote about foreign artists you worked with? During Tears for Fears’ concert at the Big Dome in 2010, the concert goers were singing, almost shouting, the lyrics of every song, as if saying, “Take that for making us wait for such a long time!” This prompted an utterly amused Kurt Smith to say, “We can now say that we have officially peaked!”


Who was the easiest foreign celeb to deal with? The pleasant ones include Incubus, Ed Sheeran, America and, because we have witnessed it ourselves, Celine Dion. You feel that they’re genuinely nice people. For an artist who’s been on the road for quite a while, it isn’t easy being accommodating and nice. Many of them are on the brink of burning out.

What was the most outrageous demand from a foreign artist? The MOA Arena was brand-new and everything looked first-class, but Lady Gaga wanted everything in her dressing room to be white—white drapes, white furniture, white carpet. So, we “redesigned” the interior of her dressing room.

Her people also wanted a “backup” production set on standby in case we needed to hold the concert at the MOA Concert Grounds as “Plan B,” if the Arena’s construction wouldn’t be finished on time. We therefore had the backup production set shipped over and paid a lot of money just to have it standing by. As things turned out, the MOA Arena was finished a few days before the concert.

What can we expect from Celine’s concert? An incredible night of million-selling hit songs performed by the diva herself. If you watch her show at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, it would cost you a lot more money.

Celine Dion

What is your take on audience members taking vids of the whole concert? It is the new
normal because of cell phones. Recording is a distraction and prevents people from truly enjoying a concert. But, if artists instruct me to implement a no picture-taking or video-recording policy, I can strictly enforce that, just like we did in Russell Peters’ recent show at PICC (Philippine International Convention Center).

Piolo’s screen musical out

The latest Lav Diaz opus, “Ang Panahon ng Halimaw” (Season of the Devil), is finally showing in the Philippines. Having made the rounds in international film festivals, the Filipino rock opera has already won best film in the Gems section of the 58th Festival Internacional de Cine Cartagena de Indias in Colombia.


It is topbilled by Piolo Pascual, Shaina Magdayao and Angel Aquino. Catch the special screenings starting tomorrow in select Ayala theaters in Manila and Cebu.

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