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Manila Chamber Orchestra opens 2012 season with Songmaker’s Almanac

The Manila Chamber Orchestra Foundation, in partnership with the Filipinas Heritage Library, opens its 2012 season this February with a concert series that celebrates not only music about love, but music that we truly love.

Entitled Songmakers’ Almanac, the concert series features timeless tunes that have been crafted by some of the most respected and loved composers and writers. All four concerts in the series will be held at the reading room of the Filipinas Heritage Library, on February 3, 10, 11, and 17, at 6:30 p.m.

The first concert of the series is “Art Songs: A Retrospective” (February 3), featuring tenor Randy Gilongo and pianist Peter Porticos, who will provide insights into the beauty of art songs. This annotated concert will be a historical journey on the evolution of the art song from the early 18th century to the present.

The second concert is “Les Chansons: Chants d’amour” (February 10), which will feature award-winning soprano Camille Lopez Molina with pianist Najib Ismail. This evening of love songs will feature some of the most beautiful love songs ever composed. Works by Schumann, Schubert, Wolf will be featured, as well as the writings of Goethe, Heine, and Schiller, many of which have been set to music. A must for every music lover!

In celebration of Valentine’s Day, the Manila Chamber Orchestra will present Reminiscences: Love Songs from the Screen (February 11), featuring Oggie Benipayo, with soprano Thea Perez and pianist/composer Jed Balsamo. Enduring love songs from well-loved movies will be performed, including such romantic classics as “An Affair to Remember” (from An Affair to Remember), “You Must Love Me” (from Evita), “Nobody Wants to Be Lonely” from Phantom of the Opera, as well as our very own “Ikaw Lamang” from Dubai. This is also a fund-raising concert for the Recovery Circle Foundation.

The fourth concert in the series is American Songbook: Love Songs from American Musicals (February 17). Featuring the unique tandem of soprano Nenen Espina and tenor Ronan Ferrer, with pianist Michael Lopez, this concert is a journey through songs that have inspired us to love, and to love again— including “Someone to Watch over Me,” “The Way You Look Tonight,” “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes.”