After some 200 performances, Magnificat remains very relevant, according to LyrOpra (Lyric Opera of the Philippines), which is mounting the musical on 27 and 28 September and 4, 5, 11 and 12 October at the Music Museum in Greenhills.
Magnificat is LyrOpera’s (now on its eighth season) very first musical.
Says Ana Feleo, who plays Mary, Magnificat has beautiful music, wonderful lyrics and a great message. “We first got the permission of Mr. C (Ryan Cayabyab, the composer). We journeyed to Marikina, where Direk Nes (Nestor Torre, the playwright) is recuperating, to get his permission. We were very happy when Direk Nestor gave his blessings and instructed us to get the materials from Andy (Bais),” she further explains.
After getting the composer and the playwright’s permissions, the next question was who would direct it.
“Direk Laurice Guillen’s name came up and we immediately knew that she, a Marian devotee, is the ideal director for this new staging of Magnificat. But would she agree? Our doubts were unfounded because her answer was, “How can I say no to Mamma Mary?” Ana, daughter of Laurice, tells everyone over lunch.
Casting proved easy for LyrOpera which was able to convince Pinky Marquez-Cancio to reprise the role in the new staging. She starred in the first experimental show with director Nestor Torre at Laurice’s house more than 20 years ago. Ana further recalls that she and sister Ina were typing the script as the story unfolded and the first staging was mounted in Pinky’s living room.
We asked Laurice how prepared she is in making sure the audience at the Music Museum would be attentive.
She says, “I have taken that part of the design for the staging.”
In the 200 performances of Magnificat (some in large auditoriums, some in churches and schools, some in smaller venues), the musical has touched the lives of so many people. In fact, our show buyer for the 5 October evening show, Working Hands Foundation, was ecstatic when they found out Magnificat was going to be staged once again. Coincidentally, it was their first fundraiser all those years ago when they were just starting out!
Performing in the musical are Marquez-Cancio (as Mary), Feleo (also as Pinky’s alternate); the young Mary is being played by Alyssa Evangelista and Al Gatmaitan is Jesus.
Magnificat, possibly, is the only religious musical play that has had the highest number of productions in local theater history.
Sherwin Sozon, executive producer, says the presentation is a totally new staging of the 1996 musical.
Magnificat is Torre’s tribute to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Developed by Torre as a traveling theater piece, it was staged in a wide range of venues, including theater halls, churches, gymnasiums, gardens, hospitals and living rooms of homes.
Magnificat, a sung-through religious musical about the life of Jesus Christ as seen through the eyes of His Mother, must have been the most difficult musical he has ever done, Cayabyab says.
LyrOpera thanks %Arabica, Hearts and Arrows, Healthy Soybean Commercial, www.AlphaOneA1.com, Montage Skin Science and Aesthetics, Sir Warren of CUT Encarnacion Group of Salons, Green Pin, CSunPower, GoSan, Kurganstalmost, ShenLing Elevators and Escalators and Vietnam Dragon; also partners Working Hands Foundation, St. Paul College Manila High School Batch 1975, Secular Male Institute of the Two Hearts of Jesus and Mary, Rotary Club of Manila Archangel and the InnerWheel Club Foundation of the Philippines.
High-speed Internet launched
Are you having problems with your Internet connection? SKY launched its new Super Speed Plans, a set of fiber-fast home Internet subscription plans that are the most affordable in the market and offers the most value for their money.
SKY Fiber’s Super Speed Plans start with its most affordable unlimited fiber Internet offer, the Plan 5mbps that is available at only P999/month. Its new Plan 25mbps is its best value plan priced at only P1,499/month, while its Plans 50mbps is priced at P1,999/month. Other plans include 75mbps at P2,499/month and 150mbps at P3,499 have been made more competitive and now cost up to P900/month less than its rivals.
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Families who also want cable TV can choose bundles for as low as P1,599/month with 15mbps speeds while those who want seamless connection in their two- to three-story houses can avail of its Home WiFi plans that are far more affordable for as low as P1,999/month for Plan 30mbps that is already bundled with FREE WIFI Mesh.
WiFi Mesh gives users an optimized Internet experience as it eliminates WiFi-dead zones in large spaces.
A new entertainment experience also awaits subscribers of the Super Speed Plans as they can choose to bundle them with the new SKY Fiber All-In Box. The first of its kind in the country, this device combines the power of a WiFi-enabled modem, digital terrestrial TV and cable TV modem for total entertainment.
The SKY Fiber All-In Box frees users from the hassles of maintaining three different devices for their broadband, cable TV and digital terrestrial TV services. It allows Filipino families to enjoy unlimited, fiber-fast internet speeds of up to 200mbps and watch television and online shows.
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Subscribers can choose to avail of the new All-In Box with SKY Fiber’s unlimited and affordable Super Speed Plans 5 up to 150mbps.