Monday, September 23, 2013

Rising tenor

Camille Lopez Molina's voice took over Cherie Gil's in what to me is the most beautiful scene I've seen in a Filipino movie: the part where Gil's Regina Canedo stages a command performance of Dvorak's "Song to the Moon" in Sonata for the son of a hacienda employee. I let my tears freely flow. One doesn't need an English translation of the Czech lyrics to behold what beauty is at its purest form.

Many times I also teared up at the first solo recital of tenor Ivan Niccolo Nery last week at the Ayala Museum. Although the venue was moved to a function room upstairs because of an event at the lobby, where the Manila Chamber Orchestra (MCO) Foundation concerts are usually held, the change worked in Ivan's favor. The intimacy was called for by the art/love songs he interpreted.

I listened and watched closely when he enunciated his French (he used to hate it as a school subject) in Reynaldo Hahn's "A Chloris" and "L'heure exquise," the latter with words by poet Paul Verlaine, and in Gabriel Faure's "Apres au Reve." Again, Verlaine's lyrics brought back briefly that exquisitely photographed scene of Cherie Gil singing to the moon:

The white moon
shines in the woods.
From each branch
springs a voice
beneath the arbor.

Oh my beloved...

Like a deep mirror
the pond reflects
the silhouette
of the black willow
where the wind weeps.

Let us dream! It is the hour...

A vast and tender calm
seems to descend from a sky
made iridescent by the moon

It is the exquisite hour!

Belated bravissimos to the darling, shining tenor of the hour who took the tiredness away from his evening audience. And thank you for obliging us who wouldn't let you go with the encore of Donaudy's  "O Del Mio Amato Ben."

Most of the songs in Ivan's repertoire were love poems, particularly love lost.
Singing his Donaudy encore
With an admirer who hopes to write a song, or at least the lyrics, that he can sing someday 
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