Thursday, March 5, 2015

Knucklehead Nelly

While watching soprano Nelly Miricioiu's animus and duende take over her at Monday's press conference, I was reminded of a fictional character that I've always identified with in my pre-teen years when St. Paul College of Quezon City mounted the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical South Pacific. There before me at Cravings Restaurant's function room at the Shangri-La Plaza Mall was a living, breathing, laughing Nellie Forbush, the cockeyed optimist herself.

After her two-hour or more "recital" of her life from childhood to today, I called the Emile De Becque of my life to gush about La Nelly, what a force of life she is, how her statements apply not just to singing but to writing and the living of a creative life and how she deserves wider coverage in mass media. At which point, Rolly, my husband, started singing phrases from the song "Volare", and I doubled up laughing. The cab driver must've thought I had gone insane!

Below are photos of Ms. Miricioiu, alone, with her husband Barry Kirk, with our friends in media and the music world. Thank you, Pagcor, Amara Resort, Cravings and all who're making Ms. Nelly's visit an occasion for her to think about returning in the near future. Cue for me to die happy.

Quotable Nelly: "It's an amazing feeling to be back. I didn't intend to leave Romania. I felt I could be an artist and a patriot at the same time." She defected from Romania and was granted British citizenship, but she still sings at events that benefit Romanian charities. Photos by Babeth Lolarga

The Miricioiu-Kirk couple chooses their first meal for the day. The evening before when they had just arrived from London, she passed the drinks menu to Barry and said, "Darling, choose the wine. You're the specialist."

She's also a screwball kind of comedienne in the Lucille Ball mold. She always manages to keep writer Pablo Tariman in stitches. She calls him "a quiet boy from the province." Now that sets those of us who know him laughing.

A conductor once told the young Nelly who was a bundle of nervous energy: "You have expression in your little finger. That is enough." She considered that a good tip because it enables the music's simplicity and elegance to emerge.

With film critic Mario Hernando

With soprano Glenda Velasco Liao who won't be in the masterclass at Ayala Museum but will be part of the technical staff operating the supertitles

With Al Andres, one of the hardworking associates of Culture Arts Events Organizers who doesn't look like he has lost his entire shirt wardrobe from risking all to push and market concerts like tomorrow's "Nelly Miricioiu: Live in Manila" at 8 p.m. at Meralco Theater

With small but terrific soprano Myramae Tapia Meneses whose solo voice soared at the Manila Cathedral and Luneta Grandstand during the visit of Pope Francis

Romania's and the Philippines' soprano greats Nelly and Camille Lopez Molina, respectively. Love Nelly's polka-dot stockings!

With Angel Reyes Nacino of the Manila Chamber Orchestra Foundation

This guy's dopamine level will remain at a high level for the rest of 2015. This is all the loving he needs.
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