Lani-MPO number pegged at ₱1M plus

Published August 29, 2018, 8:43 AM

by Hannah Torregoza 

Maestro Rodel Colmenar, the founder and musical director of Manila Philharmonic Orchestra (MPO), said that the opening number of their 20th anniversary concert on Sept. 1 easily costs seven digits.

Rodel Colmenar (left) and Lani Misalucha (
Rodel Colmenar (left) and Lani Misalucha

The number features Lani Misalucha backed by a 100-piece orchestra, a 30-member choir, and a big band. Add the royalties paid for the songs they’ll cover, the talent fee of the musicians and fee for the musical arrangement of the medley and that’s at least a million pesos right there, he said.

“It’s a crazy idea I thought up,” Rodel said. “It’s ambitious but doable.”

The concert is billed “MPO Opus 20: Trailblazing Music Excellence” happening at the Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP).

Having worked with Lani several times in the past, and knowing that the audiences are familiar with many of the singer’s signature numbers in concert, Rodel and MPO are going for something “new.”

The maestro revealed writing the arrangement for the number took him more days than usual to finish. He explained that it took careful thought to pick the songs that went into the medley that melds pop and symphonic music.

Other featured performers in the concert are world-acclaimed Filipino pianist Raul Sunico, premiere mixed-chorale ensemble the University of Santo Tomas (UST) Singers, and more.

But of course, MPO will perform the great classical works of composers like Beethoven and Gershwin that have defined the early and humble beginnings of the orchestra.

Founded in 1998, MPO has performed in more than 500 concerts and partnered with over a hundred companies in bringing music to the community. Some of the acclaimed productions they mounted featured artists as pianists Cecile Licad, Ingrid Sala Santa Maria, Aileen Chanco; well-known violinists Anastasia Chebotareva, Alexander Tumescu and Oscar Yatco; conductors Eduardo Browne, Mark Kadin, Dmitri Lissand Italian tenor, Andrea Bocelli, among others.

Manila Philharmonic Orchestra (
Manila Philharmonic Orchestra

MPO also worked on Philippine musical theater productions staged at the New Performing Arts Theater of Resorts World Manila like “The Sound Of Music,” “King And I,” “Cinderella,” “Noli Me Tangere,” “The Opera,” “Bituing Walang Ningning, The Musical,” “Annie,” and “Ang Huling El Bimbo.”

The orchestra pioneered out-of–the-box ideas like the “Philharmonic In Jeans” concert series in the early 2000s. That is, the orchestra rendered classical pieces with a modern twist.