Carmen 'Baby' Barredo, co-founder of Repertory Philippines, passes away

Published May 25, 2021, 11:40 AM

by John Legaspi

The theater icon died at age 80

Baby Barredo (Photo from Repertory Philippines)

Philippine theater scene mourns the passing of one of its pillars, Carmen “Baby” Barredo, co-founder of Repertory Philippines (REP), one of the esteemed theater companies in the country. News about the icon’s demise was announced through a social media post by Charlie Barredo. She died on May 23, 2021, Sunday, at age 80.

“It is with great sadness that Etienne and I announce the passing of our dearest Mama, beloved Tita Baby to so many of you all. She died peacefully at 7:37 p.m. at St Luke’s Hospital in Taguig from multi organ failure brought about by sepsis,” Charlie posted. “I was by her side and her family and theatre children were with her in spirit and song… Thank you for all your loving words and prayers. Rest in peace, Mama.”

Baby devoted her life to honing her craft and performing in a number of musical productions, buidling an illustrious theatrical career. According to REP, she studied under the tutelage of National Artists Lucrecia Kasilag and Daisy Avellana for music and drama lessons.

“She studied voice in the University of Indiana, and then went on to complete Drama in the American Conservatory of Dramatic Arts in New York before coming back to Manila to co-found REP,” the company said.

In 1967, Baby co-founded REP together with Zenaida “Bibot” Amador. For decades, she served as the artistic director and musical director of the company. With spectacular productions and acting and singing classes, she and the company were able to mentor great Filipino theater artists such as Pinky Amador, Red Concepcion, Cocoy Laurel, Monique Wilson, and Lea Salonga.

“Known for her unrelenting passion and discipline, artistic excellence, boldness, and abounding love, Tita Baby’s legacy lives on in every REP artist and audience member whose love and passion for theater she has powerfully and indelibly set alight,” the company posted.

In a past interview, Baby shared her aim and dream for the company and its artists. “The things that they still learn, they are passing it on,” Baby said. “I dream that if I am not around anymore that REP would still go on because I think people would have wanted that, too.”

Rest in peace, Baby Barredo.