As the year wraps up toward Christmas, the stylish regulars of The Peninsula Manila await with eager anticipation the hotel’s annual serenade of classical and holiday-themed music. One of Metro Manila’s most enduring holiday traditions, this musical extravaganza transforms the elegant meeting place and social destination of the hotel lobby into a grand concert hall.
The holiday season concert, the 34th Christmas Concert at the Pen, is slated on Dec. 10 at 5 p.m. with a 65-piece symphony orchestra, the world-renowned Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra (PPO) under the baton of Maestro Ruggero Barbieri, who will be flying in from Italy especially for this concert. The presentation is also under the concert direction of Freddie Santos.
With a classical and contemporary repertoire that is sure to get festive spirits rightly tuned for the days of celebration ahead, the concert showcases a stellar cast.
Headlining the performers is special guest soloist, OPM legend, and award-winning singer and actress Celeste Legaspi, who will be performing with the PPO for the very first time in this concert. She will be once again singing her most famous songs such “Tuliro,” which was composed by her husband, Nonoy Gallardo, “Saranggola ni Pepe,” “Minsan ang Minahal ay Ako,” a medley of beloved Ryan Cayabyab Christmas songs, and the ever-popular “La Vie en Rose,” sung in Filipino, English, and in the original French.
The cast also features tenor Lemuel de la Cruz, soprano Jade Riccio, and the 50-voice collective of the University of Santo Tomas Singers.
“Our holiday musical program offers an opportunity to enjoy music of the festive season by some of the best musical talent from the Philippines such as Ryan Cayabyab and the world’s greatest composers like Bernstein, Rossini, and Tchaikovsky,” says The Peninsula Manila’s general manager Mark J. Choon.
The concert program opens with an ensemble presentation of all the performers on stage singing Lowell Mason’s “Joy to the World”. The PPO then does an orchestral performance of Geronimo Gimenez’s “La Boda de Luis Alonso” – Intermedio. The PPO’s next orchestral performance is Aram Khachaturian’s “Sabre Dance” from Gavane – Suite No. 3. The PPO then plays back-to-back Leonard Bernstein compositions starting with the “Candide” Overture and “Mambo” from West Side Story. These songs are in tribute and celebration of the anticipated centennial of Bernstein’s birth.
Jade Riccio and Lemuel de la Cruz then join the PPO in their version of Rossini and Respighi’s “Tarantella Napolitana” as well as their performance of Turco and Denza’s “Funiculi, Funicula.” The PPO does yet another orchestral performance, this time featuring Fydor Ilych Tchaikovsky’s “Capriccio Italien.” All artists once again join the orchestra onstage in singing the traditional song “Adeste Fidelis.” The UST Singers back up the PPO in bringing to life George Frideric Handel’s “Zadok the Priest” coronation anthem, one of his best known works composed for King George II in 1727, sung prior to the anointing of the sovereign at the coronation of every British monarch.
Jade Riccio joins both the UST Singers and the PPO in an eloquent rendition of Adolphe Adam’s “O Holy Night.” Lemuel de la Cruz next joins the choir and the orchestra in a lively version of Felix Mendelssohn’s “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing.” Supported by an all-female choir, Jade Riccio goes back onstage with the PPO to present a premiere performance in the Philippines of Placido Domingo and Steven Mercurio’s “Y Nos Vamos Pa Belen.” For the third and last time, the PPO gives an orchestral performance, this time with the traditional Christmas song “Carol of the Bells.” Finally, the UST Singers assist the PPO in eliciting heartwarming applause for Ralph Blaine’s “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” and George Frideric Handel’s classic oratorio, “Messiah,” including the Hallelujah chorus.
Appreciative and generous concertgoers are asked to contribute a consumable fee of R1,700, exclusive of taxes, that comes with selections from a delectable and festive set menu. Thus, having good taste in music is rewarded with a good merienda. For group rewards, table reservations for parties of ten (10) at the hotel lobby are accepted at P27,000, exclusive of taxes. Booking dates run until Dec. 8.
Part of the proceeds raised by the yearly benefit concert will be donated to the “Hope for the Philippines” fund that continues to support the families living in The Peninsula/ Gawad Kalinga Village in Tanauan, Leyte.
The 34th season of Christmas Concert at The Pen is presented by The Peninsula Manila in partnership with SSI Group, Inc., Citibank, and Philippine Tatler and in cooperation with the Cultural Center of the Philippines and Lexus. | +63.2.8872888 ext. 7410 | firstname.lastname@example.org | www.peninsula.com