By DOM GALEON
Photos EMIL C YAP
It is as much a marriage of two art forms as it is the marriage of two artistic minds. Real life couple Plet Bolipata and Elmer Borlongan’s collaboration on the St. Cecilia baby grand piano, unveiled last Tuesday at a dinner hosted by Virgie Ramos held at the Swatch House in Makati. At the special dinner, attended by a select number of guests totaling no more than 50, the St. Cecilia baby grand took center stage.
The cover of the baby grand features an image of St. Cecilia, considered to be the patroness of music in Catholic and Orthodox traditions, with feet on a mound of red roses, playing what seems to be a lyre. On the sides are muses, singing praises to music. True to the collaboration, the visual elements are representative of the styles of Plet and Elmer .
Of course, a night of celebrating visual art and music wouldn’t be complete without a performance on the St. Cecilia baby grand. For that evening, New York-based artist and real estate broker Jed Bolipata played three songs: the first moment of Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata,” Claude Debussy’s “Claire de Lune,” and George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue.” While the three pieces can be considered standards in piano performances, Gershwin’s is always a crowdpleaser. Composed in 1924, “Rhapsody in Blue” is the first piece that marries classical orchestral music with jazz, a growing genre at that time.
Apart from Jed’s masterful performance, some of the guests also had the chance to play on the St. Cecilia baby grand piano. Not many know that he plays the piano, so it was a surprise when basketball player and TV personality Chris Tiu started playing “All I Ask of You” from the musical Phantom of the Opera. Because he played it so well, he was joined by Joana Ampil and Christian Bautista who lent their voices to the music of Andrew Lloyd Weber’s Broadway classic.
“St. Cecilia in all its glory,” said Plet. “We poured hearts and souls into this collaboration. We worked to the creative hum of our marriage—different styles, different heartbeats, different strengths, different visions—in perfect harmony.”