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NEWS: Philippine Opera Company’s “Harana” Celebrate 10th Year with a Series of Anniversary Show.

Harana10 poster

After successful shows all over the country for the past 9 years and concert tours of Amsterdam, Canada and the United States of America, Philippine Opera Company’s “HARANA” will celebrate it’s 10th year with a series of shows entitled “HARANA10 … the anniversary show” on July 27-29 at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium, RCBC Plaza, Makati.

In 2008, POC created its own cultural arm “HARANA” as a vehicle to showcase the evolution of Philippine music through song and movement. Its numerous reviews from Manila’s art cognoscenti and clamor for more shows further boosted “HARANA” to conquer the international scene when it went on a tour of Amsterdam in 2009. Upon the group’s return, the 2010 regional tour covering the cities of Cebu, Roxas, Antique, Bohol, Dumaguete and Palawan continued to reap more success and acclaim. For the early part of 2011, “HARANA” has performed in Bacolod, Ormoc, Tacloban and Samar.

Harana10 poster with cast“HARANA” is unique. When people look for a cultural show the choices are usually split into two categories — dance or song. You either get a group of cultural dancers, or a group of singers, or a choir. “HARANA”, however, showcases song, dance and drama all at the same time. POC have handpicked the most versatile and celebrated classical and musical theater singers in the country today to bring life and passion to these beautiful indigenous and Filipino classics.

The country is rapidly losing the value of Philippine music to foreign influences. Many people are no longer interested in listening to Filipino classics, composed by gifted Filipino geniuses.

This iconic romantic tradition is the penultimate test for the Pinoy macho in the early 1920’s to court the woman he fancies in their neighborhood. Accompanied by two to three other male ‘barkadas’ with the guitar as the only musical instrument, the main male proponent would sing around two to three locally-written songs about the joys of love, and how one’s heart longs for the woman destined to be his wife. Widely practiced all over the Philippines up until World War II, the ‘harana’ is done at night when the folk are already asleep, the ‘lady’ being courted would get up from her bed and together with her kinsfolk, the ‘window’ is opened as a polite gesture of appreciation until the rest of the songs are completed. “The ‘harana’ is quite similar to the balcony scene of William Shakepeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” but delivered in a medieval poetry.

The ‘harana’ or ‘kundiman’ became a mainstream musical style with veteran performers namely Diomedes Maturan and Ruben Tagalog popularizing it until the late 60’s. Unfortunately, with the advent of newer music genres, ‘harana’ has quietly been left behind. Today, the young generation may not even know its real essence as far as Filipino folk traditions are concerned. And that is the one singular reason why POC is reviving this beautiful Filipino culture,” says Ms. Karla Gutierrez, Artistic Director of the Philippine Opera Company.

POC’S “HARANA” is a recipient of the 2nd Maria Carpena Memorial Award for the Arts and United Filipino-Canadian Associations in British Columbia 2016 Heroes Award.

In recognition of the POC’s distinguished achievements, leadership and dedication on making a positive impact in advancing the image of Filipinos and Filipino Americans in the community, “HARANA” in 2016 was awarded the Image Award from the Federation of Filipino American Association. Philippine Opera Company also received the Image Award Certificate of Recognitions from the United States House of Representatives.

The word “harana” is a Tagalog word (the predominant Philippine dialect) that connotes a traditional form of courtship in which a man woos a woman’s affection by singing love songs.

Philippine Opera Company’s cultural repertoire showcases the evolution of Philippine music through song, movement, and drama. The creation of each “HARANA” suite is a product of thorough research with the commitment to preserve indigenous Philippine music and its appropriate dance and folklore. It also aims to restructure and enhance these research findings to evolve repertoires suited to the demands of contemporary theater; and to promote international goodwill through performances at home and abroad. The result is an absolute feast to the senses.

“HARANA10 … the anniversary show” will showcase the best of all the Filipino composers from different music genres — Nicanor Abelardo, Ryan Cayabyab, Willy Cruz, Francisco Santiago, Antonio Molina, Resti Umali, George Canseco, Ernani Cuenco, Levi Celerio, Jose Estrella, Constancio De Guzman and Felipe de Leon to name a few.

The show will feature Philippine theater’s celebrated singers – Karla Gutierrez, Melisa Camba, Cloi Sugano, Zscharmaine Barretto, Nazer Salcedo, Noel Rayos, Greg de Leon and Ron Biñas.

“HARANA10 … the anniversary show” is a must-see production for every Filipino who wants to hear our very own ‘ kundiman ’ music amidst all other music genres, which are now perpetuating our local music scene. This will also serve as a musical treat for foreigners as an initial step to immerse themselves in a truly authentic Filipino music environment with the hope of making them understand our country’s cultural and musical heritage.

“HARANA10 … the anniversary show” will have a series of shows on July 27 (8:00 pm), July 28 (3:00 pm and 8:00 pm) and July 29 (3:00 pm) at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium, RCBC Plaza, Makati.

For ticket sales please call Philippine Opera Company at 09176452946 or TicketWorld at 891-9999 or follow Philippine Opera Company on Facebook.

Orly S. Agawin

The author Orly S. Agawin

Orly has been writing for The Jellicle Blog since 2008. He is a training and development consultant by day and an art enthusiast by night. He lives in Parañaque with his mom.

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