The Inbox

Filipino tenor recalls karaoke singing days

Rodel Rosell

by Pablo A. Tariman,VERA Files

Filipino tenor  Rodell Rosel  who will have his  debut  performance at the Los Angeles  Opera as Goro in Madama Butterfly on November 14 admitted he was into karaoke singing and nearly tried American Idol.

"First of all, I am a big fan of the 80s, and Tom Jones," Rosel  wrote in his blog. "My show-stopping songs are Delilah, I Who Have Nothing, Green Green Grass of Home, all by Tom Jones. I also sing current mainstream songs. My signature songs are Lady Gaga's Bad Romance, Adele's Rolling In The Deep, Cee Lo Green's Forget You (aka F*** You), and Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody."

In other news: Walls light up with images in Makati City

The tenor, who became the first Filipino tenor to sing at the Metropolitan Opera two years ago —  said the  80s songs that he got into when  doing karaoke are Air Supply, Bryan Adams, James Ingram, Jeffrey Osbourne, Billy Vera, among others.

Rosel -- who shared the stage with American diva Renée Fleming and Susan Graham in the Met production of De Rosenkavalier under the direction of the eminent conductor Edo de Waart — said he had had thought of auditioning for  the  third season of the  American Idol in 2004.

"In 2004, I got into the finals of the Ryan Opera Center Finals (formerly called Lyric Opera Center for American Artists). I told myself that if I didn't get into the program, I will go to Las Vegas from Los Angeles where I used to live and audition for American Idol This was the first year they extended the age limit to 29) and I was 29 at that time."

He made it to the Ryan Opera Center and promptly forgets flirting with American Idol that was won by Fantasia Barino that year. That  season also featured Jennifer Hudson, who would subsequently won the 2006 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. The 2012 season's  runner-up  is Fil-American Jessica Sanchez.

"It was the best decision I've ever made, as Lyric Opera of Chicago has honed me to who I am as a performer today," Rosel said.

Rodell Rosel as GoroThe Filipino tenor started singing at age of 11 while still in the Philippines, and admitted singing in various amateur singing contests. "I was a contestant at the 1987 Bagong Kampeon with Pilita Corales and the late Bert 'Tawa' Marcelo. After moving to the US at 16, I still kept my singing on the side, and later joined a few bands playing at wedding receptions and private functions, including a long collaboration with legendary Filipino personalities Carina Afable, Norma Ledesma and Florence Aguilar, to name a few."

Rosel was  tapped to sing Spoletta in Tosca on May 18, 2013 under the baton of Placido Domingo who was last heard at the CCP in the 1979 CCP-San Francisco Opera production of the same Puccini opera.

Rosel said singing at the Metropolitan Opera stage was a dream come true for him "The Met stage has the best acoustics any singer can ever hope for, and the most embracing audience one could ever wish for."

After "Der Rosenkavalier," Rosel returned to the Met as Nathanael in Jacques Offenbach's "Les Contes d'Hoffmann" (The Tales of Hoffmann), this time conducted by James Levine.

The last Filipino to sing at the Met was soprano Evelyn Mandac, who sang Lauretta in Puccini's "Gianni Schicchi" in 1975, and the following year, sang Gretel in Humperdinck's "Hansel and Gretel."

The Filipino tenor was born in Makati and grew up in Las Piñas. His parents are from Cavite. ("My mother from Mendez, and my father from Alfonso," he wrote).

"My father shared his talents as a singer and guitarist in a band in his early years, and most of the classical singing background stems from my mother's side, whose aunts sang classical romantic Filipino love songs in their spare time," he shared his musical beginnings.

In other news: Meet several 'Santa Clause' in Ocean Park, HK

His LA Opera stint on Nov. 14 will not be be the first time for him to portray  Goro in Madama Butterfly . His earlier  performance of the same role  in Houston, Texas  was noticed by American critics.

Opera News wrote: "The uniformly strong cast of singing actors was rounded out by tenor Rodell Rosel, a crisp and business-like Goro."

The Associated Press noted the tenor "stood out as an animated Goro, the practical marriage broker."

The Houston Press declared that Rodell Rosel "as opportunistic Goro comes off best."

(VERA Files is put out by veteran journalists taking a deeper look at current issues. Vera is Latin for "true.")

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • China ignores global outcry vs reclamation
    China ignores global outcry vs reclamation

    On Wednesday, G-7 foreign ministers issued a Declaration on Maritime Security expressing alarm over “unilateral actions, such as large scale land reclamation, which change the status quo and increase tensions” in the region. In their communiqué, which did not specifically mention China, the ministers expressed belief that reclamation activities were meant to “change the status quo” in the West Philippine Sea and South China Sea, through which 40 percent of global trade passes. …

  • Project NOAH exec receives recognition
    Project NOAH exec receives recognition

    Project NOAH executive director and University of the Philippines professor Mahar Lagmay recently received recognition from the European Geosciences Union (EGU) for his work in disaster risk reduction and mitigation in the Philippines. …

  • Nightclub ban for US troops
    Nightclub ban for US troops

    The US Pacific Command has banned its troops in the Philippines from bars and nightclubs, a spokesman said yesterday, with the trial under way of a US Marine accused of murdering a transgender Filipino he met in a bar. Thousands of American and Filipino soldiers will kick off tomorrow the 10-day annual military exercises, according to Capt. Alex Lim, a spokesman for the US forces, but there will be strict controls on their free time. Lim would not say why the restrictions were imposed but …

  • US-Phl war games to start under China’s shadow
    US-Phl war games to start under China’s shadow

    Thousands of American and Filipino soldiers will kick off tomorrow expanded wargames, showcasing a deepening  defense alliance as alarm bells ring over China. The 10-day exercises in the Philippines are an annual affair between the longtime allies, but this time they will involve double the number of soldiers as last year in a sign of their expanding military partnership. The Philippines is seeking more US military and diplomatic support to fend off China’s increasing forcefulness in its bid …

  • Palace defends legal tack in sea row
    Palace defends legal tack in sea row

    There is nothing weak about taking the legal and diplomatic approach to push for the country’s claims in the disputed West Philippine Sea, Malacañang maintained yesterday. On Friday, Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares led a rally in front of the Chinese consulate in Makati City to protest China’s massive reclamation activities in the Spratly island group to fortify its presence in the disputed waters. Colmenares also criticized the Philippine government for supposedly not doing enough to defend …

  • Veloso sons urge authorities to save mother from death
    Veloso sons urge authorities to save mother from death

    The sons of Mary Jane Veloso, who is facing execution in Indonesia for drug smuggling, yesterday appealed to government officials to do everything to spare their mother from death. “We love you,” Mark Daniel, 12, said when asked for a message for his mother following a press conference at the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City. Mark Daniel, an incoming Grade 8 student, reiterated his appeal to those in power to help save his mother from death. His younger brother, …

  • US-Philippines wargames to start under China's shadow
    US-Philippines wargames to start under China's shadow

    Thousands of American and Filipino soldiers on Monday will kick off expanded wargames, showcasing a deepening defence alliance as alarm bells ring over China. The 10-day exercises in the Philippines are an annual affair between the longtime allies, but this time they will involve double the number of soldiers as last year in a sign of their expanding military partnership. The Philippines is seeking more US military and diplomatic support to fend off China's increasing forcefulness in its bid …

  • Bar ban for US troops in Philippines amid murder trial
    Bar ban for US troops in Philippines amid murder trial

    The US Pacific Command has banned its troops in the Philippines from bars and nightclubs, a spokesman said Saturday, with the trial under way of a US Marine accused of murdering a transgender Filipina he met in a bar. Thousands of American and Filipino soldiers will on Monday kick off 10-day annual military excercises, according to Captain Alex Lim, a spokesman for the US forces, but there will be strict controls on their free time. Lim would not say why the restrictions were imposed but …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options