The Inbox

Rachelle Gerodias at her prime

Soprano Rachelle Gerodias rehearsing with the China National Symphony Orchestra when she debuted in Beijing two …

By Pablo A. Tariman, VERA Files

THE most visible Filipino soprano these days is Rachelle Gerodias and so far, she is one of the few local singers with international exposure.

Seven years ago, she debuted as Liu (Turandot) at the Volksoper Wien in Vienna, Austria and sang in the New Year Concert with Sarajevo Philharmonic. Later, she was Susanna in Marriage of Figaro in Singapore and last year, she was Rosina (Barber of Seville) at the International Opera Festival at the Daegu Opera House in Korea. She got to reprise the same role in the recent staging of Barber of Seville which was well-received.

Earlier, she got to have a first crack at her first Verdi role as Violetta in La Traviata also at the CCP.

Last year, she debuted in Moscow in an all-Pilipino program at the Glinka Museum with Najib Ismail. She  teamed up with Rene Dalandan in a well-received New York recital. She further promoted Pilipino songs in the world tour of "Aawitan Kita." She debuted in Beijing, China as representative of the Philippines in the first Asean Summit Culture and Arts Festival held at the National Center for the Performing Arts.

Now the latest news is that she is going to sing Zerlina in Mozart's Don Giovanni in November this year for the second time at the International Opera Festival at the Daegu Opera House in Korea.

Gerodias has indeed come a long way.

Some 25  years ago, she  was just a promising student  at the UST Conservatory of Music and being nurtured by her teacher, Gloria Coronel. Her graduation recital a couple of years later  was an indication she was going to be special.

Five years after, she debuted as Rosita (Musetta ) in the Rolando Tinio version of Puccini's La Boheme  at the CCP and even got to sing  with the great Filipino tenor Otoniel Gonzaga on the very same stage where Placido Domingo sang Tosca  opposite Eva Marton  in 1979.

She credits  Coronel  for handling very well  her formative stage. "If there is one voice teacher who knows me and my voice  very well, that would be Professor Gloria Dizon-Coronel. She is like a second mother to me. She taught me everything that I needed to learn to become a good classical singer."

Her latest Mozart opera is again a debut role. "Yes, it's my first time to sing Zerlina and first time to do Don Giovanni," she said. "The challenge for me now is that the role is for a soubrette. This is the type of roles I was doing when I was much younger. But since I have been doing a lot of more mature roles now like Violetta, Liu, Rosina, I will need to go back to that voice. That will need some time to adjust."

The last time she sang a Mozart opera was in 2006 and she has since then waited for another chance to sing a Mozart role. "I think this would be perfect since I have never done Don Giovanni. It's always good to be able to do Mozart. It's very good for the voice and it's a great chance to learn interesting characters. I am also excited to do this production of Don Giovanni because I'll be working with an international cast again with an Italian director and an Italian conductor."

Gerodias said she had fun doing Rosina as she had with her Susanna in Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro. "The characters of Rosina and Susanna are somewhat similar although they are actually very different characters. They belong to very different social classes but they are both very young and in love. Both are funny and genuine characters. I just love making the audience laugh. You get such positive energy on stage. Plus when you perform with a wonderful cast, it's all just a load of fun on stage."

According to her, there were three major challenges for her when she did Rosina. "The singing style of Rossini was very special because this is the bel canto style where you have to sing the coloratura really clear and fast or else the whole thing will just fall apart. The second challenge is the acting and playing on stage.  There's a lot of comic timing involved in this opera especially in the recitatives. This needs a lot of rehearsal and rapport with your fellow singers. There are really difficult parts where we need to deal with the music, the singing, the ensemble and the acting while running around on stage especially in the finale of act one and the quintet in Act Two. And with all of that happening on stage, of course, we need to be completely together with the conductor. The third challenge for me was the Italian. There were lot of passages there that required speed and good enunciation of the language. In some ways, they sounded like Italian tongue twisters."

When she does another bout with Italian in Don Giovanni in Korea, Gerodias, she makes sure she does what she has always believed in.

"I always try to give my all not just for myself but for my audience and my colleagues," she pointed out. "That's why I always invite my family and close friends. I want them to enjoy the performance and feel proud. I want them to be inspired. And for those who are there just to appreciate the music or was just invited by friends, my goal is for them to get excited to see more performances like this. I want them to feel that they need to see more operas and appreciate the local artists. I want the audience to be proud that we have local talents worth watching."

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

  • 5 Unanswered Questions About Jesus
    5 Unanswered Questions About Jesus

    As Christians worldwide gather for Easter to celebrate their belief in the death and rebirth of Jesus, researchers continue to delve into the mysteries that surround the man. The following are five questions about Jesus that, for now, at least, remain unanswered. In 2008, astronomer Dave Reneke argued that the Star of Bethlehem (a celestial event long associated with Jesus' birth) may have been Venus and Jupiter coming together to form a bright light in the sky. Other researchers have …

  • Ageless Hopkins pitches 50-50 Mayweather deal
    Ageless Hopkins pitches 50-50 Mayweather deal

    Bernard Hopkins, boxing's ageless wonder at 49, is one victory from becoming the undisputed world light-heavyweight champion and already daring unbeaten pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather to a showdown. Hopkins, the oldest major world champion in boxing history, won a split decision Saturday over Kazak fighter Beibut Shumenov to take the World Boxing Association title and keep his International Boxing Federation crown. Money is great but history is something you can't get rid of." Now …

  • The return of Gigi Reyes
    The return of Gigi Reyes

    By Ellen T.Tordesillas This is going to be fascinating. Atty. Gigi Reyes, former chief of staff of Sen. Juan Ponce-Enrile who is included among those accused of plunder in connection with the misuse of Priority Development Assistance Fund, came back … Continue reading → …

  • The light that shines from within
    The light that shines from within

    Physical beauty fades and it is inevitable. Usually, the grace to accept that comes with great wisdom and maturity. That said, one may always strive for something deeper, more meaningful and lasting: inner goodness. Bulletin Entertainment caught up with some of the country's most stunning beauties, and asked them what qualities they value the most. Their answers show why they are truly beautiful inside and out. ... …

  • Baby Prince George visits Australian zoo
    Baby Prince George visits Australian zoo

    Baby Prince George stepped out in public with his parents on Sunday for the first time in Australia, for an encounter with wildlife at Sydney's Taronga Zoo. George, eight months old and third in line to the throne after grandfather Princes Charles and father William, stole the show as his parents toured the harbourfront zoo overlooking the Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge. …

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.

  • 16-year-old survives in wheel well of Maui flight

    16-year-old survives in wheel well of Maui flight

    Associated Press - 4 hours ago
    16-year-old survives in wheel well of Maui flight

    HONOLULU (AP) — Officials say a 16-year-old boy is "lucky to be alive" and unharmed after flying from California to Hawaii stowed away in a plane's wheel well, surviving cold temperatures at 38,000 feet and a lack of oxygen. …

  • 5 Unanswered Questions About Jesus

    5 Unanswered Questions About Jesus

    LiveScience.com - Sat, Apr 19, 2014
    5 Unanswered Questions About Jesus

    As Christians worldwide gather for Easter to celebrate their belief in the death and rebirth of Jesus, researchers continue to delve into the mysteries that surround the man. The following are five questions about Jesus that, for now, at least, remain unanswered. In 2008, astronomer Dave Reneke argued that the Star of Bethlehem (a celestial event long associated with Jesus' birth) may have been Venus and Jupiter coming together to form a bright light in the sky. Other researchers have …

  • Malaysia Airlines jet turns back after tire burst

    Malaysia Airlines jet turns back after tire burst

    Associated Press - 16 hours ago
    Malaysia Airlines jet turns back after tire burst

    KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — A Malaysia Airlines flight heading to India with 166 people aboard made an emergency landing in Kuala Lumpur early Monday after it was forced to turn back when a tire burst upon takeoff, the airline said. …

POLL
Loading...
Poll Choice Options