Wednesday, November 21, 2018

A Not So Typical Day: The Medium MNL

Living in Manila sometimes make me sad with its limited choices on things to do. With barely any park to consider, we usually spend our days strolling around the mall or catching the latest movie. Hence, I always get excited when something new comes along. And when an acquaintance offered me some tickets to watch The Medium, an opera written by Gian Carlo  Menotti, I quickly said yes. 
I read a bit about The Medium before heading to the Zobel de Ayala Recital Hall and was intrigued when it was described as an eerie tale of a woman who pretends to be a medium of the dead and eventually experienced something paranormal herself. As dark and rather horror themes are rarely used in plays, more so for opera, I was looking forward to the show.

The recital hall is rather small making it very intimate between the cast and the audience, making us spectators feel like we are part of the story. 
A simple setting of a bedroom on one side, a door in the other and a table with hanging lighting fixture in the middle sets the mood as soon as we settle in. None were too eye catching and it allowed us to focus more on each and every character.
I wouldn't narrate the show as to not spoil it for you. But if you can't wait, you can read the synopsis online or watch its movie adaptation. Watching the live opera though is a totally different experience.

I'm not a big fan of opera and sometimes find it hard to understand what one of the characters was saying. Thankfully, they repeat their lines, pretty much 90% of the time.
Jay Valencia-Glorioso who played Madame Flora commanded our complete attention as soon as she got on stage and kept such throughout the show. From when she was simply playing her part as a fake medium to the point where she was questioning her sanity, I have nothing but high praise for her believable acting and strong stage presence. 
Toby played by Joseph Nabong reminded me of a monkey with how he moved around the stage and due to his lack of lines as he portrays a mute boy. His scenes with Monica (played by Lara Marie Moscardon Maige) were charming and tragic at the end. 
Speaking of Monica, her soprano voice added youthfulness to the play.
The clients, Mr. and Mrs. Gobineau (Ronald Abarquez and Anna Migallos) and Mrs. Nolan (Margarita Roco) added more depth, darkness and somewhat humor to the play. They also perfectly depicted how desparate loved ones couldn't let go of their departed family members that they try anything. 
The small musical team further heightened the emotions per line and definitely added that eerie vibe Gian Carlo Menotti was after. 

Overall, it was one lovely play to spend your evening with. Though I couldn't say that this is something for everyone, this is worth checking out if you love theater or if you are looking for something new to do in the metro.

Tickets are priced at PHP1,500 (patron, reserved seating) and PHP1,200 (premium, free seating) and are available here or call 8958098 or +63 918 908 5088 for inquiries or bulk purchases.

Shows are held at the Zobel de Ayala Recital Hall, Maybank Performing Arts Theater, BGC Arts Center, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City with remaining show dates November 23, 24 and 25, 2018.

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