LyrOpera mounts Magnificat again

A musical about Mama Mary

Some 200 performances, yet Magnificat is still very relevant, according to LyrOpra (Lyric Opera of the Philippines), which is mounting the musical on 27 and 28 September and 4, 5, 11 and 12 October at the Music Museum in Greenhills.

Magnificat is LyrOperas (now on its 8thseason) very first musical.

Ana Feleo plays Mother Mary

Ana Feleo plays Mother Mary

Says Ana Feleo, who plays Mary, Magnificat has beautiful music, wonderful lyrics, and a great message. “We first got the permission of Mr. C (Ryan Cayabyab, the composer), we journeyed to Marikina, where Direk Nes (Nestor Torre, the playwright) is recuperating to get his permission.  We were very happy when Direk Nestor gave his blessings and instructed us to get the materials from Andy (Bais),” she further explains.

After getting the composer and the playwright’s permissions, the next question was who to direct it?  

“Direk Laurice Guillen’s name came up and we immediately knew that she, a Marian devotee, is the ideal director for this new staging of Magnificat.But would she agree?  Our doubts were unfounded because her answer was “how can I say no to Mamma Mary?” Ana, daughter of Laurice tells everyone over lunch

Al Gatmaitan plays Jesus Christ

Al Gatmaitan plays Jesus Christ

Casting proved easy for LyrOpera who was able to convince Pinky Marquz-Cancio to reprise the role in the new staging. She starred in the first experimental staging with director Nestor Torre at Laurice’s house more than 20 years ago. Ana further recalls that she and sister Ina were tyoing the script as the story unfolded and the first staging was mounted in Pinky’s living room.

We asked Laurice how prepared is she in making sure the audience at the Musi Museum would be attentive.

She says, “I have taken that part of the design for the staging.

Newly discovered soprano Alyssa Evangelista plays the young Mary

Newly discovered soprano Alyssa Evangelista plays the young Mary

In the 200 performances of Magnificat (some in large auditoriums, some in churches and schools, some in smaller venues), the musical has touched the lives of so many people.  In fact, our show buyer for the Oct 5 evening show, Working Hands Foundation, was ecstatic when they found out Magnificat was going to be staged once again. Coincidentally, Magnificat was their first fundraiser all those years ago when they were just starting out!

Pinky Marquez reprises her role as Mary in the new staging of  Magnificat

Pinky Marquez reprises her role as Mary in the new staging of Magnificat

Performing in the musical are Pinky Marquez-Cancio (as Mary), Ana Feleo (also as Pinky’s alternate); the young Mary is being played by Alyssa Evangelista and Al Gatmaitan is Jesus

Magnificat, possibly, is the only religious musical play that has had the highest number of stagings in local theater history.  

Sherwin Sozon, Executive Producer, says the presentation is a totally new staging of the 1996 musical. 

Magnificat is Torre's tribute to the Blessed Virgin Mary. 

Developed by Torre as a travelling theater piece, it was staged in a wide range of venues, including theater halls, churches, gymnasiums, gardens, hospitals, and living rooms of homes. 

Magnificat, a sung-through religious musical about the life of Jesus Christ as seen through the eyes of His Mother.

Cayabyab says Magnificatmust have been the most difficult musical he has ever done. 

LyrOopera thanks %Arabica, Hearts and Arrows, Healthy Soybean Commercial,, Montage Skin Science and Aesthetics, Sir Warren of CUT Encarnacion Group of Salons, Green Pin, CSunPower, GoSan, Kurganstalmost, ShenLing Elevators and Escalators, and Vietnam Dragon; also partners Working Hands Foundation, St Paul College Manila High School Batch 1975, Secular Male Institute of the Two Hearts of Jesus and Mary, Rotary Club of Manila Archangel and the InnerWheel Club Foundation of the Philippines.