Noli Me Tangere, The Opera Returns to Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the CCP

Published · Friday, February 08, 2019 01:52 PM

The Philippines' first full-length opera, National Artists Guillermo Tolentino and Felipe Padilla De Leon's most beloved 1957 opera, “Noli Me Tangere” (Huwag Mo Salangin/Touch Me Not) returns to the Cultural Center of the Philippines' (CCP) main theatre, Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo, from March 8-10, 2019.

In partnership with the CCP, in time for its 50th anniversary, with support from the Honorable Senator Loren Legarda, J&S Productions Inc., the producers behind the opera's acclaimed performances at the Kaye Playhouse in New York City (2013), the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C. (2014), the Newport Performing Arts Theatre at Resorts World Manila (2014), and the CCP (2017), which commemorated the opera's 60th anniversary, fulfills its commitment anew to keep this masterpiece alive for the young Filipino audiences to experience and enjoy.

In this 2019 all-new production, about 200 actors-classical singers, classical musicians, and production crew are joining forces to stage this grand, “elegant affair” (The Washington Post, 2014). Leading the cast are Nerissa De Juan and Bianca Camille Lopez (Maria Clara); Ivan Niccolo Nery and Nomher Nival (Juan Crisostomo Ibarra); Allison Cervantes, Nicola Micaelle Peralejo, and Bernadette Mamauag (Sisa); Joseleo Logdat (Elias); Greg de Leon (Pilosopo Tasyo); Nils Flores and Ronnie Abarquez (Padre Damaso; Abarquez also plays Kapitan Tiyago at certain performances); Lawrence Roxas (Kapitan Tiyago); Noel Comia Jr. and Mari Yapjoco (Basilio), and Santino Juan Santiago (Crispin).


Nerissa De Juan and Bianca Camille Lopez as Maria Clara


Ivan Niccolo Nery and Nomher Nival as Juan Crisostomo Ibarra


Allison Cervantes, Nicola Micaelle Peralejo, and Bernadette Mamauag as Sisa


Joseleo Logdat as Elias and Greg de Leon as Pilosopo Tasyo


Nils Flores and Ronnie Abarquez as Padre Damaso; Abarquez also plays Kapitan Tiyago at certain performances


Noel Comia Jr. as Basilio, and Santino Juan Santiago as Crispin

Also joining the cast are Mia Bolanos (Dona Victorina), Oliver Pineda (Tenyente Guevarra), Micah Galang (Andeng), Ma. Krissan Tan (Tiya Isabel), Timothy Racho (Alferez), Ruzzel Clemeno (Don Filipo), Tomas Virtucio Jr. (Albino), and Rare Jireh Columna (Victoria). 


Mia Bolanos as Dona Victorina, Oliver Pineda as Tenyente Guevarra and Micah Galang as Andeng


Timothy Racho as Alferez and Ruzzel Clemeno as Don Filipo


Tomas Virtucio Jr. as Albino and Rare Jireh Columna as Victoria

The large ensemble includes Roxanne Abuel, Neomi Giron, Eden Dumlao, Sheila Gamo, Ma. Rovelyn Bautista, Criselda Go, Ma. Blanca Buesa, Charina Balmores, Katrine Sunga, Angelica Benipayo, Ma. Arielle Tuason, Erielle Fornes, Ma. Vicella Villasin, Ma. Pilar Ramos, Marifel Motilla, Jose Mari Jovato, Jose Miguel Espiritu, Lorenz Sarrondo, Renz Cruz, Airo Saret, Francisco de Guzman Jr., Mark Morales, Kevin Jeremy, John del Rosario, and Joseph Billeza.

Jerry Sibal, Co-director/Producer of Noli Me Tangere The Opera

Co-directed by New York-based event stylist Jerry Sibal, who also does the set design and costumes, and veteran actor-director Jose Jeffrey Camanag, featuring the 53-piece NOLI Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Herminigildo Ranera, “Noli Me Tangere, The Opera,” which is based on the National Hero Dr. Jose Rizal's 1887 classic novel of the same name, tells the timeless story about love, betrayal, and hope set against a repulsive backdrop of tyranny, torture, and murder.

The opera in Three Acts follows Juan Crisostomo Ibarra who returns to the Philippines after pursuing scholarly studies in Europe. He plans to open up a school and marry Maria Clara, his betrothed. However, parish priest Padre Damaso, the archenemy of the Ibarras, is out to hinder Crisostomo's plans. “Noli Me Tangere” depicts the abuses suffered by the native Indios at the hands of Spanish tyrants.  The opera paints a clear picture of the so-called “social cancer” that illustrates the rotten system of governance, the illicit way of the church, and the infavorable trade of the privileged class.

The artistic and design team for this much-awaited production also includes Raul Sunico, artistic director; Albert Figueras, co-costume designer; Joseph Matheu, lighting designer; Ronan Ferrer, vocal coach and choirmaster; Dingdong Fiel, pianist and assistant musical director; Marty Tabio and Glendel  Dacumos, technical directors, and Jojo Casim, project director.“

Expect a brand-new production of the 'Noli Opera.' We will be using LED walls instead of mapping projections alongside physical set pieces, which create a more 'cinematic' look and feel,” says Sibal. “Although it's very expensive to mount this opera, ambitious even, we'd like this new production to be more affordable to students* (*tickets at 50% off, suggested by CCP) and the art enthusiasts.“

Together with my partner, Edwin Josue, this is our advocacy project. We're committed to promoting our arts and language, our culture and heritage, especially this beautiful work of our National Artists Felipe P. De Leon and Guillermo Tolentino.”

Major sponsors and media partners include LumoXChange, Ilustrado Restaurant, Philippine Women's University, RiteMed, People's Journal, People's Tonight, Women's Journal. PTV, Chinoy TV,, SkedSearch, Fab Manila. 98.7 DZFE, Wazzup Pilipinas, and Mark Francis Parallag Photography.

The opera is performed with English supertitles.

Performances: March 8 (Fri.-Gala), 8 p.m., March 9 (Sat.-Matinee), 2 p.m., and March 10 (Sun.-Matinee), 2 p.m.

Ticket Prices: Gala: Orchestra Center –P3,500, Orchestra Side/Parterre –P2,800, Balcony 1 Center-P1,500, Balcony 1 Center -P1,500, Balcony I Side –P1,200, and Balcony II Center & Side –P1,000

Matinee: Orchestra Center –P2,800, Orchestra Side/Parterre –P2,300, Balcony I Center –P1,400, Balcony I Side –P1,200, and Balcony II Center & Side –P900 

50% off for students, 20% discount for senior citizens, PWD, government and military personnel

Ticket Outlets: J&S Productions Inc. (0947) 168-1714, (0915) 819-3459, or (02) 998-2356, CCP Box Office 02 8323704/06, or TicketWorld 02 891 9999,

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