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Child prodigy is front act for Julio Iglesias

Eleven-year-old classical singer Kris John Paul Gonzales

MANILA, Philippines - Iconic concert act Julio Iglesias is coming to Manila for an intimate show at the Manila Hotel Tent. He’ll probably be surprised that one of the scheduled front acts is so young. 

On April 6, the 11-year-old classical music singer Kris John Paul Gonzales is performing at the concert of one of music history’s best-selling artists. His inclusion should solicit cheers (or more appropriately, rattling of jewelry) from members of high-class society since it’s them regularly witnessing his immense talent that made him a sought-after act for gatherings of this scale. 

Iconic concert act Julio Iglesias is coming to Manila for an intimate show on April 6

“I’m really thankful that I’m performing with him,” Kris told The STAR in a dinner chat. “I’m very excited and a little nervous.” 

The superbly skilled soprano already developed a niche as entertainer to the famous and powerful, having performed at several social occasions featuring influential people of high taste. With his multi-lingual set list of Broadway and opera pieces, he has earned praises singing at various special events like those hosted by former First Lady Imelda Marcos, the book launch for Rudy Fernandez biography, the party staged by Gov. Chavit Singson for boxing icon Manny Pacquiao, and the Ayala, Alabang fundraising event featuring President Noynoy Aquino. 

In December 2011, Kris appeared as special guest act of operatic tenor Sal Malaki at the last leg of the latter’s concert series dubbed Christmas Showers of Grace. Then Valentine’s Day last year, he was the front act of Engelbert Humperdinck at the legendary singer’s show held also at the Manila Hotel. 

His upcoming front act gig promises to top everything he has achieved by far, considering the level of respect and fame Iglesias commands all over the world.  

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The pre-teen, who is blessed with a pleasing personality and supportive parents, pointed out, “Classical music calms you down. That’s why I like it. It refreshes you.” 

Kris is the son of Noel Gonzales and wife Eileen; their family being behind Muebles Italiano which sells high-end furniture. Noel quipped that with his son becoming more and more in-demand as a performer, he’s found an extra job selling concert tickets to socialite clients. 

In 2009, the talented boy was at the concert of “Pianist to the Presidents” David Osborne called The Keys To Your Heart, likewise held at the classy-looking Tent. Osborne carved such reputation having performed in the White House a number of times, with whoever is seated serving as the most precious member of the audience. 

Kris, who wants to take up drama, expressed admiration for internationally recognized singer-thespian Lea Salonga whom he was able to meet in person for two separate occasions. “I love everything about her,” he said. Perhaps, he’ll be singing Lea’s pop hit Journey at the Iglesias show. 

Iglesias is flying to Manila as part of his World Tour 2013. The dinner-concert, made possible by Manila Hotel and Aces Marine and Links Corp, is being put up for the benefit of Manila Friendship Lions Club 301-A1 and Joy of Living Foundation. The April 6 show, which also tapped the highly-respected Pilita Corrales as opener, starts at 9 p.m. 

(For details, call the Manila Hotel banquet sales at nos. 527-0011 or 668-2179/ 438-7200.)

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