Libera to celebrate Phl-UK friendship

SOUNDS FAMILIAR - Baby A. Gil - The Philippine Star

This is such a wonderful way to usher in this year’s Christmas season and to celebrate other important occasions. Libera, the world famous boy choir from London, will be back in town for performances in Manila and Cebu.

Libera will return to the stage of the PICC Plenary Hall at the CCP Complex on Oct. 29, for the concert, Libera, Asia’s Best Loved Boys Choir. They will also join in the festivities for the Philippine-UK Friendship Week. Then they will be at the chapel of San Pedro Calungsod at the SM Seaside, South Road Properties in Cebu to mark the first anniversary of the canonization of the young Filipino martyr. They will, of course, be bringing along their beautiful music to these events.

There has always been something uniquely appealing about the soprano voices of young boys. Music lovers knew this in the churches and concert halls of long ago. We know it now as we marvel in the likes of the Vienna Boys Choir and Libera. We listen to their songs and we think, this must be what angels sound like, so pure and heavenly. This is why we look forward to their performances and relish the quiet moments they bring. We think of them as antidotes to the mindless chatter around us, to the noise that tries to pass itself off as music and to the evils that have become seemingly insurmountable.

Such is how I see Libera. I brought my Christmas albums out of storage a few days ago and one of those that I was truly excited to hear again was The Libera Christmas Album. There is nothing earthshaking about it. Just a mix of the recent, like White Christmas, Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas and the traditional Christmas carols like Veni, Veni Emmanuel and In Dulci Jubilo, with simple arrangements. But then, it is Libera singing and the effect is magical.

This is why, although the songs are heard for the first time in this CD, Still, Still, Still and Sing The Story, both co-written by Libera director Robert Prizeman, come across as much-loved Christmas carols from long ago. Fact is the whole album seems to have been produced to accompany Yuletide celebrations to remember. Every cut is a gem and the shiniest of all for me is Lullabye (Goodnight My Angel). Just in case you do not know, this is a Billy Joel song and Libera has made it truly enchanting.

 I hope that Libera will do some Christmas songs in their shows. I am also looking forward to once again getting that goosey feeling when they sing our very own Bayan Ko. Maybe, they can also add one or two more Filipino songs in their repertoire. But even if they don’t, their rendition of the classical like the works of Bach, Mozart or Saint Saens, church favorites and pop hits like Enya’s Orinoco Flow will make for a most delightful evening.

Libera is not only a choir, but also a charitable organization that performs and tours to raise funds to help the needy all over the world. Part of the proceeds from Manila show will go to the Children’s Hour, the BAA Foundation for Disadvantaged Children and to the victims of Typhoon Maring. Libera’s local show last year is the reason that there is now a beautiful playground that the kids of Children’s Hour can enjoy. Log on to www.ticketworld.com,ph for tickets to the shows. The Libera, Asia’s Best Loved Boys’ Choir show is produced by Concertus Manila.

Incidentally, also part of this year’s commemoration of the Philippine-UK Friendship Month will be the premiere of the movie Metro Manila, directed by Sean Ellis, which will be held tonight, Oct. 4 at Megamall; the launch of the UK Book Month on Oct. 21; the live performance of Shakespeare’s Macbeth by the National Theater; and the Chevening Scholarship on Oct. 23.

For more great music, watch out, too, for these shows: Get your fill of hits from the ’70s and ’80s eras with Back2Back2Back featuring Stephen Bishop, On and On, It Might Be You; Michael Johnson, I’ll Always Love You, Bluer Than Blue; Joe Guetta of Ambrosia, Holding On To Yesterday, I Just Can’t Let Go; and our very own Side A, Forevermore, So Many Questions at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Oct. 18 and at the University of Southeastern Philippines in Davao City on Oct. 26. Tickets are now available at www.ticketnet.com or Ticketnet 911-5555 or Viva Concerts 687-7236. This is presented by Viva Live and Redstone Productions.

Come Nov. 8, it will be the turn of the famous pop rock band Matchbox20 to entertain Pinoys in a most special one-night only gig presented by MMI Live. Led by Rob Thomas of Smooth fame, the group will perform at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City. Matchbox20 is famous for such tunes as Beat, Unwell, If You’re Gone and the latest singles from the North album, Put Your Hands Up and She’s So Mean. Go to any SM Ticket outlet or visit www.smtickets.com for tickets to the show.











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