Bo & Robert: A touch of theater and comedy
Chuck Smith (The Philippine Star) - February 9, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - After doing a number of stage shows in the past, Robert Seña and Bo Cerrudo enter the competitive Valentine’s Day concert scene.

Robert and Bo will take on standard love songs, classic OPM ballads and Broadway tunes in Valentine Serenades on Feb. 13 at the Solaire Grand Ballroom in Parañaque City. The two artists know their type of music may not be the usual fare of those who frequent Valentine’s Day concerts — specifically, the young and the in-love — but they know their audience.

“That’s why we perform in a casino. That’s our market,” Bo jokes in a press conference held recently. But Robert adds the concert will also highlight their kalog side to appeal to a broader audience. “You’ll be amazed that when we did a show in Teatrino, even the younger ones really enjoyed it,” he says. It helps that Valentine Serenades, unlike the usual concert, will have “a story to tell in music,” as written by Bibeth Orteza.

So, the concert will have something for everyone, Bo says. GMA 7 artist Aicelle Santos and newcomer Rafa Siguion-Reyna are among the show’s guest performers.

Valentine Serenades, they joke, is not inspired by the hit gay-themed soap opera My Husband’s Lover despite the show being headlined by two male singers. “There will be lots of duets but we won’t be looking at each other when we do it,” Robert quips.

But more importantly, the show, as Bo describes it, will be a “fusion of musical theater and concertizing.” “So it’s not just basic concert or basic musical theater,” he adds. “We put them all together since Robert and I have been doing concerts and musicals for more than two decades already. So it’s about time we do something like this, something different.”

Between Bo and Robert are more than two decades of performing in concerts and the theater stage here and abroad; the former recently starred in the musical The King and I while the latter is part of PETA’s Aegis-inspired musical Rak of Aegis.

Their background in theater, of course, informs and improves their performance as concert artists. Aside from the experience, doing theater gives them the proper discipline and tools that singers need to properly utilize their voice.

Robert relates his experience while in London’s West End for the musical Miss Saigon. “Yung ginawa namin sa West End, can you imagine three years tuloy-tuloy? You need to have that kind of technique — yung opening ng throat mo, how you sing — para ma-prolong mo yung voice mo.”

That’s why, Robert believes, proper vocal training is important even for those who are already professionals in the business of music.

He adds, “Importante talaga ang training for a singer. Kahit ano talagang sabihin mo, importante yung vocal training, vocal lessons. At least the discipline is there. You’ll be amazed. May mga nakasama akong famous singers, pop singers — ang gaganda talaga ng boses. But when they do musicals, two weeks pa lang wala ng boses.” 

“Sa voice training, it’s about the discipline and prolonging of the voice,” Bo says. “Yung mga hindi nag-aral, let’s face it, they have the talent. Pero pag tinamaan ng sipon yan, tapos na. Malat na malat na yan.”

Other performers in Valentine Serenades include Richard Merk and Rachelle Ann Wolfe.

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