Cinemalaya Best Actor will hear first operatic aria in concert at Nelly Garden
Cello prodigy Damodar Das Castillo being cheered by Nelly Garden audience led by Sen. Franklin Drilon
Cinemalaya Best Actor will hear first operatic aria in concert at Nelly Garden
Pablo A. Tariman (The Philippine Star) - December 6, 2019 - 12:00am

The 2019 Cinemalaya Best Actor Jansen Magpusao and John Denver Trending director Arden Rod Condez are special guests of honor in the Nelly Garden closing concert  tomorrow, Dec. 7, 6:30 p.m. in Iloilo City.

John Denver Trending has recently competed at the Just Film Youth Competition, the biggest sub-festival of PÖFF (Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival).

By coincidence, the second distinguished artist to perform at the Nelly Garden Iloilo Concert Series after Cecile Licad is a first prize winner of the Talinn Young Musician Competition in Talinn, Estonia this year.

He is no other than Damodar Das Castillo who performed last Aug. 17 with pianist Dingdong Fiel and received a standing ovation.

The 11-year-old musician, who is now studying with Barbara Leubke at the Mozarteum University in Salzburg, Austria, won the competition with his performance of Haydn’s Cello Concerto in C Major at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theater. He also received a diploma for eminent style, as well as one for the best performance of a virtuoso piece.

Direk Arden said the Dec. 7 concert will be the first time the young actor will hear operatic arias in the historic heritage house in Iloilo City.

The closing concert is a musical tribute to Ilonggo tenor Otoniel Gonzaga, the first and last Filipino tenor to sing Verdi’s Otello.

Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas will deliver the welcome remarks.

Declared a national landmark in 2004 by the National Historical Commission, Nelly Garden is also referred to as the Queen of Heritage Houses. The elegant mansion, owned by businessman and philanthropist Don Vicente Lopez and Elena Hofileña in the Jaro district in Iloilo City, has a colorful life linked with music and the city’s illustrious past.

John Denver Trending director Rod Arden Condez (rightmost) with (from left) producer Sonny Calvento and actors Jansen Magpusao and Meryll Soriano at the Busan filmfest

The heritage house was built in 1928 on the same decade the Manila Symphony Orchestra was born in 1926. The mansion was only a year old when violinist Gilopez Kabayao was born in Fabrica, Negros Occidental in 1929.

Named after the eldest daughter Nelly, the heritage house became a historic venue for reunion of Iloilo’s music and arts lovers when the world-acclaimed Licad opened a concert series on Nov. 29, 2018 with an all-Chopin recital that earned three standing ovations.

For tickets to the Dec. 7 concert featuring tenor Nomher Nival, soprano Jasmin Salvo, clarinetist Andrew Constantino and pianist Gabriel Allan Paguirigan, text 0906-5104270.

The historic Nelly Garden in Iloilo City: A perfect setting for sequel of Quezon’s Game


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