‘Noli Me Tangere’ – The Filipino Musical

‘Noli Me Tangere’ – The Filipino Musical

The Filipinos have emerged to the limelight after Lea Salonga’s Miss Saigon. Lea Salonga played Kim, the lead role in the musical Miss Saigon. Her performance opened the doors for the talents of Filipino artists. Now, the Filipinos are recognized not only for their talent but also for their culture and their history as Noli Me Tangere (read a summary of Noli Me Tangere at , written by Dr. Jose Rizal, took its way to the stage.

Noli Me Tangere means “Touch Me Not”. A group of fearless producers has not stalled to take on “Noli Me Tangere,” which is now referred to as the very first full-length opera in Filipino created in the Western operatic custom.

Noli Me Tangere – Summary

August 2014, the Eisenhower Theater at Kennedy Center hosted a couple of shows of “Noli Me Tangere”. The show is a story of affection, conspiracy, and nationalism that occurred in the Philippines at the time of Spanish colonialism. The show had been complemented with a full-blown orchestra rolling out Felipe Padilla de Leon. The ensemble will sing the libretto in Filipino Tagalog by Guillermo Tolentino with English subtitles. The D.C. proposal, that’s shown through the MAFFAA (Mid Atlantic Foundation for Asian Artists), comes after the staging of the opera in 2013 New York City, showcasing the majority of the same performers.

“Noli Me Tangere” is “one thing that is absolutely comparable to a number of the superb operas that we find taken from the West,” affirms Edward A. Seidel, MAFFAA president, and a self-announced lifelong opera fan.

“The combination of music goes through you,” said exec producer Edwin Josue, looking at de Leon’s score as that of Puccini.

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Initially performed in the year 1957, the opera pulls its tale from Jose Rizal’s novel “Noli Me Tangere” (1887). Jose Rizal is the Philippines’ nationalist hero. Rizal can be compared to George Washington of the United States history.

The novel describes abuses done by people in authority including the priests of the Catholic Church during the Spanish era of colonial rule which presents itself frequently on school premises in the Philippines setting. In comparison, in the United States, in which viewers might be less acquainted with Rizal’s manuscripts, Josue said, the opera could very well act as a melodious summary of “a vitally important novel authored by a national hero who also sacrificed his life in favor of the Filipino people and their independence.”