Foreign Artists in Rigoletto at CCP

The full length opera ‘Rigoletto’ by Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi will be staged on August 22 at 7 pm and August 24 at 3 pm at the CCP Main Theater. The title role will be played by internationally acclaimed and multi-awarded Korean baritone Daesan No, with soprano Yun Kyoung Yi and tenor Jae Wook Lee in the other major roles. Other performers include Filipino noted vocalists Ronan Ferrer, Nenen Espina, Thea Perez, Jun Francis Jaranilla, Noel Azcona, and the male members of the Coro Tomasino. Musical Director Jae Joon Lee will conduct the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra while Floy Quintos will be the stage director. The opera is presented by the CCP in cooperation with the Filipino Opera Society Foundation Inc., Bohol Restoration Group, and the Rustan Group of Companies.

‘Rigoletto’, an opera in four acts, is considered by many to be the first of Verdi’s masterpieces during the latter part of his career. Its tragic story revolves around the licentious Duke of Mantua, his hunchback court jester Rigoletto, and Rigoletto’s beautiful daughter Gilda. The opera’s original title, La Maledizione (The Curse), refers to the curse placed on both the Duke and Rigoletto by a courtier whose daughter had been seduced by the Duke with Rigoletto’s encouragement. The curse comes to fruition when Gilda likewise falls in love with the Duke and eventually sacrifices her life to save him from the assassins hired by her father.

Ms. Yi has been a multi-awarded singer both in Korea and abroad. In 2002, she won the Grand Prix at the 4th ‘Gotaeguk Voice Competition’ in Busan as well as the Best Prize at the 20th ‘National Voice Competition’ sponsored by the Korea Music Association. She captured the second prize at the 9th ‘National Suri Music Competition’ and the top female prize in the 29th ‘Jungang Music competition’. She was the finalist at the 4th ‘De Nardis International voice competition’ (Italy), as well as finalist and special prize winner at the 44th ‘Japan-Italy voice competition'(Japan). She emerged as the second prize winner at the 37th Bellini international competition'(Italy), where no first prize was awarded.

Daesan No is a graduate of the Peabody Conservatory of Music and the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia. He has performed the role of Falstaff in Tanglewood under the baton of Seiji Ozawa, the lead role in Rigoletto and Leporello in Don Giovanni with the Lyric Opera of San Antonio, Scarpia in Puccini’s Tosca and Escamillo in Carmen with the New York City Opera and Opera Grand Rapids. He had performed with the BBC National Orchestra at the Barbican Hall in London, the Montreal Symphony, and the Mexico Symphony Orchestra at the Palacio de Bellas Artes.

Jae Wook Lee has performed in numerous operas in Italy, Singapore, Philippines, Ecuador, and South Korea, portraying lead roles in Verdi’s La Traviata, Rigoletto, and Nabucco, Puccini’s La Boheme, Turandot, Madame Butterfly, and Manon Lescaut, Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor and L’Elisir d’Amore, Mozart’s Doe Zauberflote and Cosi fan Tutte, Strauss’ Die Fledermaus, Lehar’s The Merry Widow, Bizet’s Carmen, Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmelites, and Korean operas Choon Hyang Jean and Guibyang. He had also given recitals in Italy, Germany, China, Japan, Singapore, Hongkong, South America, and South Korea. A first prize winner in the National Vocal Competition in Korea, he was also a laureate in the International Competitions of Montserrat Caballe, Rosetum, and Nino Carta.

Yun Kyoung Yi, Daesan No, and Jae Wook Lee had performed in Manila during the CCP’s highly acclaimed production of Verdi’s ‘La Traviata in 2013. In March 2014, Ms. Yi and Mr. No were featured with the UST Symphony Orchestra concert at the CCP Main Theater as soloists in the monumental Symphony no. 9 of Beethoven. They also performed together during the same period of their Philippine visit at the Ayala Museum in a joint song recital.