The National Council for Culture Arts and Letters (NCCAL) under the patronage of Secretary General Ali Al-Youha and in association with the Philippine Embassy in Kuwait organized a musical concert showcasing the University of the Philippines Madrigal Singers (MADZ), a highly acclaimed choir group.
The event happened on 7 September at the Abdulhussain Abdulredha Theatre in Salmiya with a large audience comprised of Philippines Ambassador to Kuwait H.E. Renato Pedro Villa and members of the diplomatic corps, distinguished guests as well as Kuwaiti and Filipino nationals.
The group participated in another show for the Filipino community on Saturday, 10 September at the Movenpick Convention and Royal Suites in Shuwaikh, which was organized by the Philippine Embassy in collaboration with the International Trade Holdings Company, KSC.
In a semicircle arrangement, a trademark of their performance, MADZ delivered an engaging and cohesive vocal spectacle. Their performance featured many harmonious renditions of a number of hit songs that included Giaochino Rossini’s ‘William Tell Overture’, Bruno Mars’ ‘Marry You’, Cyndi Lauper’s ‘True Colors’ and John Legend’s ‘All of Me’, and threw in some popular Philippine folk songs into the mix. By being richly stylistic and infusing an emotive range into their singing, they filled their versions with many unique elements. Moreover, the synergy of the chorus was brilliant and achieved a pleasant balance that showed a new understanding of the music in a confident and expressive performance.
Their recital of the Filipino love song ‘Bukas na lang kita Mamahalin’ was expressively emotional before they transitioned to a more upbeat pace of ‘Da Coconut Nut’ that encouraged laughter from the audience. The finale, the recreation of the sights and sounds of the African jungle which blended with Elton John’s “Circle of Life,” sung in an effervescent lively blend concluded the concert with a thunderous applause.
Each member through their own vocals elevated and strengthened the base of the songs. The audience found the chorus group’s performance riveting and gave them standing ovations.
Many audience members expressed their appreciation for the concert and stated it was a wonderful evening. On their part, the Madz group expressed their delight that their first concert in Kuwait was a huge success and was grateful to the audience for attending.
The Philippine Madrigal Singers are an illustrious group that was formed in 1963 and are comprised of students, faculty and alumni from different colleges of the University of the Philippines (UP). The troupe has built a sterling reputation by winning high honors in many prestigious international choir competitions, namely Arezzo and Gorizia in Italy, Marktoberdorf in Germany, Spittal in Austria, Neuchatel in Switzerland, Cantonigros, Tolosa and Torrevieja in Spain.
Recently, they were awarded for their sublime recital in Arezzo, Italy where they received the grand prize in the 64th International Choral Competition, qualifying them to compete in the prestigious European Grand Prix to be held in Tolosa, Spain in 2017.
They own the distinction of being the first choir in the world to win the European Grand Prix for Choral Singing twice in 1997 and 2007. The Madz have had the privilege of having renowned personalities as their audience, and those include Pope Paul VI, Pope John Paul II and United States President Barack Obama.