Tenor Noel Espiritu Velasco with mezzo-soprano Gigi Mitchell in concert at UP Music


UP College of Music greets 2013 with a memorable concert of art songs that express humanity’s most universal yet perplexing emotion: love. Slated on Tuesday, January 29, 2013, 6:30 PM at the famous Abelardo Hall Auditorium of UP College of Music, the concert showcases interpretations of heart-rending art songs (half of them by Filipino composers) by world-class singers, lyric spinto tenor Noel Espiritu Velasco with partner, mezzo-soprano Gigi Mitchell-Velasco. UP Faculty Augusto Espino collaborates on the piano.

Mr. Velasco is considered “one of the Philippines’ national treasures,” having won the prestigious Pavarotti International Voice Competition. His voice is famous for its expressivity, artistry, elegance, style, and meaningfulness. To his credit are hundreds of commanding performances of roles in well-loved operas by Verdi, Puccini, Donizetti, Bizet, Debussy and Richard Strauss in some of the best opera houses in the contemporary world and in concert appearances with outstanding symphonic orchestras, from New York, London, Rome, Paris to Ekaterinburg.

Ms. Mitchell-Velasco, Mr. Velasco’s artistic partner of over 30 years, is also an international opera singer whose voice is ideally suited to the German romantic repertoire. Her rendition of Mahler’s Kindertotenlieder was described by New York Times critic Tommasini to be “dark-hued sound and elegant.” A reviewer for Wall Street Journal also called her a “most finished artist, sensitive to every name of the text.” Formerly trained flutist at Curtis Institute of Music (where Mr. Velasco also earned an Artist Diploma in Voice), Ms. Mitchell-Velasco has an extensive concert history to her credit, the latest one being a performance of a song “Field of the Dead” in Prokofiev’s film score Alexander Nevsky at the Masachussetts International Festival of the Arts last November.

Admission ticket to the Abelardo Hall Concert is 300 pesos, with 50% discount to students with valid IDs and 20% to Senior Citizens. The travel of the Velascos to the Philippines has been generously provided by Francis Padron and members of the New Horizon Singers. For ticket reservations, please call Josie Baradas at 9296963 or 9818500 local 2639.