Lovebirds Lara Maigue and Gian Magdangal sing to woodwinds at CCP

Lovebirds Lara Maigue and Gian Magdangal are set to perform at the Cultural Center of the Philippines’ Black Box theater on 27 to 28 October. The two have been quietly sweethearts since 2021 when they co-wrote the song “Liyab” and recorded it for ABS-CBN’s Star Magic.

Their romance is not clandestine. They have appeared twice on the ABS-CBN morning show Magandang Buhay. They are both managed by Ogie Alcasid’s A-Team, and Ogie’s wife, Regine Velasquez, is among the three hosts of Magandang Buhay, along with Melai Cantiveros and Jolina Magdangal, a first cousin of Gian.

The pair, both well-known singers, will perform with a woodwind quintet as the CCP’s third offering of its Out-of-the-Box Series launched in June this year.

The quintet is a resident sub-group at the CCP, part of the larger resident company the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra. The quintet, which can be booked for engagements in between PPO concerts at the CCP, plays both classical and pop (including Broadway hits and movie themes).

Maigue, 31, belts out opera arias (she’s a coloratura soprano) as easily as she warbles pop songs. The highly visible classical crossover singer is the daughter of coloratura soprano Nanette Moscardon and composer-arranger Ruben Maigue.

Maigue has the reputation of belting out Mozart’s “Queen of the Night” sitting down at the tail-end of a party where she had had some glasses of wine. The Instagram, X and Facebook video of that seemingly tipsy singing has reached 10 million views.

Magdangal, 41, on the other hand, was a boyband member in his late teens in the ‘90s before emerging as one of the country’s top lead actors in musicals, such as in the recent Ang Huling El Bimbo and Carousel.

He and VIVA Hot Babes’ Sheree (Bautista_ used to be a twosome for years. After they separated, he worked at Hong Kong Disneyland as a performer. Magdangal and Sheree have a son who’s now 13 and who gets along well with Maigue, according to his dad.


Unconventional programming

The CCP Out-Of-The-Box Series offers unconventional programming for adventurous artists and audiences. The series’ latest offering is billed as “Wondrous Woodwind.”

According to concert director Ariel Yonzon: “The concert offers an opportunity for the Filipino audience to hear the woodwind outside of the symphony orchestra. Woodwind instruments – flute, clarinet, oboe, bassoon and French horn – have their own distinct individual sounds that blend in unique ways to create amazing music. In spite of this, there isn’t much available content that features them. This concert allows us to churn out new and specialized arrangements for the woodwinds, to engage the audience with a different musicscape.”

The Woodwind Quintet is composed of bassoonist Frenvee Andra, oboe player John Peter Bautista, French horn player Ernani Pascual, flutist Marie Poblete and clarinetist Ariel Sta. Ana.

For this concert, the PPO Woodwind Quintet will play familiar selections of classical music, including Johann Sebastian Bach’s Fugue in G minor, Jacques Ibert’s Trois Pièces Brèves, Astor Piazzolla’s Libertango (Arr. Jeff Scott) and Zequinha Abreu’s Tico Tico no Fubá.

They will also share well-loved Filipino tunes such as Edgardo Parungao’s Philippine Airs Medley, National Artist Lucio San Pedro’s Sa Ugoy ng Duyan and an Ernani Cuenco medley featuring Kalesa, Nahan, Bato sa Buhangin and Gaano Kita Kamahal.

Maigue will sing, among others, Giulio Caccini’s Ave Maria, while Magdangal will cover National Artist Ryan Cayabyab’s Hibang sa Awit. The real-life couple will perform a Taylor Swift duet.

Dancers Bianca Manalo, Abigael Tinio, and Brando Balmedina will also be on stage in spot numbers.