EVER since Ayala Land, Inc. (ALI) planned in 2012 to convert the old Sta. Ana racetrack into Circuit Makati, it also aimed to position itself as an arts, entertainment, and culture district in the city. In service of this aim, ALI has opened the new Samsung Performing Arts Theater.
Ayala Land had been working on the project since 2017, and it was originally slated to open in June 2020.
“It’s very important for audiences to access the facility,” Samsung Performing Arts Theater Managing Director, Christopher Mohnani said during the press launch and tour on July 5. “We are in the middle of a place where you have lifestyle options, dining options, and amusement options. That is also great because, before and after watching a performance, you have other stuff that you can do.”
“We wanted to also have a theater that could host world class performances,” Ayala Land Vice-President Mel Ignacio said. “Circuit [Makati] is the most appropriate location because it is positioned to be the arts, culture, and entertainment district for Makati.
“Samsung supported the construction of the theater with a sponsorship…[Samsung] is known for their technological innovations and they are also a supporter of the arts. They have supported venues all over the world,” Ms. Ignacio said.
Designed by US-based Theatre Projects Consultants, and sound design experts Akustiks, in partnership with GF & Partners Architects and architects from Calliston RTKL, the Samsung Performing Arts Theater has 10 floors and features a 1,500-seat performance facility divided into four sections: orchestra, lodge, balcony 1, and balcony 2. Its stage is built with Harlequin sprung floors.
The theater’s back of house facilities include a rehearsal hall the same size as the performance space, and dressing rooms that house 90 mirrors.
The building’s other facilities include a ticket booth, a souvenir shop, and the Cua Patrons Lounge — a private function room for intimate gatherings. It also has concession areas on all floors with theater entrances, and restrooms on each side of the building in every level.
“We envision this to be the home of the Filipino and the global talent. This is a venue that can go toe-to-toe with the best performing arts venues all over the world. We want this to be a venue where Filipino artists will be proud to perform in. We want them to feel a sense of prestige,” Ms. Ignacio said.
THE INAUGURAL SHOWS
The new theater will be officially launched on July 14 with an 8 p.m. performance 8 p.m. featuring Philippine theater performers Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo, Bituin Escalante, Shiela Valderrama, Christian Bautista, Rachelle Gerodias, Gab Pangilinan, Irma Adlawan, Bart Guingona, Jamie Wilson, Reb Atadero, Myke Salomon, Steps Dance Studio, the Mandaluyong Children’s Choir, and the Manila Symphony Orchestra. The performance will also feature the cast of the Filipino musical Mula Sa Buwan and a video presentation from the touring production of We Will Rock You. Mula sa Buwan and international musical We Will Rock You are the first shows to be staged at the Samsung Performing Arts Theater.
The event is open to the public. For tickets, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mula sa Buwan will run from Aug. 26 to Sept. 11. Based on Edmond Rostand’s Cyrano de Bergerac and Soc Rodrigo’s Filipino translation, the musical is set in 1940s Manila. It follows the heartbreaking love story between Cyrano, Roxane, and Christian amid the war. Directed by Pat Valera, it features original lyrics and music by William Elvin Manzano and Pat Valera, who also wrote the book.
The musical’s performance on Sept. 4, 7:30 p.m., will have Filipino Sign Language (FSL) interpreters together with subtitles. For details, visit msbtickets.net/communityshow.
Meanwhile, the reimagined production of the musical We Will Rock You, brought in by GMG Productions, will run from Oct. 27 to Nov 20. The musical follows two revolutionaries as they try to save rock ‘n’ roll in a post-apocalyptic world, and features 24 of rock band Queen’s biggest hits, including “Under Pressure,” “We Are the Champions,” “Radio Ga Ga,” “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “Another One Bites the Dust,” and “We Will Rock You.” The production is directed and choreographed by Olivier Award nominee Nick Winston. Tickets are available at ticketworld.com.ph or 8891-9999.
In compliance with COVID-19 health and safety protocols, masks wearing, presentation of vaccination cards, and temperature checks are required upon entry. — Michelle Anne P. Soliman