Berta Rojas
Reviews

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Perfectly attuned

Berta Rojas, Paraguay's tourism ambassador and star of the classical guitar, held her audience in awe with her amazing guitar. Guitarist and guitar worked so well together - synthesis or symbiosis? - it was hard to tell what one would or could do without the other. I for one with my limited experience as a concert goer have not watched another guitarist who could draw such warmly golden tones out of a piece of wood! Nor have I encountered a guitar more sonorous or more deeply throated; listening to this one guitar was equivalent to listening to a choir of them! How the artist created ripples of melodies, soon turning them into cascades of liquidly streaming notes that then built up into a tsunami, enveloping, enfolding her listeners like water embracing a deep-sea swimmer. Her shapely fingers glided over its six strings, occasionally slapping or tapping its face (thus producing another kind of sound) as she bent over her instrument with much affection, with much playful seriousness (or serious playfulness). Picture her sending off a flurry of butterflies flitting from England to Paraguay as intended by the English composer Vincent Lindsey-Clark; or sitting alone by her window to gaze at Estrellita twinkling overhead as intended by the genius of the guitar, Manuel Ponce; or graciously including a Filipino love song by Ernani Cuenco, "Gaano Ko Ikaw Kamahal"; and the reader can guess what a lovely time it was to be at Meralco Theater. Ms. Rojas' one-night-only performance was all of two years in the making, for which a wad of thanks must be paid the Arts Council of Cebu, the producers, Ramoncito Carpio, himself an accomplished player of the classical guitar, Viking Logarta, and Claudine Najera, and the sponsors who shared the costs of the guest's accommodations and other details major and minor. While impresarios bring in balladeers and pop stars from overseas and charge P30,000 for a front-row seat, how lucky are we on the other side of the fence to watch musicians trained in classical music for a fraction of that price? Ms. Rojas ended the evening on a harmonious note by reporting that Filipinos are active and important participants in guitar competitions wherever in the world they are held.

Julie Yap Daza
Tempo Philippines Newspaper Tabloid
[ Philippine ]