BY Minka Klaudia S. Tiangco
Resorts World Manila (RWM) has venues where both local and foreign artists can showcase their craft and for guests to get their music fix: the Newport Performing Arts Theater (NPAT) and El Calle Food & Music Hall.
NPAT has seen the concerts of several renowned Filipino artists, including Gary Valenciano and Zsa Zsa Padilla. On Aug. 30 and 31, Lea Salonga will hold a concert there in time for its 10th anniversary.
As for foreign artists, count Air Supply and Vertical Horizon in.
Some plays and musicals have also been staged at NPAT. Latest of these is “Ang Huling El Bimbo,” the hit musical featuring songs of the Eraserheads, arguably the most iconic ’90s Pinoy band.
The 1,500-seat-theater boasts of having the biggest LED screen in Asia and the widest stage in the Philippines. It is equipped with two Euro-LED screens with built-in 3D effects, a complex fly system, and a revolving stage. The theater also has state-of-the-art lights and digital audio systems, said Martin Paz, RWM’s chief integrated marketing officer.
Inspired by the success of NPAT, the integrated resort came up with another venue for artists. With homey and casual ambiance. El Calle Food & Music Hall formally opened on the second floor of the Newport Mall in April last year.
“El Calle Food and Music Hall’s concept is inspired by the typical Pinoy hang out both cozy and fun because of food and music. We wanted to preserve that Pinoy spirit while showcasing the best acoustic talents from all over the country,” Paz said.
Some of the artists who’ve performed there are Clara Benin, South Border, Luke Mejares, and Barbie Almalbis. Aside from the special shows, two acts perform at El Calle every night.
Selecting who gets to perform on these venues is tough. Try-outs for El Calle performances are overseen by the resort’s entertainment department, while NPAT theater production auditions are led by Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo, dubbed the First Lady of Philippine Musical Theater, and veteran stage actor and director Michael Williams.
In 2015, RWM started giving back to the OPM community by establishing the Original Pilipino Performing Arts Foundation (OPPA) that grants scholarships to “deserving” students taking up performing arts courses in college. To date, 49 scholars under the foundation are enrolled in seven of its partner schools.