Sylvia La Torre and ‘apo’ to perform with Filipino American Symphony Orchestra (FASO)

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    Sylvia La Torre and ‘apo’ to perform with Filipino American Symphony Orchestra (FASO)


    Los Angeles – Sylvia La Torre at 83 is an inspiration to all women. Her joie de vivre and love for music keep the TV, film, radio and stage legend looking young and timeless.

    She still has that twinkle in her eye – this woman who is behind such classic songs as “Waray Waray,” “Alembong,” “Bituing Marikit,” “Sa Kabukiran” and “Mutya Ng Pasig,” among others.

    During a photo shoot at fashion designer Oliver Tolentino’s Beverly Hills shop, Sylvia shook her head, put her hands up in the air in a graceful movement and started singing or humming her songs. She still exuded the charm, warmth and childlike innocence of someone who enjoys what she is doing and sharing unselfishly that joy with others.

    Sylvia mentioned Celeste Legaspi, Kuh Ledesma and Lani Misalucha as some of her favorite singers. “They are all very good singers,” she pointed out.

    Also known as “The Queen of Kundiman,” Sylvia is excited to perform with the Filipino American Symphony Orchestra (FASO) for the first time in a concert on Aug. 13, 6 p.m. at the John Wayne Performing Arts Center in Glendale, California. She will guest with no less than her actress-singer granddaughter, Anna Maria Perez de Tagle (“Hannah Montana,” “Camp Rock” and “Godspell”).

    She said, “I have performed many times with a full orchestra and to mention some: Manila Symphony Orchestra under maestro Federico Elizalde, the opera ‘Carmen’ under maestro Herbert Zipper and at the Manila Metropolitan Theater under maestro Lucio San Pedro. But this is the first time I will be performing with FASO and I am looking forward to it.”

    Last year, she said, she was excited that “My son Artie (Perez de Tagle) called me and asked if I can come out from retirement to sing and perform with Anna Maria to celebrate our Philippine independence at the Philippine Consulate in New York.”

    Sylvia was Anna’s first vocal coach. “Like her father Artie, who is also a singer, Anna Maria was very cooperative and was a quick learner,” Sylvia shared. “My dream for Anna Maria is for her to be successful in her career as well as to follow my legacy to sing the kundiman,” Sylvia revealed.

    As for Anna Maria, 25, she enjoys singing with her grandmother whom she fondly calls “my Mamacita.” She disclosed, “I always love performing with my Mamacita. It brings me back to when I was a child and she would pull me up on stage to sing with her.

    “As I grew up, I would always be a part of her concerts but when I started my showbiz career with Disney, both our schedules became hectic. It wasn’t until last year when I got to sing with her again in our concert in New York. It was an unforgettable moment. We can’t wait to perform together again, this time in Los Angeles, accompanied by the wonderful FASO under the baton of Maestro Robert ‘Bob’ Shroder.”

    Anna talked about how her grandmother influenced her into becoming the person that she is today and the singer that she has become since her grandmother was her first voice teacher.

    “Being my first vocal coach, my grandma instilled in me a lot of tips to become a strong singer like her,” she revealed. “To this day, I still don’t eat ice cream, drink cold drinks and I hardly stay up late. She taught me certain vocal and breathing exercises along with singing vowels to really perfect an operatic tone. Because of my grandma, I’m a very disciplined person not only when it comes to singing and performances but in all aspects of life.

    “In that regard, I would consider myself as the ‘mini-me’ of Sylvia La Torre. I’ve learned to protect my voice and to share it with others because it truly is a God-given talent. My ultimate goal is to sing just as good as my grandma when I’m 83 years old as well. She has always been an inspiration to me.”

    Anna Maria said she has performed with an orchestra before. “However, this is my first time performing with a full 60-piece orchestra,” she pointed out.

    Sylvia promised, “I will do my very best and hope our Filipino songs will remind audiences of our beautiful legacy, especially the kundiman.”

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