Monday, March 14, 2011

A standing ovation for Abba's Orchard's I DREAMED A DREAM

Last Friday, March 11, 2011, The Abba’s Orchard school’s Erdkinder (high school) program performed I Dreamed a Dream: Highlights and Images from Les Misérables and recieved a standing ovation from the full-house crowd.

It was a magnificent night and I would like to congratulate the Erdkinder students for a job well done.  That night was so special for so many reasons, reasons that are best said in the prelude of the play’s souvenir program, which I have included below.  Also enjoy several pics that I have taken from various FB sources.


A singular act of grace does what two decades of imprisonment failed to do

The Abba’s Orchard School is proud to present I Dreamed a Dream: Highlights and Images from Les Misérables.  The title is quite apt, because this endeavor is the first ever musical play for the Abba’s Orchard Erdkinder program, a dream come true and a definite milestone for the school.

Bamatabois abuses Fantine

The play where I Dreamed a Dream is based on needs no introduction.  Composed in 1980 by French composer Claude-Michel Schönberg with French lyrics by Alain Boublil and the English adaptation by Herbert Kretzmer, Les Misérables features one of the most beloved Tony Award-winning scores, being nominated for 12 awards and winning 8 of them.  Based on the classic 1862 Victor Hugo novel of the same name, Les Misérables is currently the third-longest running show in Broadway history and the longest-running show in musical theatre history.

My daughter, Mesoo, as Cosette

I Dreamed a Dream: Highlights and Images from Les Misérables is the school’s humble attempt in performing many of the key compositions of the famed musical.

Valjean vs. Javert!

The project was truly an ambitious one. In the local setting, Les Misérables is seldom attempted, if at all, because of its stringent demands for musical scoring. The Abba’s Orchard Erdkinder program numbers only 66 students all in all.  While this small number is great for quality teaching, instruction, and mentoring; it makes play productions, let alone a full-blown musical play, difficult and challenging.

Lovely ladies

But the proponents of the project dreamed a dream.  They wanted not only a play, but a musical.  Not only a musical, but a musical based on one of the most awarded and revered in all of Broadway. Experts were engaged to teach the children to act (Ms. Annie Santos) and to sing (Mr. Dan Broces). Adding to these veteran mentors was engaging an orchestral  arranger (Mr. Manuel Ng Jr.) from the U.P. Conservatory of Music.

Enjolras leads the revolution!

The road was far from easy.  Students in a small school such as this one often have to juggle through wearing several hats, metaphorically speaking;    and  the  preparations  for  I Dreamed a Dream added another gigantic hat into the mix.  Nearly all members of the main cast are part of the varsity soccer teams (male and female), which have to continue to train hard and compete in ongoing leagues to maintain their status as one of the top teams in their divisions.  Then they have to juggle through the business plans and execution of their entrepreneurial endeavors and various projects from all subjects,  and all these on top of the uncompromising rigors of keeping an excellent academic standard, upholding the school’s high passing rate to the big universities.


But the students also dreamed a dream; and everyone, even those who were not inclined to the performing arts, put in a Herculean effort to see this production through.

Marius and Cosette

What they will show you tonight, however, is more than a result of their dream, their hard work, and their sacrifice.  Much like the life of the protagonist Jean Valjean, this project is a product of grace.  God has carried the Abba’s Orchard and the children under its care from a multitude of stormy seas to the serenity of calm waters.

Curtain call with Ms. Anita Q. Santos, Mr. Manuel Ng, and Mr. Dan Broces

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