The young performers of South Pacific
For the first time, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra (WSO) partnered with Rainbow Stage to create a staged concert version of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s 1949 Broadway Musical South Pacific for three shows on April 7-9, 2017 at the Centennial Concert Hall.
The two distinguished Winnipeg institutions produced a show that was neither a concert nor a musical, but a mix of both. Instead of being hidden in a typical orchestra pit, the full 67-piece orchestra, which was led by WSO resident maestro Julian Pellicano, shared the spotlights on stage with an all-local cast of 24 actors directed by Donna Fletcher & Ray Hogg.
South Pacific opens with the duet Dites-Moi, performed by two of Winnipeg’s young Filipino talents, Lorenzo (“Enzo”) Espina and Yasmin Reyes, playing the supporting roles of young siblings Jerome and Ngana de Becque, respectively.
It is no secret that Winnipeg has many talented Filipino singers and actors. Rainbow Stage was able to appropriately cast the Asian roles with real Asian actors – and local talent, too. There is a growing awareness of the importance of diversity in theatre, and the casting of this production shows it. Along with Enzo Yasmin, Stephany Sy plays Liat, and Rochelle Kives plays Bloody Mary.
Enzo and Yasmin are both Grad 5 students in French immersion, and are current members of the Children’s Theatre Company with Magdaragat Philippines Inc. Their great chemistry was easily achieved, as they were previous dance partners during last year’s Folklorama at the Pearl of the Orient Philippine Pavilion.
Enzo loves to sing, and performs at family functions and local celebrations. He trains with Joy Lazo with Highlights Performing Arts, and previously performed with Kayumanggi. He also enjoys playing in WAAY basketball. Enzo is the son of Jeralynn Borromeo and Laurence Espina, and great grandson of Erlinda Ramos of Gelyn’s Wedding Lounge. He dedicated his performance to his late older sister, Laurelynn Jade Espina.
Yasmin also loves to sing, and made her musical theatre debut in Alice in Wonderland at age 7. She has since appeared in several film, commercial, and stage productions. She studies voice and piano at Tauber Music School, and trains with L.A. Dance Academy. Yasmin is the daughter of Jan Michael and Joy Anne Reyes. She dedicated her performance to her late grandfather, Ernesto (Ernie) Fabro.
From a report by Jeralynn Borromeo
Enzo & Yasmin in costume
with fellow cast members Rochelle Kives & Stephany Sy
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