May 21, 2022




Cultural Center of the Philippines


  • Part 1: May 21, 2022 | 6:00 PM 
  • Part 2: May 28, 2022 | 6:00 PM

Online Platforms: CCP Facebook page and YouTube Channel

The Cultural Center of the Philippines presents Behind Arias and Showtoppers: Conversations with the Pinoy Stars of Opera and Musical Theater.  Written and directed by Floy Quintos, this documentary in an interview format features a conversation between two leading Filipino artists recognized internationally as stars in their respective fields of performance: Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo and Arthur Espiritu. The conversation ranges from the differences and similarities of the training, the preparation, rehearsal process and performance of the Musical and the Opera.

Adding more depth and perspective are the observations of equally experienced talents, who have performed in Musicals and Opera, in both English and in Filipino, in material from the world repertoire as well as original Filipino productions. This production hopes to inspire appreciation for opera among fans of musical theater by taking the conversation online with a more local approach and an appeal to a wider audience.


The first part captures the conversation between two Filipino artists: Musical theater star, Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo and International Opera star, Arthur Espiritu. Both have formidable careers and share many learnings about their chosen art. 

Arthur Espiritu is praised for his beautiful lyrical voice with agility and color, capable of conveying a broad range of characters. He has been steadily establishing himself as an accomplished bel canto tenor and has had success with the tenor repertoire as well. Mr. Espiritu has recently portrayed Edgardo Ravenswood in Donizetti’s opera “Lucia Di Lammermoor.”

Joining him is Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo, the musical theatre actor widely considered the “first lady” of Philippine musical theatre. She is well known for her roles as Diana Goodman in “Next to Normal” and Mrs. Lovett alongside Audie Gemora as Sweeney Todd in Repertory Philippines’ Manila production of “Sweeney Todd.” 

While the two start out talking about the essential differences between Opera and Musical Theater, the conversation steers towards the important life lessons they have learned about the dedication, training and discipline that guided the pursuit of their dreams. Moderated by Floy Quintos.


The second part features four established talents, each one sharing their journey through the world of Opera and Musical theater. Each one shares important insights into what it means to choose Opera or Musical theater as the art to which one devotes a life. In their own words, Opera’s Rachelle Gerodias-Park and Camille Lopez-Molina and Musical Theater’s Sheila Francisco and Reb Atadero trace their stops and starts, the highlights and trials of their careers. For beginners in these fields, there is much to be earned from these four. Moderated by Floy Quintos.

Sat 05/21 6:00pm