KGB Productions and da Corneto Opera present the American premiere of a rare masterpiece of Felipe de Leon’s opera Noli Me Tangere.

The opera Noli Me Tangere recounts the struggles of Juan Crisóstomo Ibarra y Magsalin who returns to the Philippines after seven years of academic studies in Europe. He plans to wed his betrothed Maria Clara and fulfill his father’s dream of opening a school to pave the way for his country’s progress through education. In all things he is thwarted by the notorious and influential Padre Damaso, creating a dramatic storyline of unrequited love, betrayal and revenge. The music is beautiful and melodic and the story one of many twists and turns including a mad scene --and a first in opera – a crocodile attack. 

The opera is based on the novel Noli Me Tangere by Philippine national hero Dr José Rizal. A Filipino nationalist and medical doctor, Rizal conceived of the idea of writing the novel after reading Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Published in Spanish in Berlin in 1887, the novel exposes the ills of society, the oppression of Spanish rule and atrocities committed in the name of the Church. Viewed as a subversive for his belief in Philippine self-government, Rizal was executed by the Spaniards in 1896. His execution is cited as one of the causes of the Philippine Revolution and his execution is marked annually as Rizal Day, a national Philippine holiday. The Filipino American Council of Greater Chicago’s headquarters in Lakeview is named for him as well as a monument that was built in front of Weiss Memorial Hospital along the picturesque landscape in Lakeshore Drive.

Sung in Tagalog with English supertitles. The performance will run approximately 2 hours and 45 minutes, including one intermission.

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