Found this article (below) by Amelia Lapena-Bonifacio in Inquirer's Lifestyle pages yesterday. I think Lola Amel's proposal that they make the Metropolitan Theater a Zarzuela Theater and Museum is a very good idea! This way, we can bring back the theater form for today's audiences. After all, wasn't the zarzuela festival in UP last February successful?
Why not a Met Zarzuela Theater and Museum?
By Amelia Lapena-Bonifacio
MANILA, Philippines – As a follow-up to your news item on the rehabilitation of the Metropolitan Theater, I suggest that the Met be renamed the Metropolitan Zarzuela Theater and Museum. This would make the Met more unique and meaningful because it would honor a theater genre which was used by our forefathers in their struggle for independence—the only theater in the long history of dramatic art that used theater so cleverly and strategically in the fight for freedom of Asia’s first republic.
The first floor of the theater could be lined with glass cases that would exhibit manuscripts and musical sheets, books, letters, costumes, props, sets, etc. I am sure families keeping these items across the land would be only too happy to donate them (permanently or periodically) for the exhibit.
I hope my suggestion will be taken seriously so that our school children could be properly educated about a very important phase of our theater history and about theatrical events unique only to the Philippines. And as the Japanese and tourists go to the Noh Theatres and Kabuki theaters of Japan, Filipinos and tourists would go to the Metropolitan Zarzuela Theater and Museum in order to watch zarzuela and see the exhibits of zarzuela items and of, I hope, a surviving zarzuela telon or set.
For the money and labor still to be spent, we may as well work for a meaningful Metropolitan Theater—set apart from all existing theaters in the country and the whole world!
Read the whole article here.