Sharon Cuneta with Voice Kids prodigy Antonette Tismo. Meeting a singing talent who lives under the bridge was a humbling experience.

Sharon Cuneta: Reflections at midlife

ESCORTED by a phalanx of fans who promptly disappeared as she took her place on the stage, Sharon Cuneta looks slimmer in an all-black outfit and indeed she is fair game to all subjects brought up by the media.

She has lost about 60 pounds and it shows. But more than her physical look, Sharon also reveals she has evolved as a person and as a singer and actress.

Announcing her concerts (October 15-22, 2016) at The Theater at Solaire, she makes a distinction. “Yes, I do love singing more than acting because the audience response is immediate and you can feel their energy live as you perform. I must say that singing will remain the greatest passion of my life.”

Then she goes about outlining her mindset as a singer.

She is audience-oriented, she says, and while she will still revert to some songs identified with her (Bituing Walang Ningning, Tubig at Langis, Mr. DJ), she will forge a repertoire that will appeal even to non-Sharonian fans. “But over and above all these preparations, I really prefer a concert with some intimate touch to it. Solaire Theater I think seats over a thousand people and that is a far greater contrast to my Araneta Coliseum outings where I feel like I am addressing a big ocean of audiences. In a smaller theater, you can address your audience as your friends, you can dish out familiar jokes and familiar stories from the past. I can probably ask them how they see me now after some 36 years of camaraderie or separation.”

On the other hand, Sharon said her stint at Voice Kids as a coach and member of a jury was an experience of a lifetime. “I’d say I learned more from them than they learned from me. To find a girl living under a bridge and with such singing talent was for me a miracle. I just have to give everything I have to help Antonette Tismo.

When I was young, I didn’t have to sing because we need food on the table. Meeting Antonette is a humbling experience.”

Indeed, it feels like a lifetime watching a singer-actress who has starred in 53 films, appeared in 10 television shows, recorded 40 albums and has endorsed countless products and services.

To be sure, her acting career was launched after her well-received albums that led to a series of blockbuster films and concerts.

A first marriage that didn’t last produced a daughter (KC Concepcion) and a second marriage gave her two more offspring as a senator’s wife. “I do believe my youngest daughter is the better singer and the better musician,” she points out. “She can play musical instruments, she has a better voice and I figured she can compose as well. But she will not be in the concert. But the father of the family (Sen. Kiko Pangilinan) is pretty much into music and I guess it is better that he be my only guest singer in the family. After all, my coming concerts are not Filipino versions of the Von Trapp Family Singers.”

Indeed, she has also evolved not only as wife and mother but as a singer as well. Just like the songs identified with her. “When you are young, you just memorize the music and everything is all right with the world. But as you mature, the songs don’t feel the same way anymore. You are no longer concerned with memorizing but in finding meaning in every line. You will be surprised to know that some songs are capable of rewinding some happy and sad chapters of my life. I cry easily because I am sensitive to everything that happened in my life. It wasn’t all life at the top. There were moments when you were down and you thought the world has forsaken you. The best part of that chapter in your life is that you learn more about life and people. Some people will stay away from you when the going gets rough. But there are people who remain with you come good and rough fortune.”

Sharon Cuneta with close friend Fanny Serrano and Voice Kids co-jury Lea Salonga. She learned more from the kids listening to music from their hearts.

She singles out stylist and make-up artist Fanny Serrano as one of her all-season friends.

“When a member of that circle moves on, it always comes as a shock. When Fanny had a stroke, I thought my life ended as well. I rushed to the washroom when I heard the news and then I threw up. I couldn’t take the news. Mabuti na lang he recovered because baka nauna pa ako if I took the news badly. Yes, he is part of my inner circle which is not open to so many people. That is the same circle where I I take refuge, where I open up, where I decide that life must go on.”

Sharon opens up on how she prepares for a concert revealing her meticulousness as a singer as she is as an actress.

. “Well, I insist on having time and space solely for myself. I like to reflect on my songs and getting in touch with my vocal instrument. Should I re-arrange these songs to suit new audiences? Do I need to take extra voice lessons? Many things come into the picture as you prepare for a concert. Foremost of all, you should have focus, you should be in touch with your musical and stage directors. Nothing should be left to chance to make it successful.”

Solaire Entertainment Director Audie Gemora feels privileged to be offering THE Sharon Cuneta to their patrons : “We are delighted that our list of OPM icons is expanding but to have clinched Sharon Cuneta’s concert comeback after a long hiatus is a coup.”

For tickets to the October 15-22, 2016 concerts of Sharon Cuneta, call TicketWorld at 8919999.

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