This year, it’s time for a new genre that will set a new trend in the Philippine music industry. Enter the Opera Belles!
Three classically trained young singers have joined forces and voices to form the country’s first young female pop opera group.
Opera Belles combine contemporary pop with the artistry of opera in their self-titled debut album under Sony Music.
With angelic and breathtaking looks to match their musical ability, Opera Belles will capture the imagination of Filipinos and are set to become household names.
Opera Belles is composed of Allison Tanner, Lara Maigue and Jam Valdes. They were formed by the Philippine Opera Company and each member underwent auditions and rigid training.
In 2010, they were signed to Sony Music, impressed by their unique voice, youth and beauty- never before seen and heard in the entertainment industry.
Allison started singing when she was 8 years old and was trained at the University of the Philippines Extension Program where she was introduced to opera and classical music. She is currently a sophomore Pharmacy student at Centro Escolar University. She describes recording the album as “like a newborn —- so many bright new learning – theoretically, socially, emotionally and spiritually.”
Jam took voice lessons at age 7 but it was not classical training. Her musical skills were honed joining glee clubs during high school and her confidence was boosted when she joined Repertory Philippines’ summer workshops for 7 years. This DLSU Industrial Engineering major started classical training a year ago under the Philippine Opera Company. She enjoys sports, dancing, acting and joining beauty pageants.
Lara studies Music Education at the University of the Philippines. Both her parents are musicians/music professors with her mother, also a classical singer, being her first voice teacher. Lara started having formal lessons during her second year in high school. Her musical influences include Charlotte Church, Sarah Brightman, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Renee Olstead and Michael Buble.
“It’s such a dream come true. As a kid, I’ve always wanted an album and specifically under Sony. It’s truly an honor to finally be part of this prestigious label,” Lara said.
The Opera Belles perform some of the current crop of pop hits with a classical twist to create a unique sound. Songs in their debut CD include their versions of “Love Story” (Taylor Swift), “The Only Exception” (Paramore), “Breathless” (The Corrs), “Heaven” (Bryan Adams), “Sleeps With Butterflies” (Tori Amos), “Like A Prayer” (Madonna), “Only Hope” (Mandy Moore), “Burn” (Tina Arena), Officially Missing You” (Tamia), “I Turn To You” (Christina Aguilera) and “Sundo” (Imago).
“The songs were uniquely interpreted with rhythmic changes and opera overtures, making the sound totally new to the ear. It aims to introduce to everyone, in all walks of life, both young and old, that hey, here’s a music genre of young girls who’d sing for you, songs in a different light —- soothing and melodious to the ear, and leaves you wanting to hear more”, Allison said.
Opera Belles already launched their self-titled debut album last March 4 at Eastwood Open Park and last March 11 at Venice Piazza, McKinley Hill. Check out the photos at Sony Music facebook page HERE or at Opera Belles HERE.
Now with a major label debut album, a spate of radio and TV appearances in the offing and first single “Sundo” released. As their name suggests, Opera Belles are poised to go into something classic and beautiful this 2011 and for years to come.
Opera Belles’ debut album is now out in CDs under Sony Music.