Singer-songwriter Lara Maigue is about to introduce Pinoys to her own brand of pop music sans apology.
In an interview, she divulged it will fuse opera and pop.
“Basta, kapag nilabas ko na ’yung single ko, doon ninyo magi-gets ’yung music ko,” she said.
A classically-trained soprano, Lara used to be part of the female group Opera Belles. They won Best New Female Group at the 2011 Aliw Awards.
She later made her mark as songwriter via Philpop where she landed on the finals twice with her compositions “Sa’yo Na Lang Ako” and “Nasaan.”
While Lara can hit the high notes, she doesn’t classify herself a singer in the vein of Regine Velasquez-Alcasid and Lani Misalucha.
“They’re all pop belters and I love them but that’s not who I am,” she said. “Hindi ako biritera, may touch of soprano ang singing ko but hindi naman ito over na opera.”
Isn’t she worried straddling too many genres could alienate young music lovers, many of whom are fond of the familiar electronic dance music and R&B?
Lara, a millennial, admitted the youth is fond of listening to the likes of The Chainsmokers, Dua Lipa and Daya, among others. But she is adamant they could be open to other forms of music as well.
“I want to put out the message na merong soprano kind of singing and that it’s not dead and it’s worth-listening to and I hope to do that with my songs,” she said.
Lara hopes she and fellow classical singer Gerphil Flores can ignite interest in the music she is espousing.
“The thing is, kami lang ang andiyan. So, we’re just going to do our best and should strike while the iron is hot.”
Like most of today’s celebs, Lara makes use of social media to touch base with fans. Her video cover of “Queen Of The Night” has become viral.
Lara’s album will be released by Star Music.
Back to theater
Lara, who dabbled in theater before, returns to the stage as Ligaya Paraiso in a musical adaptation of Edgardo Reyes’ novel “Maynila Sa Mga Kuko Ng Liwanag.”
“This is something that I loved doing before and I’m doing it again. It was a surprise when they called me to audition. My management was so excited about it kasi Joel Lamangan is directing and Douglas Nierras is the choreographer,” she said.
She shared the musical is more faithful to the book than Lino Brocka’s film.
“Si Ligaya dito sweet siya pero her life, may mga pinagdaanan siya. Binenta siya sa Chinese and got impregnated.
Pinaasa siya na pag-aaralin siya sa Manila, iyon pala prostitution ang bagsak niya. Hindi siya maka-escape kasi she might get killed,” she detailed.
Having done mostly light roles prior, Lara finds her portrayal of Ligaya challenging.
“Most challenging, heaviest and most daring role for me because lahat ng rolets ko before were mostly about innocent little girls. Ito first time na may anak ako,” she said.
The musical also stars Arman Ferrer, Floyd Tena, Rafa Siguion-Reyna, Aicelle Santos, Rita Daniela, Noel Rayos, Dulce and Ima Castro, Khalil Kaimo, and Valderrama-Martinez, whom she alternates with as Ligaya.
“We each give a different take on Ligaya. It’s not the same Ligaya per show,” Lara maintained.
Keeping her focus
While she enjoys theater, Lara wants to focus more on her music. She is currently managed by Ogie Alcasid.
“I’m still learning step by step. That’s why I didn’t make myself stay in musical theater for awhile. Singing and songwriting come first talaga,” she said.
Lara added, “He (Ogie) is like a family to me. I wrote a song for his wife Regine. I’m also appearing at her concert. I’m also teaching his daughter Leila how to sing.”
Lara also had her share of TV work. She previously starred on TV5’s “Trenderas” together with Isabella de Leon and Katrina Velarde.
“For now, Sir Ogie wants me to focus on my songs and album. It’s more me eh. It’s really what I’ve been longing to do. Marami na akong ginawa eh. Nag-TV na ako, nag-theater na ako. I really want to do what I want do and I think I’m getting there,” she said. (With report from Jojo P. Panaligan)
Tags: Aicelle Santos, In with the new, Lani Misalucha, Lara, Manila Bulletin, Manila Bulletin Entertainment, mb.com.ph, musical adaptation, Queen Of The Night”, With report from Jojo P. Panaligan, “Maynila Sa Mga Kuko Ng Liwanag”, “Nasaan”, “Sa’yo Na Lang Ako”