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Review: Nora Aunor Concert
I am one for supporting Filipino talents, endeavours, causes and the like. When I got from a friend in early July, the email with the flyer “Superstar Nora Aunor – Live in Concert in Sydney”, I immediately booked tickets for two. I was assured then that two gold tickets [$50 each] for good seats had been reserved for us.
My 91-year old mother was excited that she would be watching one of her long-time favourite singers perform. She spoke about it to her friends and counted the days to the event.
The flyer stated that doors were to open at 3 p.m. but the concert starts at 3.30 p.m. We arrived at The Diamond Room at the Blacktown Workers Club just before 3 p.m. and waited several minutes at the front desk before our tickets were found.
Good seats not found
Anyway, we were pleasantly surprised that the entertainment by the local support artists had already started. I thought “fantastic! A Filipino show not starting late!”
A friendly usher helped us find our seats. I had to check twice if we were at the right seats because they were located at nearly the end of the row at the left side at an angle view of the stage. Not sure what happened with the ‘good seats’ earmarked for us.
My kudos go to Rod Dingle for doing a great job as Overall Director and Host. The local support artists were good too but my pick was Dex Villahermosa, who sang beautifully two numbers.The audience was clapping for him to do another song but the program probably did not allow it.
The audience were also treated with good entertainment by special guests artists John Robert Porter Jr, John Nite, Juan Rodrigo and German [Kuya Germs] Moreno. Kuya Germs had good rapport with the audience. Even though he took a long time rambling and talking about his ‘humble beginning’ before he cracked showbiz, the audience overall was interested to lap it up. I only heard a couple commented “ang haba naman” [‘bit long’] only because they wanted to see the Superstar already.
Sound of Music no more
Kuya Germs did get the audience singing along with him the Sound of Music piece of “..doe a deer, a female deer; re, a drop of golden sun…” They also enjoyed the bit he engaged on stage ‘Richard” from the audience do the action/dance portion of it.
Afterwards, Kuya Germs spoke about how Nora Aunor was discovered from “Tawag ng Tanghalan”; her being signed-up for 8 years upon winning the contest; how generous she was and how she was taken advantage of by a number of showbiz sharks. Then as we were wondering when Nora would be called on stage as it was after 5 p.m., Kuya Germs shared the sad story about the Superstar Artist.
To cut a long story short, he told the audience of a botched operation Nora had in Japan, how she ended up comatose for five days and sadly how a puncture the surgeon did on her neck damaged her vocal chords that she had not been able to sing!!
And that she was very sorry that would not be singing tonight, but still came so her fans would not be disappointed. He also went on about coming to her concert and buying her cd would be a big help for her next operation and for her legal expenses for the negligence case against the hospital and surgeon. It was also mentioned that should the operation be successful and she is able to sing again, she would be back to do another concert for free!
I thought there was a mixed reaction when Kuya Germs finally called Nora on stage.
There were die-hards who cheered enthusiastically and some had disappointments clearly written on their faces. Then there she was in person – wearing dark skirt and top, scarf with tassels, and high heels. Several fans surged towards the stage to take photos.
Nora was teary when she expressed her thanks to Kuya Germs and to the audience for their support. She also apologised that she would not be able to sing. She tried a couple of chords singing with Kuya Germs, but could not carry it off.
She also asked ‘permission’ to take off her shoes which were killing her feet. She looked like a little girl perched on the stool while she listened to a song by one of the guest artists, Juan Rodrigo I think. Then they played one of her songs “Pearly Shells” part of which she ‘sang’ along [lisped with], while cute girls in their Hawaiian attire danced to it.
No offer for refund
It was announced that Nora would go to each table to sign her cd [cost $20] and show flyer, and for everyone to remain seated. But after going to two tables, this was discontinued and instead it was announced she and the other artists would be at the foyer to do the signing.
A few friends who asked me how the concert went and heard what happened, commented: “If people were not told beforehand or offered the option of a refund by the promoters, then it was a rip off!”
While I genuinely feel for Nora’s devastation that she could not sing for her fans, I agree that it would have only been fair that we were duly advised; ideally before the concert date but even when we got to the venue, and offered the option to be refunded.
It was disappointing that this did not happen, much as it was disappointing not to hear the Superstar sing. A lot of fans were also disappointed not being able to buy the cd, have her autograph, or have a photo with her as promised.
The lack of discipline of the crowd which ignored requests to form a line for the autograph-signing added to frayed nerves and everyone’s disappointments.
I wish Nora all the best in recovering her singing voice and in getting justice from the negligence case.
However, I fervently hope that next time she comes to Sydney, we’d have a night of good entertainment without the occurrence similar to tonight’s disappointments.
In the meantime, the producers have a lot of “mending” work to do.