Miguel Esteban, a 13-year-old Filipino descendant of Philippine national anthem composer Julian Felipe, was chosen to be part of the children’s chorus ensemble in the musical “Oliver” in Canada.
The play runs from August 2 to 26 in the Capitol Theatre, Port Hope, Ontario.
“Oliver” is based on Charles Dickens’ “Oliver Twist,” a story about the miserable life of an orphan who ended up in a lair of pickpocketing thieves. "Oliver Twist" is a social novel that calls attention to society's ills such as child labor and recruiting children as criminals, among others.
In an email to GMA News Online, Marina Esteban, Miguel’s mother, said Esteban is an incoming eighth grader at the St. Elizabeth School in Bowmanville, Ontario.
She also said Esteban has been fond of music since a young age.
“He plays the piano and the violin, both of which he has won awards for in the Oshawa-Whitby Kiwanis Music Festival,” she said.
“For the past three years he has been part of the Mooredale Intermediate Youth Orchestra of Toronto, where he had held the Principal Second and Concert master positions,” she added.
For “Oliver,” Esteban will be playing the violin as his part in the musical.
“Although he grew up in Canada, his nationality is Filipino,” she said.
The auditions for the Port Hope theatre production of “Oliver” were held on March 25, only accepting children who fully commit to the play from July 16 to August 26.
It was also a requirement that the children who auditioned were able to dance and sing “Consider Yourself” and “Where is Love” for aspirants of the main role as Oliver.
During the preparatory stages, Esteban and the other children worked with professional directors, actors, musicians and choreographers. - VVP, GMA News