Excellence in Music Awardee: Maria Cristina “Kit” Navarro

Kit started her musical journey during her early childhood in Manila. Inspired by her mother who was also a singer and church organist, Kit was a show stopper at family gatherings and celebrations. Over the years, that affirmation brought on her pursuit of a career in the arts.

Kit received her bachelor’s degree in voice at the University of the Philippines and her diploma in music theater studies at the Biel Conservatory in Switzerland. She was a scholar of the Philippine High School for the Arts, majoring in theater.

Her very first achievement — first prize of the National Music Competition for Young Artists (NAMCYA) back in 1984. This was followed by another first prize win at the 1992 Elvira Luthi Wegmann Vocal Competition and a 12-month scholarship award from the Migros Genossenschafts Bund both in Switzerland.

She has performed with the Biel Theater, Basel Theater, Baden Theater, Opera Pacific, San Diego Opera, Los Angeles Opera, El Paso Opera, and Long Beach Opera. Notable roles include Queen of the Night, Olympia, Adina, Nerina, Najade, the Matchmaker in the Los Angeles Opera-commissioned work “On Gold Mountain” by Nathan Wang, Jasmin in the Philippine opera “Karim at Jasmin” by Dr. Ramon Geluz, Sisa in “Felipe de Leon,” and Maria Clara in Ryan Cayabyab’s “Noli Me Tangere.”

Kit has sung solos for the Stadtorchester Solothurn, the Children Orchestra Society of New York, Pacific Symphony, Pacific Chorale, Kalamazoo Symphony in Michigan, Corona del Mar Baroque Festival, Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra, the Cultural Center of the Philippines Filipino Artist Series, among others. As a former member-soloist of the Philippine Madrigal Singers, University of the Philippines Filipiniana Dance Group, and Asian Institute for Liturgy and Music, she has competed and toured the world.

She has been described as a “gifted soprano” and “a coloratura specialist whose portrayal would always harvest a special applause.” On that note, with a very deserving applause to receive her FASO Excellence in Music Award, I give you Maria Cristina “Kit” Navarro.

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