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Eugene Eustaquio

Whenever he heard the sound of the organ as a young child, he cried at the beauty. There was no money for lessons and no access to a real instrument in his village in the Philippines, so he taught himself how to play by drawing a picture of a keyboard on paper and using it to practise.

Eugene Eustaquio is a talented and inspiring young man. I had the pleasure and good fortune to take his profile portraits and headshots one morning in my studio. He spoke about his life in music while I took photographs.

By the age of fourteen, he was singing, playing the organ and conducting the local church choir. He went on to study voice at university in the Philippines and then Bangkok; and now conducts a number of choirs – including the Bangkok Music Society and Mahidol University choir. He also sings here in many major roles in both opera and oratorio.

Eugene Eustaquio profile portraitEugene Eustaquio profile portrait 2Eugene Eustaquio profile portrait 3

We talked about his great passion for opera and I put on his favourite – ‘Rigoletto’ by Verdi – and asked if he’d ‘conduct’ it. Eugene was captivated by the music and conducted the overture as if he were facing a real orchestra. I was transported in an instant to the orchestra’s pit, and watched with delight as he leapt to cue the horns, summon the cymbals and signal the strings, his passion mesmerising to watch.

Eugene Eustaquio conducting

Eugene Eustaquio conducting 2

He then sang the celebrated and much-loved ‘O Sole Mio’ by the Neapolitan composer Eduard Capua while I listened in appreciation, taking photographs and feeling strangely like a Cornetto.

Eugene Eustaquio with music scoreEugene Eustaquio singing

What a pleasure!

June 29, 2010 - 3:49 pm Catherine Harsono - Jackie, Thank you so much for sharing these wondering pictures you have taken of Eugene. You have given so much and really appreciate your words in it too. Thank you again, Catherine

June 29, 2010 - 6:04 pm Polly - How amazing how he taught himself ....... truly inspirational; it always amazes me what humans can do if they have the drive and passion - seemingly more than if they're handed it on a plate!! Beautiful photographs ........ it looks as though you were at a concert, and always a bonus to photograph someone handsome!! Excellent once again Jackie, super stuff, please keep them coming!

June 30, 2010 - 1:20 am Audwin Thomas Yap - Absolutely wonderful works of art. An artist's passion captures the passion of another artist! This means both ways....

July 4, 2010 - 5:24 pm Cathy - Hi Jackie What great photos of a lovely person. I'll admit that part of the appeal of going to your choir performances is down to seeing him in action. His joy in the music is contagious. By the way -- did you manage to resist the cornetto? Those childhood associations are powerful! Hope to see you in O's soon? Cathy

July 5, 2010 - 9:41 am jackierado - Thank you all for your generous comments! It was a great pleasure, rounded off perfectly with a Cornetto. Who could resist?

July 5, 2010 - 10:39 pm mervinmarba - i saw his humble beginning playing organ and teaching choirs at local churches here at our place in taguig... he also inspired me the way he set the registration of the organ, from flute to strings and many more... when you hear his music using the organ truly its orchestra... thanks for this blog.

July 7, 2010 - 3:26 pm Pooja Kishnani - this is what photography is all about. He looks so comfortable and passionate in the photographs. Beautiful work as always Jackie :)

May 8, 2013 - 7:33 am love - He is indeed a great are much loved...

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