Filipino artist-singer finds his niche in Switzerland
Vincent Levantino, a young Filipino artist from Cavite, held a painting exhibition in Fribourg on 29-30 June 2013.
The event, which was attended by close to a hundred people, mostly
Swiss nationals from Fribourg and neighbouring cities, kicked off with
a concert by the famous Fribourg jazz band, Toni’s Big Band, where
Levantino also plays the lead vocal.
Vincent Levantino, Filipino singer/painter
Levantino’s winning entry at the On-the-Spot Painting Contest in Fribourg in 2011
The exhibit showcased
about eighty (80) pieces of Levantino’s works, including two of his
winning entries at the 2010 Perroy Painting Competition in Lausanne and
at the On-the-Spot Painting Contest in Fribourg in 2011.
Levantino started painting early in life, but only as a hobby. When he
was young, Levantino would sneak into his sister’s room and get her
crayons and colour the walls of their family home, which usually became
the bone of contention between him and his mother.
Apart from painting and occasional sculpting, Levantino also dubbles in
singing which, presently, occupies most of his time. He first came to
Switzerland in 2003 as a member of Imusicapella, a top Philippine
Chamber Choir winning national and international competitions. The
group bagged the Grand Prix at the Neuchatel Choral Festival in the
same year. In 2005, he decided to strike on his own in the
Philippines. Two years later, he came back to Switzerland and decided
to stay and continue painting. The sombre mood of his earlier subjects
and painting spoke of his homesickness and the adjustment he had to
make in his new environment.
“Colours of the Lake”: Winner of the 2010 Perroy Painting Competition in Lausanne
with painting, Levantino also continued his singing aspirations in
Switzerland where he joined the Choeur Des XVI conducted by the famous
Swiss Composer André Ducret. As a chorister and soloist, Levantino had
also sung under the direction of conductors Thierry Dagon and Nicolas
Not only has Levantino proven that he could paint. He has also proven
that he could sing by winning the grand prize at the Kampf Der Chöre
with his group Gustav Chor. Since winning at the competition, his
singing engagements and appearances have multiplied. His group also
performed at the 2010 Swiss Awards held in Zürich.
Levantino is now the lead vocal of the famous Fribourg-based jazz
orchestra, Toni’s Big Band. The group has performed in big events such
as the Fribourg Jazz Parade, Fete de la Musique, and the Montreaux Jazz
Festival. The group also performs in bars, restaurants and private
gatherings, including for Swiss Federal Councillor Doris Leuthard and
other political personalities.
Levantino’s repertoire runs from jazz to opera. In 2011, he was chosen
to play one of the characters in Puccini’s opera “Madame Butterfly”,
which was his first stint in opera. This was followed by another stint
in Donizetti’s Viva La Mamma in 2012. Levantino is currently into two
opera productions, which he will do until next year.
Asked what he would choose between painting and singing, Levantino
replied, “I will choose both. I am not a good public speaker so I
communicate with people through my singing and painting. Singing is
more my public face, while painting is the expression of my inner