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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

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’s winning entry 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

Together 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 Papaux.

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 thoughts.” END


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