Classical Singer and Professor
July 11, 1969 – September 18, 2021
Lemuel A. Dela Cruz was an operatic tenor and a professor. He studied at the Urdaneta National High School in Pangasinan. He was dubbed to be the best high tone soloist during his youth when he joined a singing contest. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Santo Tomas under the tutelage of Professor Salvacion Oppus Yñiguez. He earned his professional diploma in Opera Studies, with distinction, from the Hong Kong Academy for the Performing Arts. He was also a recipient of the Duchess of Kent International Scholarship Fund.
In the 1980s, he became the musical director of the Urdaneta Revival Center. An educator as well as a performer, he was an assistant professor at the Voice Performance Department of the University of Santo Tomas Conservatory of Music.
In 2010, Dela Cruz was recognized as one of Sining at Kalinangan’s outstanding artists. He was known for his outstanding performances of various operatic roles, among them Count Almaviva in “Barber of Seville” and Prince Giovanni in “Una Cosa Rara,” both produced in Hong Kong. He sang with the Singapore Lyric Opera as Gaston in “La Traviata,” Malcolm in “Macbeth,” and Remendado in “Carmen.” He was the soloist of the Singapore Symphony Orchestra in its presentation of Mozart’s “Requiem” and Resphigi’s “Laude to Nativity.”
Dela Cruz was one of the featured artists in the second performance of “Harana sa Dapit-Hapon” staged on April 8, 2015, along with soprano Liza Cabahug and pianist Augusto Espino at the Cultural Center of the Philippines Main Theater Lobby. He also joined the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra (PPO) in the 34th season of “Christmas Concert at The Pen” in December 10, 2017 in their version of Rossini and Respighi’s “Tarantella Napolitan” as well as their performance of Turco and Denza’s “Funiculi, Funicula.”
Together with his wife, Lemuel was part of the music ministry of their church Lighthouse Christian Community. He also owned a studio where singers and voice professors practice their craft.
Upon Dela Cruz’s passing, his fellow singers, students, and acquaintances in the UST community shared their tributes on social media. Joscephine Gomez wrote, “You knew your craft well. You pleased many. How very sad we, your fellow singers, are at your passing.” A classmate of his said, “We will surely miss your signature ‘bungisngis’ laugh aside from your singing prowess.” Rhapsody Li wrote, “Heaven’s choir will sound more majestic because you’re now with them.”
He will always be remembered as one of the regular performers in the UST Christmas concerts, and his legacy will live on and be perpetuated by his students, even as the memories of his magnificent performances will remain in the hearts and minds of many, especially the family he loved.