Arts & Leisure

The Singing Diplomat goes on TV

Posted on June 27, 2017

BY DAY he’s known as the second-highest ranking diplomat at the Swiss Embassy in the Philippines. By night he’s a musician and the frontman of his own band, Raoul Imbach and The Wild Tortillas. Now, Mr. Imbach transitions into a late night TV host with An Evening with Raoul Imbach.

A MUSICIAN and the frontman of his own band, Raoul Imbach and The Wild Tortillas, the Swiss diplomat will now have a late night TV show called An Evening with Raoul Imbach. -- WWW.THESINGINGDIPLOMAT.COM
“I didn’t want to leave the Philippines just yet and [hosting a show] was part of my bucket list,” Mr. Imbach told the press during the show’s launch on June 23 at the ICON Hotel in Quezon City.

The one-hour show which will premiere on July 11, 10 p.m., on IBC 13, will feature Mr. Imbach doing what he loves doing: singing, cooking, and talking to people.

“The other concept of the show is ‘let my house be your house for an hour,’” he said as he explained that they shoot the show in his real house.

Mr. Imbach said he is “very much at home in front of the cameras and on the stage.”

The first season, which will have 13 episodes, will feature iconic Filipino singers as guests such as Pilita Corrales and Freddie Aguilar, as well as entrepreneurs such as Joel Cruz of Aficionado perfumes.

“We’re hoping to make this the most dynamic evening show on television,” Mr. Imbach said.

He will also sing Filipino versions of French and Italian hits.

He is currently on a one-year sabbatical leave after serving the Swiss government in the Philippines for four years as the counsellor and deputy head of mission and he said this will give him more time to produce better ideas for a season two of the show.

Mr. Imbach stressed that he will eventually return to his life as a diplomat, a career he has given more than 30 years of his life to.

To be fair, he told BusinessWorld shortly before the press conference, that he has been a musician “for 50 years.”

Known for being a colorful character, during a diplomatic stint in Bolivia, Mr. Imbach owned a restaurant and formed his band, The Wild Tortillas in Costa Rica.

His fascination with the Latin American culture (he loves to dance the salsa) also influenced his music which he describes as romantic pop and Latin music.

He also composes his own songs -- his most recent album, Tribute to Philippines, features English and Filipino compositions including, “It’s More Fun in the Philippines.”

“I usually compose in airports and since in [Philippine] airports there’s a lot of delays, I compose a lot here,” he joked.

Aside from the weekly show, Mr. Imbach will also have a concert at the Cultural Center of the Philippines’ Little Theater on July 30.

Titled A Prelude to a New Life, Mr. Imbach, with his band, will be performing songs off of the latest albums including “Binibini” and “Hija.”

He will also be sharing the stage with other Filipino performers.

The concert is part of the celebration of the 60th year of diplomatic relations between Switzerland and the Philippines.

An Evening with Raoul Imbach will premiere on July 1, 10 p.m. on IBC 13. For more information, visit -- Zsarlene B. Chua