|Vien King and Shiela Valderrama-Martinze for Passion|
The Philippine Opera Company is turning 20 years old this September 2019, and to celebrate its glorious anniversary, they are staging Stephen Sondheim’s Passion, a 1994 Tony Awardee for Best Musical that tells a story of one soldier who falls in love with two women at the same time, one with lust and the other is one true love.
“Passion is an operetta, and Stephen Sondheim is considered as a composer of contemporary opera, Marketing wise we want to do something, not commercial but more relatable, more accepted or accessible, it boils to marketing” Karla Gutierrez, Artistic Director of Philippine OperaCompany said during its launching last August 12.
|Director Guevara, Shiela, Karla of POC and Vien (Photo by Erickson Dela Cruz)|
Directing Passion is multi-awarded Director Robbie Guevara, a proud Stephen Sondheim fan he religiously read, watch and follow all the works in the theater of Sondheim, that makes him perfect to stage this production.
“For me as a Director, it’s the easiest thing in my 10 years I’m Directing, because the music is so clear if you understand the language of Stephen Sondheim, fortunately, I’m such a geek, I’ve been reading about it since ’90s.” Guevara said.
|Passion stage by Jason Tecson|
Among other works of Sondheim, Guevara is mounting Passion with 15-piece orchestra plus 1 conductor for its music to come alive a felt, he is putting some changes compared to the previous restaging in Broadway or Westend, but his main focus is the story, he wants the story to standout as is.
“What I am excited about Passion is, it’s a simple story, the very simple set, it’s not brilliantly complicated as you have 4 or 5 stories that came together as one, it’s not outlandish huge like Sweeney Todd, the brilliance on Stephen Sondheim is the most difficult, to learn and to execute, note wise,” Guevarra added.
|Costumes & Wardrobes for Passion by Zenaida Gutierez|
Playing as Fosca is Shiela Valderrama-Martinez, the angelic voice and face of Philippine Theater, Vien King as Giorgio Bachetti and Jasmine Fitzgerald as Clara. Other cast includes Raul Victor Montesa, Noel Rayos, Lorenz Martinez, Jonel Mojica, Jos Jalbuena as Ludovic and understudy as Giorgio, Lorenzo Mendoza, Vyen Villanueva, Joshua Rex Cheng, Timothy Racho, Lorraine Lisen, and Jasmin Salvo.
|Cast and Crew of Passion 2019 (Photo By Erickson Dela Cruz)|
The technical team is composed of Daniel Bartolome as the Musical Director, Zenaida Gutierrez as the Costume Designer, and Jason Tecson for the set design. Sondheim’s Passion is based on the book by James Lapine. Other Sondheim masterpiece are "Sweeney Todd", "Pacific Overtures", "A Little Night Music", and additional music for "West Side Story", "Gypsy", "Do I Hear Waltz?" and a lot more.
Passion will run from Sept 14 to 29 at Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium of RCBC Plaza in Ayala Avenue, Makati City. Tickets are now available at Ticketworld or call Tel Nos. 891.9999.