Philippine Opera Company (POC) will mark its 20th anniversary with the production of Stephen Sondheim’s Tony-winning musical, “Passion,” on Sept. 14-29 at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium, RCBC Plaza, Makati City.
“Passion” is a modern operetta and takes its cue from the Italian film director Ettore Scola’s 1981 film, “Passione d’Amore,” which itself is based on an 1869 novel, “Fosca,” by Iginio Ugo Tarchetti.
At a remote military outpost in 1863 Italy, a handsome army captain Giorgio, is separated from his beautiful—but married—mistress, Clara. He is forced to reevaluate his beliefs about love when he becomes the object of the obsessive, unrelenting passions of Fosca, his colonel’s plain, sickly cousin.
“‘Passion’ is about how the force of somebody’s feelings for you can crack you open, and how it is the life force in a deadened world,” said Sondheim, who did the music and lyrics.
With the book by James Lapine, “Passion” won Best Musical in the 1994 Tony Awards.
The Manila production by POC is directed by Robbie Guevara. Karla Gutierrez is artistic director.
The lead cast consists of Shiela Valderrama-Martinez (Fosca), Vien King (Giorgio) and Jasmine Fitzgerald (Clara).
Supporting cast is composed of Lorenz Martinez (Doctor Tambourri), Raul Montesa (Colonel Ricci) and Noel Rayos (Lt. Torasso).
The ensemble is composed of Jonel Mojica (Maj. Rizzolli), Lorenzo Mendoza (Pvt. Augenti), Jos Jalbuena (Ludovic), Timothy Racho (Sgt. Lombardi), Joshua Cheng (Lt. Barri), Vyen Villanueva (Fosca’s Father) Lorraine Lisen (Mistress) and Jasmin Salvo (Fosca’s Mother).
The sweeping romantic score of “Passion,” which Sondheim describes as “one long rhapsody,” will be performed by the Philippine Opera Orchestra under conductor Daniel Bartolome.
“Passion” will have gala performances at 8 p.m. Sept. 14, 20, 21, 27 and 28; and matinees at 3 p.m. Sept. 15, 21, 22, 28 and 29.
“Passion” is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International New York. —CONTRIBUTED
TicketWorld, tel. 8919999. For showbuying, sponsorship and fundraising, Philippine Opera Company, tel. 0917-6452946