Resorts World manila’s (RWM) production of the classic Rodgers and Hammerstein musical “The Sound of Music” combines traditional—and reliable—singing and dramaturgy with high digital technology.
Held at the Newport Performing Arts Theater (NPAT), the production makes audiences reminisce the familiar melodies of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein as played live by the Manila Symphony Orchestra (MSO).
Leading the orchestra is MSO’s principal conductor and musical director Rodel Colmenar, an alumnus of the UST Conservatory of Music who majored in French Horn.
Although the orchestra pit is not visible to the audience, video footage of the MSO’s actual performance is flashed from time to time on digital screens seen on both ends of the stage.
RWM tweaks “The Sound of Music” by adding a digital edge to it. The production features several screens onstage; two smaller LED screens are placed at the sides to show alternating live digital feed of the actors and the MSO during their performances.
While the use of digital graphics is a well-received change to the traditional theater set, the introduction of computer-generated backdrops leaves much to be explored in terms of the quality of the graphics used.
But considering the difficulty of the simultaneous timing of the stage action, the live music, and the innovative set—a crucial element in pulling off the production—”Sound of Music” does not disappoint.
Adding novelty to the musical and heightening its visual flair is the costume design by Francis Libiran. The UST Architecture alumnus complements the strong colors seen on the elaborate set with the subdued tones of his wardrobe. He balances this with dashes of bright hues seen in the costumes’ era-appropriate details.
“The Sound of Music”’s world-class cast includes Joanna Ampil and Cris Villonco as Maria Rainer; and Audie Gemora, Ed Feist and Jon Joven alternating as Captain Georg von Trapp.
Pinky Marquez and Sheila Francisco take turns in playing the role of Mother Abbess. Pinky Amador and Lynn Sherman portray Baroness Elsa Schraeder.
Directed by Roxanne Lapus, “Sound of Music” has Mio Infante as set designer and television director Paul Soriano as video director.