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'Rama, Hari' work of 5 National Artists, stellar cast introduced |

Arts and Culture

'Rama, Hari' work of 5 National Artists, stellar cast introduced

Jan Milo Severo -
'Rama, Hari' work of 5 National Artists, stellar cast introduced
Karylle as Sita in 'Rama, Hari'
CCP / Released

MANILA, Philippines — Hottest names in today’s music and theater scene are taking on major roles in the hit Filipino rock opera ballet, “Rama, Hari,” which features direction and choreography by National Artist Alice Reyes and music by National Artist Ryan Cayabyab, with lyrics and libretto by National Artist Bienvenido Lumbera, production design by National Artist Salvador Bernal and translations by National Artist Rolando Tinio. 

Gian Magdangal, fresh from his awarded run in 2022's "Carousel," and operatic stunner Arman Ferrer are cast as Rama, with 2020 Gawad Buhay Award honoree Vien King alternating.

“It has been my dream role since we did it back in 2017 at the ASEAN Opening Ceremonies. I have a lot of friends at Alice Reyes Dance Philippines and I’m really excited to work with them again,” Arman said.

Musical theater stars Karylle Tatlonghari-Yuson and Shiela Valderrama-Martinez take on the lead role of Sita, with fresh-face Nica Tupas alternating.

“I’m so excited to be doing this show with Alice Reyes Dance Philippines. This is a dream role and I am so grateful,” Shiela said. 

“I’m excited to see what ‘Rama, Hari’ will become this 2023,” Karylle added. 

Tackling the villain role of demon king Ravana are “Rak of Aegis” star Poppert Bernadas and Los Angeles-based musical theater actor Mathew San Jose making his Manila debut. Jonel Mojico alternates.

Theater icon Audie Gemora plays King Dasaratha in all shows.

Up-and-coming theater artists Miah Canton and Raflesia Bravo tackle the dual roles of Soorpanakha and Kooni, while Katrine Sunga and Maron Rozelle Mabana do double duty as Kaikeyi and “Gintong Usa.”

Paw Castillo and Jon Abella take on the roles of Rama’s younger brother, Lakshmana, and the monkey general Hanuman.

“Rama, Hari” is based on the ancient Sanskrit epic "Ramayana," which follows Prince Rama from his marriage to Sita, their 14-year banishment, and their encounters with the evil Ravana and his sister Soorpanakha.

It is presented by the Cultural Center of the Philippines and features the artists of the Alice Reyes Dance Philippines (ARDP) and the CCP’s Professional Artist Support Program (PASP), with guests from Guang Ming College, and other regional schools who actively participated in previous ARDP and PASP Productions.

"Rama, Hari" is set to premier on September 15 and 16 in Metropolitan Theater followed by September 22 and 23 in Samsung Performing Arts Theater.

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