All roads lead to the Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo of the Cultural Center of the Philippines as its curtain opens for Marco Polo, an Untold Love Story, with its international preview slated on March 25 and 26, 2015 at 8pm..
Artists Theatre Company, headed by its Artistic Director Roger Salcedo Chua, brings on stage the life of the Venetian explorer.
Chua says, “I was aged 14 when I saw a very impressive movie about the life of Marco Polo. The adventure story of the young man from Venice traveling through the silkroad to Cathay crossing mountains, valleys and deserts was totally fascinating to me. There is no love story in the book about Marco Polo 'Le Devisement du Monde’ Therefore, I created one for this musical. .”
“Two years ago, specifically in August 10, we presented its concert version,” the artistic director shares the beginning of the musical’s creative journey. “We showcased its music, songs and dances. Its workshop version premiered on Feb 8 with a repeat on Feb 9, 2014. The structure of the storyline was highlighted during that time. For this international premiere version, we considered the comments and feedbacks regarding orchestration, choreography, costumes and casting We gave due importance to all aspects of the musical. The audiences can expect something new, something better during our staging in CCP. ”
Salcedo enthuses. “In all the versions of the musical, its universal theme remains integral. Regardless of time, place, and circumstance, an invisible thread, tangled but unbreakable, ties those who are destined to meet and love each other. This is inspired by a Chinese belief about the invisible red thread of destiny.
Playing the leads are Jonathan Wagner as Marco Polo and Stephanie Reese as Princess Kogajin. The lead cast includes Chinggoy Alonso as Niccolo, Pinky Marquez as Empress Wu, Gian Gloria as Princess Toragana, Kuya Manzano as Kublai Khan and Enrhil Serguino as Lord Khogatal.
Artist Theatre Company had its inaugural production many years ago with the presentation of David Mamet's 'A Life in the Theater' at the Bulwagang Gantimpala Basement Theater of the CCP. The company’s main goal was to stage plays and productions that cater to a global theater audience.
The invisible thread of destiny leads the company back to where all the artistic and creative dreams started. Only this time, it is in the Main Theater where the story of Marco Polo unfolds. .
Chua, also wrote the musical’s book and libretto. He also did the set design. Assisting him to create 13th century East West Love story are Daniel Bartolome, conductor of the Manila Sinfonietta Orchestra, Renz Sevilla (Lights Design/Technical Director); Odit Sarte and Raven Ong (Costume Designers); Remus Villanueva (Choreographer); Emmalyn Doverte (Stage Manager) and Dusty Suarez (Production Manager)
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