'Rama Hari' revival 'a must-see' -- Karylle

By Ivy Jean Vibar, ABS-CBNnews.com

Posted at Nov 25 2012 03:17 PM | Updated as of Nov 26 2012 06:56 PM

MANILA, Philippines – Singer Karylle said the return of "Rama Hari" to the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) is a "must-see" not only because it is one of the country's best ballet musicals, but also because it's a Filipino work of art.

“This is a purely original Filipino work of art,” she said on “ASAP 2012” on Sunday. “Nagsanib-puwersa ang literature, music and dance, so kailangan talagang gawin ulit.”

Karylle will play Sita in the revival of "Rama Hari", opposite Christian Bautista.

According to composer Ryan Cayabyab, the “new” version of “Rama Hari” is different from the previous staging in that there are new elements that have been brought in. However, it still stays true to the original production.

“It’s very different in a way that we have a new Rama and a new Sita and we have a different orchestra playing here, this time it’s the Manila Symphony Orchestra, and we have the Ballet Philippines,” he said.

Ballet Philippines’ Jean Marc Cordero and Richardson Yadao will dance as Rama, while Carissa Adea and Katherine Trofeo will play Sita.

“It’s the same music, same set, the set is by National Artist Badong Bernal, and choreography by Alice Reyes. The libretto is by the National Artist Bienvenido Lumbera,” Cayabyab said.

The musical is based on the Indian epic “Ramayana”.

Big shoes to fill

Singter Christian Bautista said that he is pressured to do his very best as Rama because he has big shoes to fill.

“Kasi si Basil Valdez nung '80s, he really did a wonderful, wonderful job. Nung pinanood ko ang video, talagang inaral ko kung ano ang mga nabigay niya, nagdagdag din ako ng kaunti sa akin, and it came out very beautifully,” he said.

“Ako naman siyempre, more than that, we are just excited about this project. We are paying tribute to all the artists who have come before us,” added Karylle, who will play the role of Sita.

“I’m very thankful to Sir Paul of Ballet Philippines and, of course, Ms. Margie Moran for putting together this project,” she said.

Also part of the show are singers Robert Seña, OJ Mariano and Kalila Aguilos.

"Rama Hari" premiered in 1980 with Valdez as Rama and Kuh Ledesma as Sita. The revival of the musical will run from November 30 to December 9 at the CCP.