“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.”—Stephen Sondheim
For its 20th year anniversary celebration, The Philippine Opera Company is inviting everyone to a romantic journey into and through the many shades and mysteries of love as it proudly presents a new production of PASSION – the 1994 Tony Award for Best Musical from September 14 – 29 at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium, RCBC Plaza, Makati City.
From the Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by James Lapine, and based on the 1981 Italian film ‘Passione d’amore’, discover the power of love in PASSION with the wondrously complex landscape of the human heart as the subject of this haunting, intensely emotional one-act chamber opera that many consider to be Sondheim’s deepest and most powerful evening of musical theatre.
Directed by Robbie Guevara, PASSION is about a man’s relationship with two women in a steamy tale of desire and rejection, romantic selfishness, of that terrifying relentlessness that can be found in people who have not learned how to love.
Italian officer Giorgio is engaged in an exciting affair with a married lover, Clara, when he’s transferred to a provincial outpost. There, his commanding officer Colonel Ricci and the company doctor Tambourri encourage his friendship with Ricci’s ailing cousin Fosca, as she’s desperately in need of friendly companionship. At first pleased to be of help, Giorgio is pained by Fosca’s unwanted advances and her attempts to turn their relationship into a romance. In frustration, he turns his back on her, but through his dealings with both women in his life, learns some deep lessons about love and commitment.
CLARA –A married Milan socialite who is having an affair with Giorgio. Beautiful, shallow and rhapsodically in love with Giorgio, yet also melancholy given the confines of her situation.
GIORGIO BACHETTI – A pensive, well-respected, good-hearted young army Captain in the Italian military who is in love with Clara.
FOSCA – The ugly, thin, and reclusive cousin of Colonel Ricci. Very sickly and unattractive, she is deeply emotionally damaged. Smart, well read, and bold. Her desire to be loved teeters between longing and desperation. A deranged, lonely woman who develops an unhealthy obsession for the handsome soldier Giorgio.
COLONEL RICCI – The formal and righteous commander and the cousin / guardian of Fosca. His demeanor is typically one of love and benevolence.
LUDOVIC – A handsome man who pretended to be an Austrian Count so he could marry Fosca and steal her money.
DOCTOR TAMBORRI – The regiment’s attending physician. Though aloof at times, he sincerely cares for Fosca.
LIEUTENANT TORASSO – The cook and an Army Lieutenant. Given to laughter and perhaps a bit overweight, he has a lovely singing voice and is quite aware of the business of others.
MAJOR RIZZOLI – Major in the army.
SERGEANT LOMBARDI – Army Sergeant. Has no talent for cooking but remains determined. He is impish and can be found gossiping.
LIEUTENANT BARRI – Army Lieutenant. Quick witted and in possession of a razor sharp tongue, he is an avid gambler.
PRIVATE AUGENTI – Army Private and mail carrier. The youngest among the group, he has a genuine and sweet disposition.
The lead cast of PASSION are as follows: SHIELA VALDERRAMA-MARTINEZ (Fosca), VIEN KING (Giorgio) and Jasmine Fitzgerald (Clara).
The supporting cast members include: Lorenz Martinez (Doctor Tambourri), Raul Montesa (Colonel Ricci), Noel Rayos (Lt. Torasso).
The ensemble is composed of Jonel Mojica (Major 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 artistic team of PASSION is composed of Karla Gutierrez (Artistic Director – Philippine Opera Company), Robbie Guevara (Director), Daniel Bartolome (Musical Director and Conductor), Jason and Jo Tecson (Set Designers), Shakira Villa Sykes (Lighting Director), Zenaida Gutierrez (Costume Designer), Myrene Santos (Hair and Make-Up Designer), Venger S. Marquez (Vocal Coach); Sunshine R. Domine (Production Manager).
The sweeping romantic score of PASSION which Sondheim describes as “one long rhapsody” will be performed by the Philippine Opera Orchestra under the baton of musical conductor Daniel Bartolome.
PASSION opened on Broadway in 1994 and won four Tony Awards: Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical, Best Original Score and Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical.
Major productions: London (1996), Germany (2011), Sweden (2016); Off-Broadway revival (2013) and London revival (2010). Other productions include: St. Louis (1996), Sondheim Celebrity (2002), Minnesota Opera (2004), Netherlands (2004), Lincoln Center, New York (2005), Chicago (2007), Melbourne (2014), Paris (2016), Virginia (2018), and Italy (2019).
Experience an exceptional theater treat with PASSION and learn about what love is, what it means to be in love, what we look for in love or what love can be.
The schedule of performances of PASSION are as follows:
September 14, 20, 21, 27 and 28 — 8 pm
September 15, 21, 22, 28 and 29 — 3 pm.
Venue: Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium, RCBC Plaza, Makati City.
Total running time: 105 minutes
Call TicketWorld at 8919999 or Philippine Opera Company at 0917-6452946 for show buying, sponsorship and fundraising opportunities.
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“Passion” is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI) New York.
“Close enough to singe your soul.” — The New York Times
“Exultantly dramatic, this is the most thrilling piece of theater on Broadway.” – The New York Post
“Fall for the ravishing music in ‘Passion.’” — The Washington Post
“For any Sondheim fan, it’s a must; for anyone who has not seen Passion before, it can be a revelation.” — DC Metro Theater Arts
“Passion is not “just another love story,” as Giorgio and Clara innocently sing at the show’s opening. It’s a Sondheim work after all, with all the intelligence, complexity and exceptionally elegant agility with dialogue and music one would expect from the maestro.” — TheatreScene.com