Cast of ‘Rama, Hari’ revealed

Some of the hottest names in today’s music and theatre scene are taking on major roles in the hit Filipino rock opera ballet, Rama, Hari, which features the works and talents of five National Artists — direction and choreography by Alice Reyes, music by Ryan Cayabyab, lyrics and libretto by Bienvenido Lumbera, production design by Salvador Bernal and translations by Rolando Tinio.

Gian Magdangal, fresh from his award-winning run in 2022’s Carousel, and operatic stunner Arman Ferrer will play the titular role of Rama, with 2020 Gawad Buhay awardee Vien King serving as alternate. Musical theater stars Karylle Tatlonghari and Shiela Valderrama-Martinez take on the lead role of Sita, with Nica Tupas to alternate.

Photographs Courtesy by Jude Bautista | Karylle Tatlonghari as Sita in Rama, Hari (2012).
Gian Magdangal as Rama.
Arman Ferrer as Rama (2017).

Tackling the kontrabida 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 will alternate.

Theater icon Audie Gemora plays King Dasaratha in all shows.

Vien King
Nica Tupas

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.

Ferrer says of the role: “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.”

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

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

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

Rama, Hari will be staged at the Manila Metropolitan Theater on 15 September (7:30 p.m.), and 16 September (2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.), and at the Samsung Performing Arts Theater in Makati City on 22 September (7:30 p.m.), and 23 September (2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.). Some stages will have live music performed by The Orchestra of the Filipino Youth.

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