Thursday, June 4, 2015

Siddhartha The Musical World Premiere

Buddhism is one of oldest religions. It's even older than Christian and Islam. Just like any religion and philosophy, Buddhism also has insights which is logically sound. It even has similarities with Christianity.
Ven. Master Yung Guang(Standing, left)

In popular culture, there is Hermann Hesse novel Siddhartha which is used as a textbook reference and the movie Little Buddha by Bernardo Bertolucci which stars Keanu Reeves as the title character of Prince Siddhartha before the enlightenment and a manga by Osamu Tezuka.

For eight years now, a musical production in Cebu depicting the life of the enlightened One and was brought to many tours in other countries and now will be shown in CCP for it's world premiere. Musical composer and director Jude Gitamondoc says it will be an entirely new production compared to the previous productions. It will cover from his birth to death and even after. It will be a new experience even to those who've seen it.
With main cast and production

The idea of making a musical started in Buddha's Light International Association in Cebu to promote Buddha's teaching through a theatrical production. Using the poetry of Ven, Master Hsin Yin and the composition of Jude Gitamondoc with the cast with different backgrounds auditioned, the stage was set.

Jude Gitamondoc add, the new production will add new songs and new characters fit for a CCP production. For actor Benjie Layos, the expectations for him to play the title role are very high. Even though he is not a Buddhist, he still lives up the principles so he can understand the part. Just like Benjie, the cast were reading Siddhartha's biography. The Buddhist monks are also involved in the production to make sure that everything's on track and accurate.
Benjie Layos as Siddhartha

Director Jude mentions that the purpose of the play is not to be preachy but to witness Siddhartha's journey that changed the course of history as we know it. Watch Siddhartha the musical on July 17 at CCP for 2 performances only. For more updates about Siddhartha the musical and more theatrical productions, follow this blog and like L.E.N.S. blogs on Facebook.

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