"It's difficult to find a job that will work around your [family life], yes it is! But it's not difficult in terms of family kasi nga yun yung priority mo. It's hard finding a job kasi sasabihin mo lagi, 'O, hanggang dito [lang] kasi I have my kids." It's difficult that way but it's really easy when you have the kind of wife I have."


As Ariel Rivera welcomes the year with two acting stints—The Sound of Music and ABS-CBN's soap E-boy—the singer-actor maintains that raising his two pre-teen boys with his actress/television host-wife Gelli de Belen remains on top of his responsibilities.


Photo: Noel Orsal

The year is starting out strong for Ariel Rivera.

At the press conference held at the Maxims Tower, Resort's World Manila yesterday, January 5, the actor/singer/songwriter was officially announced as an addition to the cast of The Sound of Music.

He will alternate with Audie Gemora and Jon Joven in giving life and music to the character of the formidable Captain Von Trapp.

The international musical, a Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II original popularized by its film rendition starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer, was brought to the Philippines late last year.

With an all-Filipino cast of theater actors, including thespians Cris Villonco and Joanna Ampil who alternately play the protagonist Maria, The Sound of Music production has been enthralling a proud Filipino audience since it began its run in October 2011.

"I'm excited! ... This is something I'm excited about because, like I said, since I was a teenager and that was a long time ago, I've been watching The Sound of Music.

"So now to be Captain Von Trapp... I'm really, really excited," says Ariel who admits to feeling half-jittery, half-elated about the 20 runs he will do as Captain Von Trapp.

The show will last until February 12.

At the press conference proper, Ariel narrated how he found out about The Sound of Music production from his friend, esteemed theater actress Isay Alvarez, around November of last year.

By that time, it was too late to audition.

Thankfully, the production staged at Resort World Manila's Newport Performing Arts Theater will be extended beyond its end run originally set for December 2011.

It was Joanna Ampil who had a hand in including Ariel in the list of potential new additions to the cast.

After his audition, he got the part.

Ariel mentions of his initial apprehension in taking on the role. Theater, according to him, is "a different animal altogether."