"Florante at Laura" to be staged by Gantimpala Theater

by Alwyn Ignacio
Jul 21, 2008
Arkin Da Silva and Nelia Aguado portray the lovers who lived at a time when Christians were battling with Muslims. They topbill the play Florante at Laura, which will be staged by Gantimpala Theater starting July 27, 2008.


Choreographed entrances, fast-paced skirmishes, an epic battle between warring Christians and Moors, and a romance that blooms, blossoms and endures despite the uncertainty of times—all these and more comes alive on stage as Gantimpala Theater ushers the beginning of its 31st year with Francisco Balagtas' Florante at Laura, re-created as a modern day komedya.


Florante at Laura
is a Filipino awit, a love story that happens in the kingdom of Albania. Florante is the son of Duke Briseo, betrothed to Laura, daughter of Haring Linceo. This Tagalog epic describes the many hardships that the relationship of the two lovers faced and how their love withstood the onslaught of tragedies. It also presents their unusual kinship with Flerida and Aladin, who are of Moorish lineage.


This awit is dedicated to Balagtas' sweetheart Maria Asuncion Rivera or Selya, who married Balagtas' rival Mario Capule. Despite being a love story, Florante at Laura had underlying nationalistic tones that escaped the eyes of the Spanish censorship permitting it to be shown in theatres and plays.

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Gantimpala Theater reincarnates the classic awit as a komedya, considered as an authentic Filipino theater form.


This Roobak Valle-directed production stars Arkin Da Silva (Florante); Nelia Aguado (Laura); Ronald Concepcion (Adolfo); Dong Aturong (Duke Briseo); Pamela Hundana (Reyna Floresca); Abel Napuran (Haring Linceo); Abner Delina Jr. (Batang Florante/Taga-Pagsalaysay); Christian Parado (Menandro); Billy Parjan (Antenor); Jerald Napoles (Sultan Ali-Adab); Yutaka Yamakawa (Aladin); Lailanie Ann Tejuco (Flerida) and Julius Empredo (Osmalik).


Assisting Valle realize the world of Florante at Laura are Andy Villareal (Lights Designer); Sergio Anlocotan Jr. (Choreographer); Charyl Chan-de Guzman (Production Manager); Lailanie Ann Tejuco (Assistant Production Manager); Joey David (Stage Manager) and Tony S. Espejo (Artistic Director).


Tony Espejo, Gantimpala's artistic director says, "Our season once more focuses on the educational role that live theater provides to our student audiences and the general public. Our performances bring flesh and blood to the famous characters of the stories we dramatize, making them more believable and accessible to the audience. We also emphasize the values inherent in the stories and underscore such virtues as love for country, caring for environment and honesty, truth and justice. Watching Gantimpala's Florante at Laura is a lesson in Philippine literature and theater history. I guarantee our audiences that this historical dramatization of the exploits of Florante and his romance with Laura will make them appreciate our country's rich literary heritage."

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Florante at Laura
is fully supported by the National Parks Development Committee (NPDC).


For information, bookings and ticket reservations please call: the Gantimpala Theater Marketing Office, 899-5745/896-3503/474-5198 or email: gantimpalaproduction@yahoo.com.ph


Performance dates:

July 27, 6 pm, Concert at the Park Open Air Auditorium in Luneta, Manila

August 1, 2, 3, 15 & 16, 10 am/2 pm, AFP Theater in EDSA, Quezon City


August 8, 9 & 10, 10 am/2 pm, SM South Mall in Las Piñas City


Venue: Concert at the Park Open Air Auditorium, Rizal Park, Manila

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Arkin Da Silva and Nelia Aguado portray the lovers who lived at a time when Christians were battling with Muslims. They topbill the play Florante at Laura, which will be staged by Gantimpala Theater starting July 27, 2008.
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