Over the the past few weeks, the talented cast of Les Misérables has been rehearsing at the Star Theatre, a few minutes away from where the show will actually be staged: The Theatre at Solaire. It was only a few days ago that the cast moved into The Theatre and performed the full show with the orchestra, minus the hindrances that come with staging, props, and costumes. Theater Fans Manila had exclusive access to this process in the show, called a sitzprobe, and it was an electrifying evening. I entered the rehearsal room, where the cast members’ seats were being set up as the orchestra members tweaked their instruments, and was introduced to Musical Director Laura Tipoki, who conducted the orchestra that evening.
(WATCH: Les Misérables Manila Cast Rehearsal)
I took my seat behind a row of chairs and waited quietly as the cast filtered in from outside. I tried to remain still as the principal cast walked in and sat down, and none other than Rachelle Ann Go was directly in front of me. Miss Tipoki then went on to introduce the orchestra members (some of whom were Filipino) to the cast, and for the next three hours, I resisted the urge to scream in excitement, cry from joy, and shamelessly approach the cast members for photos. As soon as Tipoki raised her conductor’s baton and the orchestra played that familiar intro, I was hooked. If you’ve seen any of the two anniversary concerts for Les Misérables, you can picture what it was like in that room.
(WATCH: Rachelle Ann Go to Theater Fans Manila)
(READ: Cast Announced for Manila Production of Les Misérables)
I won’t reveal too much, but trust me when I say that we have been graced with a cast that is immensely talented; and the orchestra, led by Tipoki, is phenomenal as well. The Les Misérables sitzprobe was not only a preview of what the show would be like onstage, but backstage as well. The energy was incredible, and it was even more special to witness the closeness between the cast members, as they joked around with one another while waiting, only to snap back into perfect form when their time came to step up to the microphone. If the first meeting between the cast and orchestra was amazing, I can only imagine what the show will be like. The good news is that we don’t have to wait very long, since Les Misérables Manila finally opens next week!
Oh, and a special someone would like to invite you to see the show too.