Joanna Ampil – The Leading Actress for “Larawan” the movie!

As a member of the online media under Astig.PH, I was privileged to have attended a press conference last June 13, 2017 held at the 14th floor conference area of ABS


Joanna Ampil (born June 1, 1975 in Manila), is an awarded musical theatre actress from the Philippines.[1]

Ampil has performed in several West End musicals, including Miss Saigon, Jesus Christ Superstar and Avenue Q, and she played the role of Fantine in Les Misérables in London until 21 June 2008. She was also invited by Sir Cameron Mackintosh to perform the role of Kim in the Australian premiere in Sydney of Miss Saigon,[2] and in 2011 she performed the main role as Thanh in the showcase performance of the new musical The Real Love.[3]

Ampil is also heard on several West End cast recordings, for example the Jesus Christ Superstar (1996 London Cast) recording as Mary Magdalene and on the Miss Saigon: Complete Symphonic Recording as Kim.[2]

Ampil has released two solo albums, and all the proceeds of these albums are donated to the Sun and Moon Home for Children in Manila, initiated by Miss Saigon composer Claude-Michel Schonberg. Her first album, Joanna Ampil was recorded in Abbey Road Studios in London and her second, Try Love, in the Philippines.[4]

She was also a stage play actress for “The Sound of Music” in Newport Performing Arts Theater in Resorts World Manila as Maria from 2011-2012.

In addition to her stage work, Ampil has done a few on-screen roles such as in One Day and on several episodes of Broken News.

In 2013-2014, she was on tour with Cats as Grizabella.

From wikipedia : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joanna_Ampil

This year 2017, she will be appearing as the lead actress of the revival “Larawan” in a movie with other theatre and showbiz stars namely,  Zsa Zsa Padilla, Celeste Legaspi, Nonie Buencamino, Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo, Robert Arevalo, Ogie Alcasid, Dulce, Nanette Inventor, Bernardo Bernardo, Noel Trinidad, Rayver Cruz, Jaime Fabregas and many more.

ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra with “Ang Larawan” cast and production team, including producers Girlie Rodis (front row, fifth from left) and Celeste Legaspi (center, standing), director Loy Arcenas, musical director Ryan Cayabyab, Sandino Martin, Nonie Buencamino, Rachel Alejandro, Bernardo Bernardo, Dulce, Joanna Ampil, Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo, Paulo Avelino, Noel Trinidad and Nanette Inventor. PHOTO BY FRAN KATIGBAK

ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra with “Ang Larawan” cast and production team, including producers Girlie Rodis (front row, fifth from left) and Celeste Legaspi (center, standing), director Loy Arcenas, musical director Ryan Cayabyab, Sandino Martin, Nonie Buencamino, Rachel Alejandro, Bernardo Bernardo, Dulce, Joanna Ampil, Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo, Paulo Avelino, Noel Trinidad and Nanette Inventor. Photo by Fran Katigbak

It seems an ambitious undertaking to create a Filipino film laden with songs and music for an audience that would go to cinemas mostly for the blockbuster variety or the local romcom and horror flicks.

Yet two longtime friends, talent manager Girlie Rodis and singer-actress Celeste Legaspi, owners of Culturtain Musicat Productions Inc., a production company aiming to merge culture with entertainment, appear determined to make a heritage film out of their first cinematic project, “Ang Larawan.”

Based on “A Portrait of the Artist as Filipino,” a play by National Artist for Literature Nick Joaquin, “Ang Larawan” is set in prewar Intramuros where two sisters try to cope with the financial ruin brought on by a father who could no longer paint for a living. His last work, a self-portrait, fascinates Manila society, but what it ultimately symbolizes causes a dispute between the daughters.

In 1965, Joaquin’s play was turned into a black-and-white film by Lamberto Avellana, dubbed the “Boy Wonder of Philippine Movies.” About 20 years ago Rolando Tinio, national artist for theater and literature, wrote the libretto, with Ryan Cayabyab penning the music.

Another national artist, Salvador “Badong” Bernal, was production designer of the original stage version. His protégé Gino Gonzales now leads the film’s production design team.

As a member of the online media under Astig.PH, I was privileged to have attended a press conference last June 13, 2017 held at the 14th floor conference area of ABS CBN ELJ building.

We had a question and answer portion with her and she shared about her role in Larawan. She answered in a real ang authentic manner about her quitting twice during the shooting. She was able to be encouraged by her co-star Rachel Alejandro to continue with the shooting. It is great to note that inspite of her multiple successes in the theatre for several years, that she admits she still wants to learn more and try new things like acting in TV and in movies too. Her dream role is to be Mary Poppins.

She mentioned that Menchu Yulo was her teacher and is an inspiration to her as well. They do several scenes together. She sang “Memory” from Cats and a sampler song from the movie itself. The musical is sung thru and is in Filipino. This was something that a lot of them had to adjust to. She mentioned that the director is into details and excellence so they had to re-shoot several scenes but the end result was a great one. She is hoping that the movie will be part of MMFF and that it will win awards.

“I’m truly excited for this because it really has everything that audiences could hope for: Drama, comedy, songs, people would love it,” said the world renowned singer-actress in an interview early this week.

Award-winning Broadway production designer Loy Arcenas, who previously helmed the Cinemalaya entries “Niño” and “REquieme!” directs the film.

According to Joanna, Loy is an “extremely meticulous, pedantic director.”

“He has a keen eye for details. I have to admit the rehearsal period was exhausting. Sobra siyang particular na kailangan lahat eksakto. He’s very intelligent, he doesn’t go for cliches.”

Here’s hoping the Larawan movie will be well received since award winning players are here. The music is by Ryan Cayabyab and ABS CBN Philharmonic Orchestra are part of the movie as well.

 

Presscon with Special Interview with Joanna Ampil


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