Paris: Marco Polo: An Untold Love Story, the Musical

What: Marco Polo, the Musical show
When: June 18-21
Where: Vingtième-Théâtre, Rue de Plâtrières, Paris
Reservations:
SRC Spectacles 0148659790
Vingtième-Théâtre 0143660113

marco polo

Foreword
What we know about Marco Polo are the stories that he shared with the romance writer Rustigielo when both were in a Genoan prison in 1298. The book, The Travels of Marco Polo or the Description of the World (its original title), is rich in details about the characteristics of peoples, their politics, culture and what we refer to now as the eco-system of various regions that he visited in the East. The veracity of the facts and figures in Rustigielo’s book has been the subject of controversy among Marco Polo scholars, critics and admirers. Fact of the matter is that beyond the colorful narrative of people and places, flora and fauna, we don’t know much about the personal life of Marco Polo. Many conjecture that a young man of such energy and vigor must have a love interest in his long sojourn in China.

Rustigielo’s book does mention that the return of Marco Polo to the West was prompted by the command of the Great Khan. Marco Polo was to accompany a young Mongol Princess in her voyage to the Port of Ormuz en route to her intended bridegroom. Living in the court of Shangtu for several years, as a trusted adviser of the Great Khan, was there any relationship between Marco Polo and the Mongol Princess? History has no cue. This musical production is a dramatization of what could be one of the many untold stories of Marco Polo, a young man who left Venice in 1271 to go to China in search for adventure, fame and fortune which he clearly achieved. But, beyond this, he found true love amidst the setting of an East-West encounter rich in historical significance.

Storyline:
In 1271, Marco Polo joins his father Niccolo and uncle Maffeo on their return to Shangtu in faraway Cathay. They are on a mission for the Great Kublai Khan who rules an empire that stretched from the Danube to the Sea of Japan. During this time, there are internecine wars in the West among European potentates and, in the East conflicts among powerful Mongol warlords. But, the Polo caravan is resolute. Step by step, they continue courageously to trek the silk road toward their intended destination.

Act I of the musical recounts the voyage of Marco Polo from Venice to Central Asia and his encounter with Kogajin, the daughter of the Great Khan. They fall in love. However, Kogajin is a princess in the royal Mongol bloodline. Marco, on the other hand, is a foreigner and the son of an ordinary Venetian merchant. Act II brings us to Cathay and tells the story of Marco’s quest, amidst strong opposition from the ruling Mongol elite, to do all that is required of him to deserve Kogajin.

Will Marco and Kogajin succeed in their pursuit of true love? Is it destiny that controls our lives or is it self- will? Is there truly an invisible thread that ties those who are destined to meet and love each other? These are a few of the overarching themes of Marco Polo, an Untold Love Story, a new musical.

Production Notes:
This is a musical event which combines 21st century scenography in terms of set, light, sound design, computer-generated and holographic imageries with the extensive use of 13th century costumes and props in both Western and Eastern settings. The orchestral accompaniment includes sounds from both Eastern and Western musical instruments. The whole cast is composed of actors who are also singers and dancers. Sets are envisioned to change seamlessly from scene to scene.

About the Author
Lyricist and Composer Rogelio Saldo Chua, a Philippine-born Belgian of Spanish-Chinese ancestry, performed in lead and major roles in various musical productions including Oklahoma, South Pacific, Damn Yankees, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Fantasticks, Fiddler on the Roof, The Merry Widow, Sweeney Todd, My Fair Lady, Oliver and others in Manila. In addition to stage performances as actor and singer, his theater experience has been enriched by taking production roles as Director, Producer and Artistic Director. He obtained formal vocal training as a classical singer at the Leuven Conservatorium in Belgium. He is an avid traveler taking time to go the theater or the opera in cities where they have the best productions like New York, Chicago, Paris, London and Berlin. He currently sits in the board of various foundations that promote the performing arts in Manila. He considers the Philippines, the United States and Belgium as home. He was awarded Officier de l’Ordre de Leopold II by the Kingdom of Belgium in 2013.

The Lead Cast:
Marco Polo
Kogajin
Rustigielo
Empress Wu Ze-Lin
Toragana
Kublai Khan
Lord Khogatal

The Ensemble:
Niccolo Maffeo
Baron Togana
Baron Tegan
Baron Togachar
General Irinchin
Enzo Antonello
Giorgio Maurizio
Friar William Friar Nicholas
Polo Caravan, Bedouins, Learned Men, Soldiers
Countesses, Ladies-in-Waiting, Courtiers, Townspeople

List of Songs:
1. Beyond the Mountains
2. Bukhara
3. Center of the Universe
4. Confucius Says
5. Duty and Sacrifice
6. Goddess of Destiny
7. I Choose You
8. Learn to be Wise
9. Long Live Marco Polo
10. Love and Sacrifice
11. Once I had a Love
12, My Only Love
13. Something in my Heart
14. Step by Step
15. This is Home for me
16. The Journey
17. The Royal Bloodline
18. Trilogy
19, What do I do
20. What is Love
21. What’s Nobler
22. What’s There
23. When I Saw Your Face
24. When you Find your True Love
25. When I Gaze at the Moon
26. You will be, I will be

For interested investors of the West End production of Marco Polo, an Untold Love Story, a New Musical, address your queries to the Managing Director of Artists Theatre Company, Ltd.( (UK) at InquiryMarcoPoloWestEnd@live.com.

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