Karylle Tatlonghari, Markki Stroem Talk THE SOUND OF MUSIC

THE SOUND OF MUSIC international tour closes on Sunday, Mar. 26, at the Samsung Performing Arts Theatre, Circuit Makati.

By: Mar. 24, 2023
Karylle Tatlonghari, Markki Stroem Talk THE SOUND OF MUSIC

Manila, Philippines--When news broke about two local thespians getting included in the international touring production of "The Sound of Music," people celebrated and felt another victory in the person of Karylle Tatlonghari and Markki Stroem.

Tatlonghari and Stroem, who both grew up in the classic Rodgers and Hammerstein's "The Sound of Music," find the opportunity to take on the roles a dream come true.

They play the roles of Baroness Elsa Schraeder and Rolf Gruber, respectively.

The Auditions

She shares, "I had to submit an audition tape. I had never done a self-shoot audition before, so it was new. Luckily my castmate from 'Carousel,' Paula Paguio, helped me with my video audition. She played all the other characters in my scenes and sides. It was somewhat simpler than an in-person audition, if you think about, it since you don't have to stand in line and see the other actors you are up against for a role.

"I think the one difficult thing is seeing the playback. Since I was acting for the stage, it made me feel not right when I watched it on a small phone. It is a feeling na 'feel na feel' ko (she chuckled).

"So it feels like I'm living in a dream, which I never imagined for myself. I'm happy and grateful."

While he took us back to the audition process, which was all done online, "I am not very good at auditions, so I just submitted it and prayed that that was what they were looking for.

"It felt amazing that I did something that I have dreamed about for years, and this has been a goal of mine since I was a child to perform with an international cast, with Broadway stars and production at that."

Seeing their Characters as Karylle and Markki

Tatlonghari describes her role as the Baroness, "I didn't think much of her, to be honest. Perhaps because she [really] didn't sing in the movie.

"Thankfully, she has two songs in the musical."

And she adds that the Baroness had real feelings for the Captain, "Of course. She also has many options and is not a fan of drama, hence the very 'chill' but poetic break-up moment."

Stroem perceives Rolf as an enigma, "Does one rely on the heart or the mind? I hated what he did when I was a kid and always thought of him as the bad guy. But upon watching it again and growing up with this character, I learned he had a duty to fulfill to his country.

"All of the terrible things that we know about today were not known to this young lad all too well during his time. He had a job as a telegram delivery boy, and he wanted to be an upstanding citizen in his society to fulfill it.

"I do not think Rolf is a terrible guy. He fell for Liesl, but circumstances in his livelihood made him rethink going against his workplace. Whether it be family or money problems, he had to keep his job and not bite the hand that feeds him. Unfortunately, the von Trapps were targeted by his 'employers,' and he had to follow his orders. He also turns a blind eye at the end, so it seems he still ended up helping them escape, so there was love for Liesl!"

As adults, Tatlonghari and Stroem have these to say to their characters.

"Ooh, I love your style, I love your hair, I love that we go..." taken from her lines in the musical.

Stroem thinks, "Rolf, I know you are confused about what to do, but always do the right thing... If you had only known how many people died in the hands of your government, I'm sure you would not have followed them blindly. Stick to your heart!"

On Landing Dream Roles and Nuggets of Wisdom

Like any other theater artist who dreams of performing with international actors and production crew, they want to inspire young artists.

"Watch as many plays as you can. I'm trying to catch up because I haven't watched all the plays I should've watched. Thankfully there are so many plays right now.

"Soak up the theater world! Prepare for auditions, and take classes constantly. Audition and audition! Pray for the callback! Refresh your email inbox for that notice that you got the role. Support other actors and productions. Find your way to that stage and sparkle," Tatlonghari says.

Meanwhile, Stroem shares his piece, "Keep dreaming. Don't let anyone pull you down. Work hard. Hone your talents. You never know when an opportunity will arise!

"Keep manifesting it. Keep it in your prayers or meditations. Life has a funny way of granting your wishes if you keep your dream ALIVE!"

For Tatlonghari, who claims "Edelweiss" as among her favorite songs in the musical, she admires the Captain (Trevor Martin), who sang it beautifully and emotionally towards the end. The line: "Bless my homeland forever" is hitting her extra hard these days.

And Stroem revisits his childhood as he chose the "Sixteen going on Seventeen." According to him, it always made him giddy as a kid. Puppy love is always the purest kind of love. While the finale song, "Climb Ev'ry Mountain," always brings a tear to his eyes--it's a song for anyone looking to "find their dream."

The international touring production of "The Sound of Music" closes this Sunday, Mar. 26, 2023, at the Samsung Performing Arts Theatre, Circuit Makati.

Photos: GMG Productions

BWW Videos: Oliver Oliveros


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