His Highness Prince Sisowath Ravivaddhana Monipong, was born in Phnom Penh in 1970; has been living mainly in Italy, in Rome, since 1997. Educated in France, holds a Master of Arts in Contemporary British Literature; founded in 1992 the Institute of the Royal House of Cambodia with Professor Jacques Népote (CNRS). Recognised specialist of the history and the culture of Cambodia, has published books and articles regarding the social structures of Cambodia and the genealogy of the Khmer Royal Family. After a career as sales officer in various multinational private companies such as IBM and ACCOR, has collaborated as a Programme Officer and Consultant for many years with the United Nations (WFP, FAO & IFAD) and private sector with interests in Southeast Asia; has been for many years representative of the Cambodian Ministry of Tourism for Italy.
In March 2013, the Royal Ballet of Cambodia was invited by the Printemps des Arts to perform in Monaco. Her Royal Highness Princess Norodom Buppha Devi led the delegation, seconded by His Royal Highness Prince Sisowath Tesso. Their Serene Hignesses Prince Albert and Princess Charlene attended the Première and Her Royal Highness Princess Caroline of Hanovre attended the Gala Evening.
On this occasion, my dear friend, French photographer Alain Hanel, as the official photographer of the Printemps des Arts shooted marvellous pictures of the dancers on stage and he decided to set up an exhibition of his works in Monaco.
His son Julien Pierre Hanel gave the magic touch to the photos by re-working graphically with the utmost modern techniques to render the glimpses of fantasy and glitters, characteristical of the Cambodia Royal Ballet.
This initiative was definitely supported by the famous brand of French supermarkets, Carrefour and their Foundation for Arts. Mrs. Marie Madeleine Liesse and her Responsible for Marketing, Mr. Hubert Dupont-Sonneville were enthusiastic promoters and this is how we ended on 9th March 2017 enjoying this exclusive venue in one of the main Shopping Mall of Monaco.
The Apsaras will continue their enchanting dances on the walls of Fontvieille until 7th April 2017.
As reported in “L’Opera – International Magazine” of February 2017, the Opera Theatre of Cosenza, known as the “Rendano Theatre” hosted on 29th December 2016 a unique special Gala Evening, following the napolitan concept of “pastiche”, uniting in one show, music, opera and dance for the pleasure of the public.
This initiative was due to our Beloved friend, Mrs. Luigia Pastore Fiorentino, who founded the Polimnia Association to promote opera and music, especially for young people (but not only!). She asked Maestro Vincenzo Grisostomi Travaglini and myself to imagine a kind of dream to be put on stage in a form of an oniric trip from Naples to Paris, crossing Vienna in order to lead the public to welcome the new year to come.
We decided to put together French Literature with Napolitan poems, “La Veuve Joyeuse” with “La Traviata” and many other jolly and colourful pieces of music and dance, so to have a delightful mixture of glamour and naughty songs to accompany our trip towards the end of 2016.
A marvellous cast of fabulous artists of either music and theatre world gave this creation a special sense of artistic expression, which was definitely appreciated. In my name and the one of Maestro Vincenzo Grisostomi Travaglini, we want to extend our warmest thanks to Maria Carmela Conti, Sarah Baratta, Silia Valente, Glenda Sevald Pirandello, the brothers Stefano and Andrea Tanzillo, Federico Veltri, Luca Bruno, Andrea Bauleo, Pasquale Allegretti Gravina, Rino Amato, Antonio Fratto and his “Sol Vox Cantori” choir, the clarinettists of the Conservatorio “S.Giacomantonio” directed by Giorgio Feroleto, the choreographer Antonella Ciappetta and her dancers, and of course, last but not least, the whole staff of the production, Francesco Liuzi, Giovanni Pirandello, Otello Camponeschi and Fabrizio Onali.
A special mention to our favourite: Adriano Pirandello, 11 years old, who made a fantastic first stage appearance, speaking out and loud a sweet poem of his illustrous ancestor, Luigi Pirandello… about love and time…!
Many thanks to Mr. Luigi Allegretti Gravina for the nice photos on stage !
On Friday 17th February 2017 took place the vernissage of a very special exhibition of our friend Fabrizio Onali, with Giuseppe Ussani d’Escobar as Art Curator.
Fabrizio’s inspiration is mainly the tranformation of precious antique materials into splendid ornamental art pieces. Fabrizio collaborated many times with his partner, Otello Camponeschi to opera creations, especially the ones of Maestro Vincenzo Grisostomi Travaglini.
More recently, I had the joy to wear Fabrizio’s creation during a special Show at the Rendano Opera Theatre in Cosenza. He set together a piece of golden silk of Cambodia with a magnificent Renaissance jacket, to make me look like a character of Shakespeare in some strange twilight dreams….
His exhibition in Rome will last until 17th April. Please go to have a look, it is worth seeing!
On Monday 27th February 2017, His Most Reverend Excellency, Monsignor Miguel Maury Buendia, Archbishop of Italica and Apostolic Nunzio to Romania has granted me the honour of a Gala Dinner in Bucharest, remembering that we were celebrating twenty years of personal, faithful and sincere friendship.
The day after, I had the joy to meet up with my Dear Friend, His Excellency Ambassador Bogdan Tataru-Cazaban with whom I meditated on the maening of Lent in the Christian tradition.
On Tuesday 17th January 2017, before entering the Preah Reach Damnak Kantha Bopha to be received by Her Majesty Queen-Mother Norodom Monineath Sihanouk, Marquis Vincenzo Grisostomi Travaglini and I were granted the honour to offer a jasmine garland in front of the Statue of our Late King-Father in the gardens of the Royal Palace.
On Tuesday 17th January 2017, in Phnom Penh, Her Majesty Queen-Mother Norodom Monineath Sihanouk granted me and Marquis Vincenzo Grisostomi Travaglini the honour of a Royal Audience in Preah Reach Damnak Kantha Bopha at 10.30 a.m.
Our Beloved Queen-Mother had honoured us with beautiful Royal gifts, hand-made silk ties, books and music CDs of His Majesty King Norodom Sihanouk.
We brought from Italy a very special perfume and I kneeled down to explain the different fragrances used.
Before leaving, Her Majesty granted us the honour of a last photography, together with Her Royal Highness Princess Samdech Reach Botrey Preah Anoch Norodom Arunrasmy, renewing Her wishes for the success of Our projects.
On Monday 16th January 2017, in Phnom Penh, His Majesty Preah Karuna Preah Bat Samdech Preah Boromneath King Norodom Sihamoni granted me and Marquis Vincenzo Grisostomi Travaglini the honour of a Royal Audience in Khemarin Palace at 11.00 a.m.
King Sihamoni had honoured us with beautiful Royal gifts, silver hand-made traditional boxes and books.
Then, His Majesty asked us about our activities in the field of Opera and Art and we obliged by raising to His Majesty’s High Attention our projects in the next future.
Before leaving, His Majesty granted us the honour of a last photography altogether, renewing His wishes for the success of Our projects.