How the former Emperor, Empress happily solve a ‘limitation’ in watching Lucia de Lammermoor

Ibarra C. Mateo Reports

By Ibarra C. Mateo

FILIPINO TENOR ARTHUR ESPIRITU as Edgardo di Ravenswood in Donizetti’s “Lucia de Lammermoor” Photo from the FB wall of Pablo Tariman

Many years ago, when Vincenzo Grisostomi Travaglini directed the opera and designed the set and costumes for its Tokyo run, he was given FOUR MONTHS just to rehearse the cast.

Knowing the Japanese penchant for perfection, this was hardly surprising. Travaglini is among the key persons behind the 2020 CCP production of Lucia, which closes today with a 3 pm show.

Former Emperor Akihito and former Empress Michiko are opera lovers. They would not miss the Travaglini’s Lucia.

Over lunch, Travaglini told us that there was one BIG limitation. The imperial couple, when they are in Japan, are not allowed by imperial protocol to be out of the palace in the evening for MORE THAN TWO HOURS. But the opera runs almost three hours including…

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Breakfast with Max – Interview with His Highness Prince Sisowath Ravivaddhana Monipong: Honoring HRH Princess Norodom Buppha Devi

Honoring HRH Princess Norodom Buppha Devi. Interview with His Highness remembering the Princess. All my strongest thank you to His Highness for being the first guest of Breakfast with Max.

via Breakfast with Max – Interview with His Highness Prince Sisowath Ravivaddhana Monipong: Honoring HRH Princess Norodom Buppha Devi — Extraordinary People in ordinary clothes

Marchigiano dell’Anno 2016: My friend Sergio Palma

As every year, the Prize of the “Marchigiano dell’Anno”, i.e. of the Marchigiano of the Year was held on June 22nd, 2016 in the prestigious location of the Italian Senate, in the heart of Rome in Palazzo Madama.

I was extremely honoured to present the prize to my friend, Sergio Palma, who was thus rewarded by the Italian Presidency due to his admirable work in the field of Oil Trade and Management that he fulfilled all along these years of work within the Italian firm of AGIP.

Together with me was AGIP Vice-President Giuseppe Accorinti to give Sergio Palma his Prize.

Needless to say that his wife, Margareth (of Indonesian descent) and his son David were tremendously proud on this very special occasion.


Our thoughts were directed to our common friend, Princess Giulia Pignatelli Panichi Seghetti who had us meet years ago in her lovely mansion of Castel di Lama, Borgo Seghetti Panichi, together with Marquess Vincenzo Grisostomi Travaglini, present in the Senate on this unique venue.

Celebration of Buddhist Holy Day : First Day of the Month of Pisak

On Thursday 5th May 2016, at the Royal Palace of Phnom Penh, in the Silver Pagoda Holy Grounds, His Majesty King Norodom Sihamoni and Her Majesty Queen-Mother Norodom Monineath Sihanouk, followed by members of the Royal Family and dignitaries of the Khmer Royal Court, prayed in occasion of the Buddhist Holy Day of the beginning of the Month of Pisak.

Their Majesties praying in front of King Norodom Sihanouk’s Stupa. HRH Samdech Reach Botrei Preah Ream Princess Norodom Buppha Devi, HRH Samdech Reach Botrei Preah Anoch Princess Norodom Arunrasmey and HRH Samdech Princess Sisowath Pongneary Monipong were following Their Majesties. I was granted the grand honour to follow my Aunt, Princess Sisowath Pongneary Monipong to offer a jasmine garland to honour the memory of our King Father.
With my Beloved Auntie HRH Princess Samdech Sisowath Pongneary Monipong before the Royal Ceremony of the Grand Holy Day on 5th May 2016

I was granted the honour to greet Their Majesties and extend my deeply respectful thanks for Their Royal Kindness and bidding my salutations before leaving Cambodia back to Italy.




Honouring the Memory of His Majesty Preah Bat Samdech Preah Norodom Sihanouk Varman, Preah Barom Rattanak Kaud, Father of Khmer Independence

On Monday 2nd May 2016, before entering the Kantha Bopha Pavillion to be received by Her Majesty Queen-Mother Norodom Monineath Sihanouk, I was granted the honour to kneel down in front of the Statue of our Late King-Father in the gardens of the Royal Palace.

Honouring the Memory of King Father Preah Barom Rattanak Kaud Preah Karuna Norodom Sihanouk Varman


Royal Audience granted by Her Majesty Queen-Mother Norodom Monineath Sihanouk to His Highness Prince Sisowath Ravivaddhana Monipong

On Monday 2nd May 2016, in Phnom Penh,  Her Majesty Queen-Mother  Norodom Monineath Sihanouk granted me the honour of a Royal Audience in Kantha Bopha Pavillion at 10.30 a.m.

Kneeling down in front of my Most Revered Queen-Mother
Her Majesty the Queen-Mother kindly welcoming me
Last photo before leaving Her Majesty