Festival Mediterranea 2010 was launched this morning during a press conference
at the BOV Operations Centre, addressed by Mr Michael Formosa, Chairman Festival
Mediterranea organising committee, Prof. Mro. Joseph Vella, Festival Mediterranea
music director and resident conductor at the Teatru Astra, and Mr Tonio Depasquale,
Bank of Valletta Chief Executive Officer.
The annual festival of culture, featuring opera, music, dance, history and archaeology,
local food and wine, and art, this year runs from 28 October to 27 November.
The highlight of this month-long festival remains undoubtedly the opera, with the Teatru
Astra’s choice this year falling on ‘La Traviata’. Two representations will be held, on
Thursday 28 and on Saturday 30 October, with the participation of an international cast
of repute, made up of singers who are returning to the Astra and others who are debuting
locally. Gozitan soprano Miriam Cauchi will sing the leading role of Violetta, Italian
tenor Alessandro Liberatore will sing the role of Alfredo Germont and Italian baritone
Marco Chingari returns this time as Giorgio Germont.
The National Philharmonic Orchestra will be conducted by Prof Mro Joseph Vella,
while the Teatru Astra Opera Chorus is being trained by Maria Frendo. The Teatru
Astra is proud to have engaged the services of Italian Director Marco Gandini for this
production of La Traviata. Mr Gandini is one of maestro Franco Zeffirelli’s closest
collaborators, working uninterruptedly with the film and opera director since 1992.
Other musical appointments include two evenings by the Opera Studio Teatru Astra
(successfully set up earlier this year to professionally train singers), a concert by Sicilian
Soprano Letizia Colajanni and Sicilian Tenor Leonardo Alaimo, a piano duo recital by
Natascha Chircop and Marco Rivoltini, a concert by the La Stella Brass Ensemble and
Soloists, and the annual musical highlight of the La Stella Philharmonic Band with a
selection of classical, operatic, modern and pop music. The Sunday 1100h High Mass
at St George’s Basilica, weekly featuring the Laudate Pueri Choir, is also inserted in the
programme as a bonus for polyphonic music lovers.
Leading UK scholar and archaeologist Dr David Trump is returning for the 9th
consecutive year to conduct on-site lectures in some of the most interesting prehistoric
heritage sites such as the Hypogeum in Hal Saflieni and Ggantija. A first-timer for
Festival Mediterranea is the event wherein participants will get a close encounter with
a prehistoric pottery artefact. Dr Trump will also go head-to-head with other prehistoric
scholars or others interested in the subject during a half-day conference that tackles the
enigmatic subject of the cart ruts.
Other events include a site visit to St George’s Basilica in Victoria, home to fine art
works including Mattia Preti, a site visit at the fields of the Hili family in Gharb,
known for its organic cultivation of vines and the produce of wine, and a site visit
to places where elements of traditional food are cultivated, harvested or produced.
Festival Mediterranea also features the theatre production by The Gozo Creative Theatre
Club of an English translation of Euripides’ Trojan Women, a dance spectacle Truly
Unforgettable by Centre Stage Dance Academy, and a folklore evening by the La Stella
Folk Group that is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year.
For a full list and details of the events: www.mediterranea.com.mt. Booking for any
of the events can be done through the Teatru Astra or through the contact telephone
numbers or email address below.
Speaking about the programme of events, Mr Michael Formosa explained that Festival
Mediterranea has managed to become a fixed appointment for many local and foreign
culture-lovers with the festival exposing that which makes us unique – be it history,
culture and lifestyle. The festival is organised by volunteers who work all year round to
produce this month of cultural events to professional results, as the feedback from the
public attests to each year.
Prof Mro Joseph Vella spoke about the high quality music events that the Teatru Astra
has once again thought of, seeking to make the best use of local talent while engaging
foreign artistes, including singers who will be singing in Malta for the first time.
Bank of Valletta’s CEO Tonio Depasquale said that “Bank of Valletta has supported all
nine editions of Festival Mediterranea. The local Arts and Culture feature prominently
in Bank of Valletta’s support towards the community in which it operates. We have seen
the Festival grow over the years and are proud to be associated with an event that features
prominently in the local cultural calendar”.
Festival Mediterranea is organised by the Teatru Astra in Gozo. Bank of Valletta
partners the project, as do the Malta Tourism Authority, the Vodafone Malta Foundation,
the Ministry for Gozo and the Ministry for Finance, the Economy and Investment.
For more information:
Email: General Info:
Tel: 21550985 / 9988 3007