|Gozo readies for a cultural explosion in a few weeks.|
The local media, especially the newspapers which were published today, Sunday 10 October 2010 reported extensively the media releases made by Teatru Astra and Festival Mediterranea in last days following the official launch of the festival on 27 September 2010. The Malta Today, Il Mument and It Torca today carried out page features on La Traviata and the ninth edition of Festival Mediterranea. Yesterday, Saturday 9 October, the programme Ghawdex Illum, prodcued by Citadel Media Communications, aired on TVM before the 8pm news bulletin featured a 20 minute report on the forthcoming events happening at Teatru Astra, including, obviously, the opera La Traviata which will be held on 28 and 30 October 2010.
We are reproducing below the feature appearing today on page 27 of MaltaToday in the section 'This Week' appropriately titled 'Gozo readies for a cultural explosion in a few weeks'.
Festival Mediterranea returns to Teatru Astra, Victoria, Gozo for the ninth consecutive year, with a varied programme incorporating music, theatre and heritage over October 28 to November 27.
The highlight of this month-long festival undoubtedly remains the opera, with the Teatru Astra’s choice this year falling on La Traviata. Two performances will be held, on Thursday October 28 and Saturday October 30, 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 Liberator 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. Gandini is one the 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 Alaimmo, a piano duo recital by Natascha Chircop and Marco Rivoltini, a concert by the La Stella Brass Ensemble and Soloists, and 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, is also inserted in the programme as a bonus for polyphonic music lovers.
Taking care of the heritage aspect of the festival will be leading UK scholar and archaeologist Dr David Trump, who will be returning for the ninth 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 where 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 to places where elements of traditional food are cultivated, harvested or produced.
Festival Mediterranea will also feature the theatre production by the Gozo Creative Theatre Club of an English translation of Euripides’ Trojan Women, the dance spectacle Truly Unforgettable by Centre Stage Dance Academy, and folklore evening by the La Stella Folk Group that is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year.
Speaking about the programme of events during a press conference held to inaugurate the festival, 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 artists, including singers who will be singing in Malta for the first time.
Festival Mediterranea is organised by the Teatru Astra in Gozo. Bank of Valleta 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.