|Fantastic international cast for ‘La Traviata’ at Teatru Astra|
Teatru Astra is proud to be announcing the full cast for its upcoming opera production La Traviata, made up of international singers of a fantastic reputation together with a selection from our very best home-grown. La Traviata will be performed twice, on Thursday 28 and Saturday 30 October 2010 at Teatru Astra and starts at 7.30pm. It is the highlight of Festival Mediterranea, now in its 9th edition.
The details were announced this morning during a press conference addressed by Mr Michael Formosa, Chairman, Festival Mediterranea organising committee, Prof. Mro. Joseph Vella, Festival Mediterranea Music Director, and Mr Marco Gandini, Artistic Director for La Traviata. Members of the cast attended the media launch. The press conference was held at the St Margaret College Boys’ Secondary School where an educational workshop for students was held earlier on.
Gozitan soprano Miriam Cauchi, who has carved a name for herself with her outstanding performances at the Astra in recent years, will be returning to the Gozitan theatre, this time as the opera’s leading singer. The very demanding role of Violetta suits Ms Cauchi’s passionate uncompromising personality and her strong soprano voice, which is vividly remembered in her excellent interpretation of Gilda in last year’s Rigoletto, and her equally unforgettable renditions of Liù in Turandot (2008), her leading roles in Suor Angelica and Pagliacci (2006) and her earlier interpretation of Oscar in Un Ballo in Maschera (2002).
Italian tenor Alessandro Liberatore will be performing for the first time in Malta, in the other main role of Alfredo. Notwithstanding his relatively young age, Mr Liberatore’s repertoire includes operas by Mozart, Bellini, Verdi, Puccini, as well as the French operas with performances in several Italian theatres and abroad including in Berlin, Lisbon and Tokyo. He has performed the main tenor part of La Traviata in a number of Italian theatres as well as in Madrid in the renowned production staged by Franco Zeffirelli.
Italian baritone Marco Chingari returns to the Astra, this time as Germont after his very successful and powerful interpretations of the title role in Macbeth (2007), Scarpia in Tosca (2004) and Iago in Otello (2003).
Other roles will be sung by Georgina Gauci as Flora, Dorienne Portelli as Annina, Frans Mangion as Gaston, Joseph Lia as Barone Douphol, Giampiero Cicino as Marchese d'Obigny, Kenneth Scicluna as Dottore Grenvil, Mario Portelli as Giuseppe, Violetta’s servant while Armando Tomasello sings the part of the Commissionaire.
La Traviata is being directed by Marco Gandini whose own directions have created benchmarks for opera production. Mr Gandini who, uninterruptedly since 1992 has been Franco Zeffirelli’s associate director, has worked at the major Italian theatres – Teatro alla Scala – Milan, Teatro dell’Opera – Rome, Teatro San Carlo – Naples and the Arena di Verona, and outside Italy including at the Metropolitan in New York, the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden in London and the New National Theatre in Tokyo
For La Traviata the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra will once again be under the baton of Prof. Mro. Joseph Vella while the Teatru Astra Opera Chorus, coached by Maria Frendo, will add a fuller dimension to the singing parts. Choreography is in the hands of Felix Busuttil with the participation of the YADA Dance Company and the YADA Dance Academy, Gozo at Teatru Astra.
The stage set is being constructed by Carmel Zammit and Emanuel J Farrugia and their teams, following designs by scenographer Mauro Tinti. Scenic artist for La Traviata is Joseph Cauchi. Final preparations for costumes are being made by Luca Canfora, Emanuel Grima and George Farrugia. Lights are being designed by George Zammit.
La Traviata and all operas produced at Teatru Astra are the labour of love of hundreds of volunteers who dedicate their free time and more throughout the year to contribute to the country’s culture scene and the island of Gozo’s tourism industry.
For La Traviata Teatru Astra, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Employment and the Family, the Ministry for Gozo, the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra and Bank of Valletta, has expanded its educational outreach programme consisting of:
- heavily-reduced opera tickets for students and accompanying adults, and as from this year,
- fun and educational workshops, in Malta and in Gozo, intended to help school children appreciate the beauty of expression through music, and
- a free public lecture about the dynamics of La Traviata.
The opera is the opening event to the 9th edition of Festival Mediterranea that brings together music, the country’s unparalleled prehistoric heritage, history, art, dance and theatre and the sheer beauty of Gozo in autumn.
La Traviata and Festival Mediterranea are organised by Teatru Astra in collaboration with Bank of Valletta, Malta Tourism Authority, Vodafone Malta Foundation, the Malta Council for Culture and the Arts, the Ministry for Gozo and the Ministry for Finance, the Economy and Investment. The opera and the festival would not be possible without the support of various other corporate sponsorships.