The 16th edition of Festival Mediterranea will be organised by Teatru Astra, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary, supported by BOV. The highlight will be the tragic opera in three acts Lucia di Lammermoor that returns to the Astra after an absence of 29 years. This was announced during a press conference held at BOV Centre in Santa Venera and addressed by Mario Mallia, BOV Chief Executive Officer, Mr Michael Formosa, Chairman of Festival Mediterranea organising committee, Prof. Mro Joseph Vella, the Artistic Director of the Festival and Hon. Dr Justyne Caruana, Minister for Gozo.
Prof. Joseph Vella explained that Lucia di Lammermoor is an opera that celebrates the traditional 'bel canto' style of the 19th Century Italian repertoire. Melody and the 'singing voice' are the backbone of the music. All this and the beauty of its choral passages, he concluded, are the best guarantee for all opera to indulge in an evening of singable tunes, vocal pyrotechnics and, why not, a touch of romantic drama!
The opera Lucia di Lammermoor will feature in a double representation on the 26th and 28th October at 19.30hrs. Teatru Astra is once again presenting a star-studded line-up to what promises to be an outstanding performance. The mise-en-scene will be created by Enrico Stinchelli specifically for the Astra boards. The Malta Philharmonic Orchestra and Teatru Astra Opera Chorus coached by Maria Frendo will be under the direction by Prof. Joseph Vella, resident conductor at the Teatru Astra. Besides a line-up of internationally acclaimed singers, namely Giulio Pelligra, Serenad Uyar, Boris Pinkhasovich and Dario Russo, the Astra is proud to be offering a deserved platform to local stars Cliff Zammit Stevens and Marvic Monreal.
Teatru Astra will be renewing its collaboration with the Teatru Manoel in the organisation of an opera workshop on 12 October at 7.30pm. The event is free of charge.
Opera patrons who will be visiting Gozo during the opera weekend will have the opportunity to attend a number of other free of charge events, namely, a Clarinet, Euphonium and Trumpet recital at the Kempinski San Lawrenz Hotel on Friday 27 October and a talk on the opera being produced, delivered by Dr Abraham Borg at Vini e Capricci on Saturday 28 October at 10am.
Other events in this year’s edition of the festival include a historical lecture delivered by Dr George Paul Pisani at St Cecilia Chapel, titled Attilio Mori's Description of Gozo at the turn of the 20th Century on Friday 4 November. Art historian Dr Mark Sagona will also feature in this year’s list of events in another lecture at the Ministry for Gozo Hall on Friday 17 November, titled The Renaissance Revival: its manifestation in Malta.
The La Stella Philharmonic Band under the direction of Prof. Joseph Vella will feature in the traditional Annual Grand Concert, scheduled for Saturday 18 November at 8pm. The concert sees the band interpret a selection of classical, semi-classical and symphonic music, in what is increasingly becoming a much-awaited event for music lovers on Gozo.
On Saturday 25 November, Teatru Astra will host a concert by the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra directed by Wayne Marshall, which will feature three great works from Russian composers.
The opera is also supported by the Gozo Cultural Support Fund managed by the Malta Arts Council and the Ministry for Gozo.
Reservations and bookings can be made through the festival helpdesk on 21550985, email [email protected]. Online booking and other information on the opera and festival is available on www.teatruastra.org.mt