Gaulitana: A Festival of Music gets underway next week

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Gaulitana: A Festival of Music gets underway next weekGaulitana: A Festival of Music organised by Gozo’s Gaulitanus Choir is in its fifth year. A varied programme, co-ordinated by artistic director Mro. Colin Attard , gets underway next Tuesday, the 5th of April.

The inaugural concert, entitled A Choral Celebration, features the Gaulitanus Choir itself and the renowned Epsom College Chapel Choir. The sacred concert being held in St. Augustine Church, Victoria, starts at 7.30pm and is being held in collaboration with the Victoria Local Council. The Gozitan choir will raise the curtain on the festival by performing Colin Attard’s Missa Brevis in honorem Johannis Pauli II, specifically on the occasion of the beatification of the late Pope John Paul II. The English 47-strong English choir will perform a varied repertoire of sacred works. Both choirs will join forces for the concluding number, Faure’s Cantique de Jean Racine.

Epsom’s will not be the only visiting UK choir for the festival. Indeed Cantica Alba, an-11 piece vocal group from Scotland specialising in a cappella performances, will give two varied performances: a sacred concert on Friday 29th April at St. Francis Church, Victoria and a secular one at the Floriana Local Council Hall, Malta. This will be the only concert being held in Malta and is organised in collaboration with the Floriana Local Council.

Local councils are indeed vital partners of the Gaulitanus Choir. The Xewkija Local Council will co-ordinate the concert by the Duo Arcadia di Roma (Violin and Cello) being held at the Sculpture Museum, Xewkija Church, on Thursday, the 7th of April. The Gharb Local Council will collaborate for a concert by the local-based Fourtissimo Brass (3 trumpets and flugelhorn) at Gharb Basilica on Sunday, the 10th of April and the Xaghra Local Council will be organise a rather atypical concert for solo violin at the Jesus of Nazareth Church, Xaghra by Italian Andrea Scaramella on Thursday, the 5th of May.

Scaramella will also be giving master classes for violin students. He will finally feature in another concert, again featuring heavyweight repertoire but this time partnered by Italian pianist Giuseppe Zucchon Ghiotto, on Saturday, the 7th of May, at the Exhibition Hall, Victoria.

Other concerts being held at the Exhibition Hall, will feature local up-and-coming talent on Wednesday, the 20th of April, a double bill by the Italian Bel Canto Ensemble (piano, clarinet, horn and soprano) an operatic galore on Easter Sunday followed by a treat of light and film music on Easter Tuesday and finally a recital by English soprano Emma Darling, a familiar face of the festival accompanied by Gaulitanus’ own Stephen Attard, on Wednesday, the11th of May.

Organist Robin Walker, based in Florence, will be giving a solo organ recital on Friday, the 15th of April, at St. Augustine Church, Victoria, specifically on the day Malta and Gozo so solemnly commemorate Our Lady of Sorrows. Sacred innuendos for the Holy Week reach a climax on Palm Sunday when the local-based Gaulos (String) Quartet will perform Haydn’s The Seven Last Words at St. Francis Church, Victoria.

Gaulitana: A Festival of Music comes to an end on Saturday, the14th of May, at the Kempinski Hotel, San Lawrenz, with another performance by the Gaulitanus Choir. This time a light concert with music from the musical theatre will be performed using a formula which has been such an enormous success in the festival’s past two editions.

While attendance for the concerts is free, more info can be obtained by visiting the choir website or by phoning 21 560 200, 99 258 592, 99 209 779.

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