Gaulitanus New Year Concert performed to a full house
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The Gaulitanus Choir ushered in 2014 with the second edition of ‘A New Year’s Toast’ performed at the Exhibition Hall within the Ministry fo Gozo.
The venue was filled to capacity and the audience was led by Gozo Minister Dr Anton Refalo and Mrs Refalo and Dr Grazio Mercieca, chief of staff at the Gozo Ministry and Mrs Joyce Dimech, Permanent Secretary at the Gozo Ministry as well as other distinguished guests.
The choir kicked off the concert with the Malta premiere of 4 Christmas Songs by Don Besig, entitled Emmanuel, Born tonight in Bethlehem, Lullaby to the Christ Child and Sing with Joy! Glory Hallelujah! The choir was joined at this point by violinist David Lang.
Young up-and-coming violinist Pierre Louis Attard, a regular face in Gaulitanus events, then presented the first of his two instrumental interludes: Beethoven’s Allegro con brio (1st movement) from the Violin Sonata No. 1 in D major Op. 12 No.1. He was accompanied on the piano by his father Colin Attard. Later in the programme both also performed the Adagio (2nd movement) from Johannes Brahms’s Violin Sonata No. 3 in D minor Op. 108 – Adagio (2nd movt).
The Gaulitanus Choir also performed three rather rhythmic, exciting and bouncy numbers: Charles Rosen’s Christmas Gloria, David Willcocks’s A Birthday Carol and Alleluia! Gloria! from the musical ‘Jesus of Nazareth’ by Vann Trapp and Tom Fettke.
A drink was offered to the audience to toast the New Year, who were then invited to practice some verses for the concluding Napolitana! – New Year’s Medley. This boisterous medley included several ever-popular Neapolitan songs, namely: Ciribiribin, Vieni sul mar, La Spagnola, Io Te Vurria Vasa, Oh Mari, Serenata, Tango delle capinere, Non ti scordar di me, Santa Lucia, Torna a Surriento and Funiculì Funiculà.
Arranged by choir’s conductor and artistic director Colin Attard and the choir’s pianist Stephen Attard, it featured the choir, guest soprano Georgina Gauci and the choir’s own soloists, mezzo-soprano Francesca Sciberras and tenor Terry Shaw. These were backed by an instrumental ensemble which added colour to this appropriate festive finale.
The medley was well received by the audience, with an encore to follow.
The Gaulitanus Choir now rounds up its cultural year with its annual dinner on Friday 10th January and its Annual General Meeting on Friday 17th January.