Opera workshop held in Malta ahead of Astra’ production of Nabucco

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Opera workshop held in Malta ahead of Astra' production of NabuccoTeatru Astra in Gozo this week held an opera workshop, an initiative which it said was aimed at reaching out to students and the general public ahead of its forthcoming production of Verdi’s Nabucco.

In collaboration with Teatru Manoel and the Bank of Valletta, ‘Behind the Opera Curtain’ was held at the Manoel’s Studio Theatre. The event was offered free of charge to the public.

Conductor Joseph Vella, the Teatru Astra’s musical director, who will also be directing the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra in the forthcoming two performances of Verdi’s Nabucco at Teatru Astra, led the proceedings by speaking about the musical importance of Verdi’s opera, which, as Vella stressed, put Verdi on the world map as a composer of note. .

Vella highlighted the major arias and ensembles, speaking about Verdi’s mastery for melody and contrapuntal structures. Stage director Enrico Stinchelli dwelt on aspects of production and technicalities that go with mounting such a massive project.

He stressed the importance of adhering to the libretto, making special mention on achieving an equilibrium between tradition and innovation – something that is so difficult to accomplish but one that makes or breaks a production.

The audience were immensely privileged to be regaled by live musical interludes from the main soloists. Maltese tenor Cliff Zammit Stevens, who will be making his Malta debut in an operatic lead role, teamed up with mezzo soprano Olga Slepnyova.

They sang a duet in their respective roles of Ismaele and Fenena. Bass Carlo Colombara, of Metropolitan Opera fame, interpreted the wonderful Preghiera of Zaccaria while Piero Terranova, who will be singing the main role of Nabucco, sang one of the leading arias.

The audience asked many questions and the panel were most generous with their comments and explanations. This certainly proved to be a very popular initiative and Teatru Astra said that it looks forward to such further collaborations in the future.

To book for Nabucco please contact the theatre helpdesk on +356 21 550 985, +356 79 256 897 or send an email to bookings@mediterranea.com.mt.

Teatru Manoel will also be hosting its annual opera production in March 2015 which will be Gaetano Donizetti’s ‘L’Elisir d’Amore’ and will also feature Cliff Zammit Stevens in the role of Nemorino. For more information and to book go to http://www.teatrumanoel.com.mt/.

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