Gaulitanus Choir of Gozo “makes history” in Taormina opera

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Gaulitanus Choir of Gozo "makes history" in Taormina operaThe Gaulitanus Choir of Gozo, has said that it “has made history by becoming the first local choir ever to participate in an operatic production abroad.”

Earlier this month the choir participated in the two productions of Puccini’s immortal opera La Boheme at the Teatro Antico, Taormina, Sicily, Italy, as part of the Festival Belliniano.

Set in an open-air amphitheatre with Mount Etna offering a unique backdrop, the production was transmitted live in 580 European cinemas with a reported viewership of more than 60,000. More screenings are scheduled worldwide, including on television, the choir said.

The opera directed by the renowned Enrico Castiglione – who was also responsible for the design of the set – was for the first time ever set in a refugee camp, the choir said that this highlighted a current thorny social problem encompassing the Mediterranean basin.

With costumes by Sonia Cammarata, Chinese conductor Lo Xincao led the 80-strong Lanzhou Grand Thetare Orchestra from China and an international cast. The limelight was definitely taken by Mexican soprano Karen Gardeazabal – a recent discovery of Placido Domingo – whose poise and vocal clarity made her an extremely credible Mimi.

The 48-strong adult Gaulitanus Choir – appropriately augmented for the occasion – was joined by the kids choir Bianco Suono from Messina coached by Agnese Carrubba.

The Gozo-based choir commented that it received strong reviews in newspapers and tv for its performance and also received an invitation after the opening night to participate again in next year’s production taking place in early July.

The choir said that this venture was another offshoot of the ongoing international collaborations related to Gaulitana: A Festival of Music.

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