The Gaulitanus Choir salutes the memory of Lino Bugeja, a distinct friend of Gaulitana: A Festival of Music, who passed away on Tuesday 10th January. An eminent sportsman, educator, journalist, historian and environmentalist, Lino was also a cultural aficionado – particularly focusing on his native Birgu but not only. Indeed, he followed and looked very positively at cultural endeavours in Gozo, not least our do.
It was he who, in an article in the Times of Malta on April 24th 2014 soon after we had presented our first operatic production (Tosca), had branded Victoria as “that super city of culture” and referred to Gaulitana as being “at the cutting edge of musical culture branding a new Gozo”.
As was reported in the choir’s website back then “such remarks give us the necessary energy to keep dreaming with all our choristers and helpers and fellow artists who joined us in this venture”. Truly indeed! Maybe, Victoria has not been “considered with Valletta as European City of Culture … VV 2018” as Bugeja had suggested in the same article. Yet, we do keep on dreaming.
May more people like Lino be genuinely supportive of our efforts to better our island’s socio-cultural fabric through music. Rest in peace, dear friend!
The Gaulitanus Choir organized a thank-you dinner for its members and volunteers in appreciation of their disinterested and extremely valid contribution during 2016, not least during the choir-organized Gaulitana: A Festival of Music.
The very well-attended dinner was held at the Grand Hotel, Mgarr
The Gaulitanus Choir once again musically ushered in the New Year with the 5th edition of A New Year’s Toast. This brought to an end its very busy programme of events for the festive season – which also included a concert-tour in Italy.
This year, the choir’s artistic director Colin Attard opted for a light and festive musical repertoire – mostly taken from musicals. Indeed, selections from The Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables, Fiddler on the Roof and three other songs from The Music Man, Carousel and Wizard of Oz essentially made up the programme.
These prominently featured the choir and its various soloists Annabelle Zammit, Patricia Buttigieg, Stephanie Sultana Portelli, Marthese Borg, Anna Bonello – who was making her debut –, Josianne Callus and Joseph Calleja. Smaller parts were also taken by Jean Noel Attard and Pierre Louis Attard.
The concert was then concluded by a medley of marches which made sure that the event ended up with oomph and in the best of moods – something was very much appreciated by those present.
As in the past years, the event was held on January 1st at the Kempinski Hotel San Lawrenz, Gozo. This was supported by the Kempinski Hotel, Bank of Valletta and Playpen. The very good audience in attendance was led by the Honourable Minister for Gozo, Dr Anton Refalo and Mrs Refalo and the Chinese Ambassador to Malta Mr Jiang Jiang who attended a concert together with a delegation from the Chinese Embassy and the China Cultural Centre including the Centre’s Director Mr Wang Yanjun.
For the first time, a repeat performance was held in Malta: at the Hilltop Gardens, Naxxar, on Tuesday January 3rd in collaboration with the Hilltop’s management.
Both concerts were accompanied by resident pianist Stephen Attard, who also shared a number of piano duets with the choir’s founder-director Colin Attard, who was also the conductor.