Gaulitana poster2011

Gaulitana: A Festival of Music organised by Gozo’s Gaulitanus Choir is in its fifth year. A varied programme – the biggest ever and co-ordinated by artistic director Mro. Colin Attard – kicks off on Tuesday 5th 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 own 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 choir 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. Indeed 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. In fact 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 7th 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, 10th April; and the Xaghra Local Council will be organize a rather atypical concert for solo violin at the Jesus of Nazareth Church, Xaghra by Italian Andrea Scaramella on Thursday 5th 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 7th May at the Exhibition Hall, Victoria.

This hall at the Gozo Ministry is indeed a recurring venue for the festival. Other concerts being held there are: one featuring local up-and-coming talent on Wednesday 20th 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 11th May.

Darling happens to be one of two Brits appearing at the festival who are currently plying their trade in Italy. In fact organist Robin Walker, based in Florence, will be giving a solo organ recital on Friday 15th 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 14th 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.

The choir’s efforts have been supported – apart from the various local councils – by the Ministry for Gozo, the Gozo Council for Culture & the Arts, Coca-Cola, Gozo Sightseeing, Theodora Farmhouse and the various entities who offered their venues.

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