The highlight event in the 10th edition of Gaulitana: A Festival of Music, Rossini’s comic opera Il Barbiere di Siviglia promises a night “di qualita`” for the opera patrons, judging from the list of artists which the festival’s direction has managed to engage for this production. Indeed, some top Rossini specialists will be around.

The title role will be interpreted by the emerging Figaro on the international scene, Davide Luciano. It suffices to say that right after the Gozo performance, Luciano will fly to Venice to perform the role in a series of performances at La Fenice, before moving on to Glyndebourne. Amongst his important past performances of Il Barbiere one can mention those at the Deutsche Oper Berlin and Rome’s Teatro dell’Opera. A product of Accademia Rossiniana where he worked with Alberto Zedda, Luciano’s debut at the Metropolitan is set for 2018.

Rosina will be interpreted by Marina Comparato. This Italian mezzo-soprano has performed extensively in Italy’s most prestigious theatres such as Naples’ San Carlo, Fenice, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Rome’s Teatro dell’Opera, and Palermo’s Massimo, not least as Rosina. She has worked with such great conductors as Elliot Gardner, Chailly, Abbado, Mehta and Oren and her recordings include ones for Decca, Philips and Virgin Classics.

nicoAlmaviva shall be Malta’s very own Conte: Nico Darmanin, finalist at the BBC Singer of the World 15. Currently Nico is performing the role at the Welsh National Opera. Darmanin will be making his operatic debut in Malta.

Bartolo is very often associated world-wide with one particular artist, Bruno Pratico`. For more than three decades Pratico` has made the role his very own appearing in such theatres as the Metropolitan, La Scala and Covent Garden and recording it for EMI.

The cast is complemented by Bulgarian bass Petar Naydenov (Basilio), who has toured extensively in Austria and Central Europe, interpreting the role also under Dario Fo’s direction, and Marta Calcaterra, whose Berta features regularly in Italian theatres not least the San Carlo. Maltese Russia-trained baritone Joseph Lia rounds up the cast as Fiorello/Ufficiale.

Gaulitana is supported by Arts Council Malta.