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 The 2015 edition of Gaulitana: A Festival of Music kicked off in grand style on Saturday 11th April with a semi-staged version of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The Sound of Music. Also celebrating the 50th anniversary of the immortal movie, the event was held at the Grand Hotel, Mgarr – which was overpacked with a very appreciative audience.

The cast featured a good number of Gaulitanus Choir soloists. The main role of the novice-turned-child governess Maria was played by Annabelle Zammit, whereas Captain Von Trapp was played by Terry Shaw. Marthese Borg was Mother Abbess, with Miriam Curmi, Tricia Azzopardi and Stephanie Buttigieg supporting as Sister Sophie, Sister Margaretta and Sister Berthe respectively. Patricia Buttigieg interpreted the wealthy Elsa Schraeder partnered by David Jones as the impresario Max Detweiler. The eldest daughter of the Von Trapp family, Liesl, was Mikaela Bajada, with her boyfriend, Rolf, being David Mario Fenech. The other six kids were Steve Buttigieg, Clara Sciberras, Nathan Cini, Rachel Vella, Alicia Azzopardi, and the very young Maria Sciberras. The Gaulitanus Choir’s female section completed the cast, with Rob Ricards narrating the proceedings.

Accompanying all was a combo orchestra made up of the UK’s Keats (String) Quartet, the Gaulitana Wind Ensemble and Gaulitanus resident pianist Stephen Attard, and conducted by Gaulitana’s artistic director Colin Attard, who was also responsible for the musical arrangements. The show was directed by Terry Shaw who also adapted the semi-staged production.

The Sound of Music opened a 28-event international festival whose highlight is the full-scale production of Verdi’s opera Rigoletto, being staged at the Aurora Theatre, Gozo, on Friday 22nd May.