The Gaulitanus Choir, officially founded in 1990 as Gozo’s only choir not affiliated to a parish or theatre, is a mixed choir whose main aim is to organise and participate in concerts. In 2007 the choir started organizing an annual Easter-time international festival Gaulitana: A Festival of Music, dubbed by The Sunday Times of Malta (30/3/2014) as “the main classical music festival in Gozo” and described by the Times of Malta (24/4/2014) as being “at the cutting edge of musical culture” while highlighting its important contribution to the branding of Victoria as “that super city of culture”. A milestone was reached in 2014 when a full-scale operatic production started being included in the festival’s programme.
The choir has also ventured very successfully abroad, performing in England (1995), Germany (1997), the Netherlands (1999), Greece (2001), Corsica (2001, 2002 and 2007), and Italy (2010, 2015, 2016 and 2017). In 2017 it made history becoming the first Maltese choir to take part in an operatic production abroad, namely at Taormina’s Teatro Antico, Italy. It has also issued three CDs, namely Sacred in Opera, Maria – A Celebration of Marian Hymns, and Gaulitanus at Christmas, apart from having a few concerts recorded live on CD.
The Gaulitanus Choir has performed an extensive repertoire – whether secular or sacred, operatic or chamber – and has been quite innovative in presenting light and semi-classical works – whether Neapolitan song or Maltese folk, operetta or musical theatre. Many excerpts were specifically arranged for the choir.
For all these efforts, the choir has been very favourably received by critics and public – whether locally or abroad. Quite pertinent is the review of one of its musical theatre concerts, which opined that “light music is taken just as seriously in its preparation and execution as the more serious genres. There is no lack of attention to detail. The projection of dynamics, the crispness in phrasing, the individual piece’s section balance and the emphasis on maintaining a smooth homogeneous sound are all given equal importance.” (The Sunday Times – 19/12/2010)
Throughout these years the choir has also proved to be very fertile ground for soloists. Members of the choir with an aptitude for solo singing – often a mix of new and more experienced faces – are regularly given space.
The Gaulitanus Choir is directed by its founder, Colin Attard, one of Malta’s most established musicians and a key person in the revitilisation of concert activity in Gozo. The choir’s resident accompanist is Stephen Attard, himself a composer and a household name in our islands.