Gaulitana moved to Malta for the only time in this year’s edition of the festival with a vocal-instrumental concert held at Sr. John’s Co-Cathedral, Valletta on Friday 5th April. Indeed the second of three large-scale events in the festival’s programme, the concert featured the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra led by Nadia Debono in works by Italian composer Federico Gozzelino and by Gaulitana artistic director Colin Attard. Attard himself was at the helm of the orchestra.
The first part of the concert was devoted to works by Gozzelino, who purposely came to Malta for the concert. Soffio d’Amore and Esicastica, the latter also featuring Italian actress Amina Contin in narrations of poems by Fr. David Maria Turoldo. The second part of the concert was reserved for Attard’s works which were almost all closely related with the late Gozitan poet Can. Joe Meilak. Xewqa, featuring Gozitan soprano Miriam Cauchi, and Sanctificetur Nomen Tuum, 4 sacred songs which the composer had composed for his own wedding and which featured Cauchi as well as Maltese mezzo-soprano Claire Massa and Gozitan bass Noel Galea, both had lyrics penned by Meilak. Moerover Lejn Hajja Ahjar, an excerpt for solo violin featuring the composer’s young violinist son Pierre Louis Attard, is taken from the video-film Lehen mill-Kwadru whose script was also written by Meilak. The latter and the only other work in the programme, La bendicion del matrimonio, a motet for soprano solo (Miriam Cauchi) composed for a friend’s wedding last year, were being premiered in their orchestral versions.
The concert was sponsored by Verso l’Arte and I.N.A.C. and supported by the Istituto Italiano di Cultura. Indeed the sizeable audience was led by the new Italian Ambassador for Malta H. E. Dott. Giovanni Umberto De Vito and Mrs De Vito and the director of the Istituto Italiano di Cultura Dott. Salvatore Schirmo.