Another initiative which marked this year’s Gaulitana was the MPO Career Exposure.

A student joined the Malta Philharmonic and conductor Colin Attard as passive participant during the rehearsals leading to the production of Il Barbiere di Siviglia.

Martha Maria Mangani recounts her experience:

I am a Form 4 student at St Thomas More College St Lucia, Malta and I have been studying the violin for the past seven years.  From the 18th to the 22nd April 2016 I had my first job exposure with the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra.  The first three days were held at Robert Samut Hall in Floriana where I had the chance to observe the MPO musicians during their rehearsals for the opera Il Barbiere di Siviglia.  Maestro Colin Attard, the conductor and the Artistic Director of the Gaulitana Music Festival made me feel very welcome, and he told me to sit near one of the violinists.  The violinist gave me the score and I was able to follow every piece.   I enjoyed watching the musicians, because although I go to the theatre quite often to see the MPO, this time I had the opportunity to see the orchestra from another perspective.  Every time I was amazed at their perfectionism.

The climax of my experience was however during the last two days.  These were spent at the Aurora Theatre in Gozo.  For me this was a once in a lifetime opportunity as I had the chance to see the opera Il Barbiere di Siviglia “behind the scenes”.  Jean Noel Attard, the Gaulitana Festival Manager, made me feel very welcome and he even offered me a complimentary ticket to see the opera on Saturday the 23rd April.  I was overjoyed.  Il Barbiere di Siviglia was amazing and I enjoyed it from beginning to end.  I will surely never forget this fantastic experience as I had the chance to see an opera build up from day to day and the work involved to reach this high level.

I would like to thank my guidance teacher, the MPO, Maestro Colin Attard and the Gaulitana Festival team who made my dream come true and who did their utmost to make this a memorable experience for me.  Thanks a lot!  It is truly an experience I will never forget!

Special thanks to Maria Blanco and Sigmund Mifsud (Malta Philharmonic Orchestra) for their help and collaboration and Elaine Falzon (ACM) who patiently and diligently took Martha under her guidance on opera night.

The MPO Career Exposure was part of Gaulitana’s Educational Programme, held under the education+ scheme