On Friday 30th April, the Exhibition Hall at the Ministry for Gozo should have hosted its final concert for the current festival, namely Dramatic Women, a vocal recital by British soprano Emma Darling. Unfortunately Darling was taken ill and she had to cancel her recital.
Not to disappoint the festival esteemed patrons all possible efforts were done to hastily build up an alternative programme.
Working against time and odds, the festival’s artistic director, Colin Attard, managed to convene a few up-and-coming Gozitan musicians who thankfully accepted to stand in at the very last moments. Indeed violinist Charlene Caruana, trumpeter Jason Camilleri, harpist Charlene Portelli (who also doubled on the flute), flutist Noemi Attard and cellist Elaine Pavia performed several varied works. The first two artists performed works by Telemann, Rachmaninoff, Haydn and Moss and were accompanied on the keyboard by Gaulitanus’ pianist Stephen Attard.
On the other hand, the other three artists performed four works as a trio, with Noemi Attard and Charlene Portelli also performing a flute duo, and the latter also interpreting two solos on the harp.
The evening was concluded by the female section of the Gaulitanus Choir itself who performed Verdi’s Chi mai fra gl’inni e i plausi from Aida with Patricia Buttigieg as soloist, Ketelbey’s Sanctuary for the Heart prominently featuring soloist Marthese Borg, and the famous Noi siamo zingarelle from Traviata. The last number concluded the improvised evening with gusto and humour with British soprano Sharon Wilson stepping up from the audience to team up with the conductor, Colin Attard, himself in the short solo exchange between Flora and the Marchese!