RIGOLETTOFollowing on last year’s successful Tosca, the full-scale production of one of Giuseppe Verdi’s most-popular operas, Rigoletto, will be the highlight of the 2015 edition of Gaulitana: A Festival of Music. This annual springtime festival which has reached its 9th edition is organised by the Gaulitanus Choir and consists of a series of eclectic concerts by international and local artists between the 11th April and the 24th May.

The opera features an international cast supported by an enlarged Gaulitanus Choir and accompanied by the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Gaulitanus’ musical director and Gaulitana’s artistic director Colin Attard. The production will again be entrusted to acclaimed Italian Enrico Castiglione, who is also responsible for the design of the sets. The costumes are designed by Sonia Cammarata. Castiglione will be bringing to our shores the same production broadcast by Rai Mondovisione throughout cinemas worldwide in 2013.

The opera will be held at Gozo’s Teatru tal-Opra Aurora on Friday 22nd May @ 20.00hrs. While more details will be issued in due course, bookings can be made on gaulitanafestival@gmail.com, on 79045779 or online on www.teatruaurora.com.

Meanwhile the festival, whose full programme will be issued shortly, will start on Saturday 11th April with a semi-staged version of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s best-loved musical The Sound of Music. A number of local soloists and the Gaulitanus Choir will be joined by the visiting London-based Keats String Quartet and Gaulitanus resident pianist Stephen Attard. Colin Attard will conduct with Gaulitanus’ own British artist Terry Shaw producing.

A grand sacred concert by the UK’s Wycliffe Choral Society, who will be performing Beethoven’s Mass in C and Poulenc’s Gloria, brings the festival – which is also celebrating the Gaulitanus Choir’s 25th anniversary – to an end on Sunday 24th May.