Malta is a hub of culture, talent and creativity. It’s also been at the heart of passionate (and at times controversial) nationwide debates… and most of the time, it always goes back to the Mediterranean Sea that flanks us on every side.
Currently, an operatic masterpiece is underway, this opera will be the first of its kind, and will be featuring both local and international talent. Aħna Refuġjati is a contemporary gem which will be presented at the open air Granaries in Floriana. This next generation masterpiece will be showing on the 31st of August and the 2nd of September.
Here are the reasons you shouldn’t miss this amazing opera.
1. It tackles familiar issues
This is an opera that will invite you to think about contemporary human issues that seem far away from us, but are close and real for thousands of people around the world, people who have to leave their homeland for reasons which are beyond their control.
Even though they’ve been around for centuries most of us are still struggling to understand and relate to them properly. This opera will give you an insight into the realities of both issues.
2. It boasts a superbly talented local cast…
Taking part in this opera is a stellar cast including local soprano Miriam Gauci, who made various appearances in America, New Mexico, Vienna, Munich and Hamburg.
Nico Darmanin is a local tenor who debuted at the Royal Opera. Darmanin also performed at Covent Garden, the Scottish Opera, Wexford Opera Festival and the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro.
Federica Falzon is a 15-year-old soprano who won the seventh edition of Rai 1 talent show “Ti lascio una Canzone” in 2014 who also represented Malta at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest of the same year. Since then, she’s had the opportunity to sing with music and opera stars being Joseph Calleja, Cecilia Gasdia, Albano Carrisi and Amii Stewart.
Other great local talents include sopranos Clare Ghigo, Ruth Sammut Casingena and Nadia Vella, tenor Joseph Zammit, and bass-baritone Louis Andrew Cassar.
3. … who’ll also be joined by some fine Spanish talent
The Maltese ranks will also be joined by José Hernàndez-Pastor, a Spanish countertenor who’s been active for nearly two decades.
Born in 1975, Hernàndez-Pastor is seen as a relatively young name in the world of opera. However, he’s already been directed by the likes of Jordi Savall, Dominique Vellard, Joshua Rifkin, Eduardo Lopez Banzo, Yves Corboz and Carles Magraner. Around the same time that he became a member of the La Colombina quartet, he’s also been doubling as a director.
4. There won’t be any language barriers
Although this opera is scripted in our mother tongue, subtitles in both English and Maltese will be screened throughout.
This will help all viewers to become immersed in their experience.
5. The story will engulf you like no other
Aħna Refuġjati recounts the story of Eleja, his wife Shari, and their three children aged 20, 18 and 15, who flee from their war-torn village in Syria after witnessing atrocities during the civil war, in hopes of a better life in Europe. The opera follows the family’s struggles with crossing borders, the lack of basic human rights, racism, separation and loss, on a journey motivated by hope.
This performance addresses current isues in the Mediterranean including loss as a result of political inconvenience, racism, large-scale migration and prejudice.
6. It’s a challenging operatic work
This will not be your average opera inside a theatre with a live orchestra, but a truly dynamic work. With the sounds of 184 instrumentalists virtually created by Mario Sammut inside his studio, the music of this opera is completely engineered thanks to the help of servers and advanced musical equipment, making Aħna Refuġjati a ‘next-generation opera’ experience.
A first operatic venture for composer Mario Sammut, which also includes musical direction by Richard Merrill Brown and a libretto by Mario Philip Azzopardi.
7. It is an opera about hope
The opera will follow a family of five who face many trials and tribulations, such as struggles with separation, heartbreak, lack of basic human rights, and even death. Despite all this, hope remains alive at the end of it all.
The opera will take place on the 31st of August and the 2nd of September at 21.00 at the Granaries in Floriana. You can book your tickets here.
Each ticket purchased will enter the ticket holder into a draw to win an iPhone X, when using promo code VALIPHONEX at checkout. For more information visit valletta2018.org. Terms and conditions apply.