FROM PUCCINI TO THE LION KING AT THE ASTRA
In its annual symphonic concert, the La Stella Philharmonic Band will play an array of musical excerpts ranging from Puccini to local compositions and well-known light music pieces such as those from the popular Disney cartoon musical The Lion King.
The symphonic concert, which is an annual appointment with many local band-enthusiasts, will be held on Saturday 22 November at the Teatru Astra, as part of Festival Mediterranea.
The band’s resident music director Prof Mro Joseph Vella has opted to include a colourful Puccini selection from the magnificent opera Tosca, as a fitting conclusion to Festival Mediterranea’s celebration of the 150th anniversary since the immortal composer’s birth. The selection chosen includes some of the better known arias for soprano, tenor and baritone. The arrangement is scintillating in its orchestral colours and effects. Soloists for the interpretation of this favourite piece are Anton Sacco (Euphonium), Mark Schembri (Althorn), Mario Galea (Clarinet) and Michel Refalo (Trumpet). Other operatic excerpts include Rossini’s Overture from the opera Tancredi.
Local compositions are also very much on the menu. Rewwixta, composed by Mro Vella himself, is the last of four oratorios and based on the historical uprising of the Maltese against the French occupation, inspired specifically by Malta’s own patriot Dun Mikiel Xerri. Although scored for Soloists, choir and orchestra with text written by Prof Oliver Friggieri, the excerpt being played in this concert is an arrangement for symphonic band of the oratorio’s final chorus that speaks of the moral victory of the Maltese victims of the French occupation.
Mro Sunny Galea’s own romantic Melita Overture No 2 is a vivid and melodious composition that involves several instruments from the wind section to the brass section. The composition also involves parts for soloists and duets for several instruments including amongst others the clarinet and flute.
Sorrisi Marcia Sinfonica, composed by Mro Vincenzo Ciappara, who conducted the La Stella on several occasions, should also be well received by the public, as will the lighter compositions forming a medley from the favourite Disney cartoon musical The Lion King.
Entrance to the concert, which starts at 7.30pm, is free of charge. Seating is on a first-come first-served basis.
The concert brings to an end the seventh edition of Festival Mediterranea, organised by the Teatru Astra, which ran for over a month and included Puccini’s masterpiece opera Turandot, Amedeo Minghi in concert, lectures and site-visits by Dr David Trump, dance performances and food and wine.