The Malta Independent 16 December 2017, Saturday

MCAST Institute for the Creative Arts showcases works in progress for Verdi’s ‘Aida’

Tuesday, 21 November 2017, 09:31 Last update: about 24 days ago

Last Monday MCAST Institute for the Creative Arts showcased the works in progress on the production of Giuseppe Verdi's Aida which will be staged in Spanga, Friesland in July/August 2018 and in Valletta in September 2018 as part of the Valletta 2018 productions.  This opera is one of the highlights of the European Capital of Culture 2018 Cultural Programme both in Malta and Valletta's twin, Leeuwarden.

Maribeth Diggle, the American soprano playing the part of Aida, was present for the media event. Also a number of costumes of Amneris were displayed. Two of Amneris' costumes were designed by Charles and Ron, while the rest of the costumes were designed by students that successfully completed the Advanced Diploma in Art and Design.

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The Aida 2018 project was conceived early in 2016 when various stakeholders met in Leeuwarden.  The project involves students from a variety of departments from both Malta and Friesland, working together in collaboration with a real opera production house, Opera Spanga, that has engaged an international cast for the event.

Students are being directed by Corina van Eijk, artistic director of the Opera Spanga, in collaboration with members of the Opera Spanga team, and with the assistance of the professional staff from MCAST Institute of the Creative Arts and Friesland College's design arm ‒ D'Drive. Charles & Ron, Maltese design professionals, are also participants in this didactic project.  

The production will see the involvement of an international cast of seven soloists, a Dutch orchestra in the Netherlands, the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra in Malta, and a choir of 25-30 singers both Maltese and Dutch. It will be set within the contemporary context of war in Syria, Egypt and Ethiopia. Verdi's original score will be used yet with a contemporary, avant-garde setting that will reflect today's reality.

This project is multi-disciplinary and also multiple-institute. All the departments within MCAST's Institute for the Creative Arts are collaborating with the Institute of Community Services.  Students are carrying out this work as part of their live case assignments. Apart from being a multi-institute and multi-disciplinary project it also involves professional collaborators in the performing industry in Malta, namely the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra and Pjazza Teatru Rjal. 

Different MCAST workgroups are currently undergoing works in the following areas: Hair and Beauty students on the hair, wigs and make-up design and production, Performing Arts students are working on the acting and stage hands, Photography students on the photo shoots of main characters, Media Moving Image students on the green screen filming, editing and production sequences and compositing which Graphic Design students will inherit for work on animation for projection as part of the set.

The underlying link between VET and the industry is undoubtedly one of the strengths of this interdisciplinary project which falls in line with MCAST's mission statement.  


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