The Malta Independent 18 March 2019, Monday

Maltese soprano begins ‘Aida’ rehearsals in the Netherlands

Thursday, 12 July 2018, 16:02 Last update: about 9 months ago

Maltese soprano Francesca Aquilina has joined the company of Opera Spanga's upcoming production of Giuseppe Verdi's Aida in the Netherlands. The classic opera, which will be shown in the Dutch province of Friesland in July and August and then later in Malta, is expected to be one of the highlights of both European Capital of Culture programmes.

Rehearsals are being led by director Corine Van Eijk and are taking place in the town of Spanga. After its run in the Netherlands, this retelling of Verdi's Aida will transfer to Valletta's Pjazza Teatru Rjal where it will be shown on 13 and 15 September.


The musical follows Princess Aida and her star-crossed love Radames, who is the military commander of her enemy, in a tragic tale that explores themes of war, love, loyalty and forgiveness. The production promises to find resonance with a contemporary audience, due to the central motif of conflict between the church and the state, a topic that is highly topical even two centuries after the opera was originally written. Speaking from Opera Spanga's rehearsal room, Aquilina explains that "the production is being staged in a very interesting and topical way", suggesting that the story could act as a cautionary tale for today's world.

Aquilina will appear alongside a highly experienced cast of international acclaim. She says, "it's fantastic to be working with, and learning from, all these international professionals and a great opportunity to further strengthen the Maltese-Dutch cultural link". The opera will be accompanied by a live performance from the Philharmonic Orchestra in Malta and the Filharmonie Noord in the Netherlands. Students from MCAST in Malta and D'Drive in Leeuwarden are providing hands-on assistance in film design and production, as well as in costume design under the guidance of Maltese-Dutch duo, Charles & Ron.

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