The Malta Independent 25 June 2024, Tuesday
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‘Candide’ Highlight of this year’s summer festival at the Valletta Waterfront

Malta Independent Sunday, 19 June 2005, 00:00 Last update: about 12 years ago

Bank of Valletta is sponsoring Candide, a concert version of Leonard Bernstein’s musical/ opera, the highlight of this year’s summer festival presented by The Malta Council for Culture and the Arts that will be held on 22 July at 8.30pm at the newly inaugurated Valletta Waterfront.

Bank of Valletta chief officer operations, Igino Xuereb, presented the bank’s sponsorship to Professor Salvino Busuttil, director of Fondation de Malte – organiser of the event – at the unique setting of the Valletta Waterfront.

Presenting the sponsorship, Mr Xuereb said: “Bank of Valletta is a strong supporter of local arts and culture. This event, that sees local artists and musicians collaborate with established performers in this production, further consolidates the bank’s commitment to the arts. We are proud to be associated with this event, the first of its kind to be produced at the newly renovated Valletta Waterfront, which in itself is a historical landmark of our islands.”

Thanking Bank of Valletta for its support, Professor Busuttil said: “The superb cast for this first-time production in Malta includes American baritone Kurt Ollmann, a Bernstein veteran who can be heard on original Bernstein recordings – Maximilian in Candide, and Riff in Westside Story.

“Mr Ollmann will for the first time take on the roles of Pangloss and the Narrator in Candide. In the role of Cunegonde, famous for the aria Glitter and be Gay is Canadian soprano Carla Huhtanen, fresh from her success singing the part at the Royal Festival Hall with the BBC Orchestra. The role of Maximilian will be interpreted by the young American baritone Christopher Holloway.

“Maltese singers who certainly need no introduction will also be interpreting main roles in the production, namely tenor Juan Gambina in the title role of Candide, mezzosoprano Claire Massa as the Old Woman and Rosabelle Bianchi as Paquette. Tenors Charles Vincenti and Charles Vella Zarb have a busy time in multiple roles.”

The National Orchestra, which performed this opera two years ago in Rome will have the added benefit of two Italian percussionists who form part of the well-known ensemble Ars Ludi. An exciting and novel prospect is the collaboration between the National Orchestra and Voices Choir led by Martina Caruana. All proceeds will go to a charity of Voices’ choice.

The performance is being produced by Mario Frendo and Davinia Galea for Fondation de Malte in collaboration with Voices choir and the National Orchestra, and will be conducted by Michael Laus. The performance of this work is given by permission of Boosey and Hawkes Music Publishers Limited.

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