The Malta Independent 20 August 2019, Tuesday

Teatru Manoel celebrates the European Day of Early Music on 21 March

Thursday, 21 March 2019, 09:07 Last update: about 6 months ago

On 21 March REMA-EEMN, the European Early Music Network, celebrates the European Day of Early Music. The Monteverdi Project in Malta will join these celebrations and offers a programme of vocal secular music at St Gregory Church in Zejtun.

The first part of this celebration concert will present Monteverdi madrigals and extracts from the opera l'Orfeo, followed by madrigals for five voices by Scarlatti. The second part covers vocal music by Giovanni Felice Sances, Bartolomeo Barbarino and Giovanni Ghizzolo.


The original print of Il Terzo libro dei Madrigali et Arie (1613) by Giovanni Ghizzolo is conserved at the Mdina Cathedral Archives in Malta. Performed consecutively, these works form a kind of a pasticcio, telling fragments of a love story that can easily be understood by the audience.

What makes these works special is that they are preformed for the first time in this modern age. What few people know, says Monsignor John Azzopardi, curator of the Cathedral Archives, is that we possess a very rich collection of 17th century manuscripts and printed scores by numerous Italian and three Maltese composers, as well as a vast collection of Maltese 18th century composers. These collections are open to researchers and musicologists, but this music will however never be appreciated by the public unless it is performed. Performing 17th century scores involves previous editing and editing requires competent masters, while performing involves funds.

Mgr Azzopardi is delighted with the collaboration between the Cathedral Archives, Teatru Manoel and the Monteverdi Project directed by Maestro Mencoboni. This offers the opportunity to revive these scores today on a high level. He hopes that this will continue in the future.

A wish confirmed by Mencoboni. In fact, he says, performing the Ghizzolo madrigals is a continuation of the rediscovery of the rich Maltese vocal repertoire, which had resurfaced in 1968. This rediscovery started in 2017 with the music of Benigno Zerafa, followed by compositions of Michel Angelo Falusi, Carlo Tassoni, Isabella Leonarda, Giovanni Battista Vitali and many others.

For this important occasion the Monteverdi Project will receive Simone Vallerotonda as guest artist. Vallerotonda is a young and internationally-acclaimed theorbo soloist. He will perform on a recently acquired instrument by Teatru Manoel.

In order to give everyone the chance to experience this extraordinary concert tickets are only €5.

For more details and tickets phone the Teatru Manoel box office on 2124 6389, visit their website or at the door.

  • don't miss