Everything is set for the Gaulitana Festival that will be held in Gozo during the month of April. VisitGozo speaks to Jean Noel Attard, the Festival Manager who along with his team has planned a truly rich and rewarding festival on the island of Gozo!
1. When is the Festival being held?
Gaulitana’s launch will take place on the 25th of March with the opening of an exhibition of works by Costanzo Rovati. Then, the festival shall run throughout April, kicking off with the semi-staged production of Mary Poppins on Easter Sunday. The venues hosting the events include opera houses and theatres, hotels, churches, music halls, open-air venues and lounge pubs. Whilst most of our events will be held in Gozo, we are also “exporting” some of our project to Malta.
2. What is the essence of the Festival?
Gaulitana has as its ‘raison d’etre’ the fostering of culture in Gozo. Now in its 12th edition, it has been labelled as “Gozo’s main classical music festival” and “a major classical music festival” by the Musical Opinion magazine. Although focusing on classical music, it presents multifarious styles from musical theatre to jazz. Besides, the festival seeks to incorporate other creative arts forms (photography, art, dance, literature and installation art), merging them with music.
Gaulitana presents a series of talks – linked with upcoming concerts, lunchtime concerts at the Cittadella, Gozo’s walled town, and concerts in atypical venues. This year’s edition will also celebrate the birth centenary of Berstein.
3. Top Names and Top Events
The highlight of Gaulitana is the OPERA+ Weekend, a three-day cultural bonanza ending the festival. The main event is Bellini’s Norma featuring Amarilli Nizza, Stefan Pop, Enrico Castiglione (director), Colin Attard (conductor) and the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra. This full-scale production will be surtitled for the first time in Gozo whereas the sets will be inspired from the Ġgantija Temples.
Other events for the weekend include a guitar recital at Ġgantija on Friday, a talk and curator’s guide of Ġgantija on Saturday, and a final recital featuring the Gaulitana String Orchestra.
Gaulitana’s Artist-in-Residence is acclaimed conductor, pianist and organist Alexander Frey.
4. Who’s behind the Festival?
The festival ethos is embodied in Artistic Director Colin Attard, an inspirational artist constantly seeking to ameliorate Gozo’s cultural output. We have an energetic team who is working around the clock to ensure yet another successful run of Gaulitana.
Gaulitana is organised by the Gaulitanus Choir, an amateur choir set-up in 1990. Over the years, the choir has established itself as a major contributor towards Malta’s cultural scene, and has embarked on European tours, on various occasions.
5. Booking and Attending
The majority of Gaulitana’s events are free-of-charge for the general public.
Tickets for Norma can be purchased online from Teatru Aurora. More details on the programme of events can be found on our website.
Gaulitana is supported by the Gozo Cultural Support Programme of Arts Council Malta and Ministry for Gozo, by Valletta18 and Heritage Malta.