Every opera buff and his dog knows that when it comes to opera, head north, i.e. Gozo and specifically, Teatru Astra in Victoria.
Two packed houses enjoyed Verdi’s masterpiece on Thursday 29 and Saturday 31 October: a highly entertaining, exciting and novel production, inspired by an in depth reading of Enrico Maria Piave’s loaded text and the Maestro’s dramatic score. Gone were the age-old theatrics and the over the top draperies, making a mockery out of the mocker per excellence, Rigoletto. A minimalist set, exposing the width and depth of the stage, served as the backdrop for the evolving drama, highlighted by the absolutely brilliant use of lighting equipment to bring out every shift in mood and humor, and offset by dazzling costumes. The stage came alive with the hustle and bustle of the nonchalant courtiers, whose chief occupation lay in whiling away the time, alternating with the pathos welling up to tragic proportions of the doomed beauty and her scheming father, unwitting architect of his own undoing.
Fielding a winning team, the Astra management scored a tremendous success. The atmosphere was unique: you could feel the tension mounting as the opera progressed to its climactic finale, and the final collective release of the pent-up tension in an unending round of applause, punctuated by shouts of “Bravo” as a shower of flowers descended upon the protagonists.
The Teatru Astra is expected to deliver the top goods, year in, year out. It is indeed a great challenge which the management has succeeded admirably in meeting time and again. The Teatru Astra, within the La Stella Philharmonic Society which justly boasts of a tradition of excellence in the music-cultural milieu, and which has always been fuelled by the quest for perfection, is committed to continue to promote opera at the highest possible level.
Don’t lose time: ensure your favorite place for La Traviata
: Verdi’s other gem of an opera, which ranks top for its popularity and sublime music. That’s what you are going to get in October 2010: sublime music: a memorable Traviata indeed.
Online Booking for Verdi’s La Traviata | www.mediterranea.com.mt
Booking office: 2155 0985/ 9988 3007 | [email protected]
Photos by Joe Attard | view more photos here