For hundreds of years, opera has maintained an elevated and revered social status around the world. The genre itself brought about a culture of sumptuous and sophisticated opera houses worth visiting even if not for an actual theatre production. In turn, the ‘opera’ phenomenon grew from the core musical work of art to a social outing marked by a degree of lavishness and indulgence; one that people crave for and throng to.
Such is opera in Gozo, with its opening night on October 14, when the Aurora stages Madama Butterfly. Final preparations are well underway as theatre volunteers are putting together a new ‘allestimento’ with costumes and set being the result of an artistic collaboration between Maltese designer Luke Azzopardi, choreographer and director Riccardo Buscarini and lighting designer Moritz Savan.
On the auditory side, Colin Attard is once more responsible for the Aurora Opera Chorus together with the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra together with an international cast headed by Federica Vitali in the title role of Madama Butterfly (Cio-cio-san). Mikheil Sheshaberidze, will be Pinkerton, Manuela Custer, Suzuki and Piero Terranova as Sharpless. The Maltese flag will be flown by Cliff Zammit Stevens who sings Goro, Gozitan-born Stanley Portelli as Yamadori, Louis Andrew Cassar as Uncle Bonze, Ken Scicluna performing the Imperial Commissioner, and Clare Ghigo as Mrs Kate Pinkerton.
The Aurora Opera House is offering a number of additional packages for those patrons interested in upping their opera-in-Gozo experience, on its exclusive opening night. Patrons crossing over to Gozo as footpassengers on the Gozo Channel ferry may use an exclusive shuttle bus from Mġarr Terminal to the theatre and back.
This service runs after the 5.45pm ferry and 30 minutes after the end of the opera performance from the theatre for the next ferry service which should be at midnight. This is a free-of-charge service, but reservations are recommended. You may request your shuttle bus service here.