Gioachino Rossini’s Armida to be performed in Malta for the first time

The production will take place at Teatru Manoel.

Teatru Manoel, Malta’s national theatre and one of the oldest baroque theatres in the World, presents a new and exciting production of Giacchino Rossini’s opera Armida. The production features renowned soprano Elisa Balbo in the lead role, tenors Nico Darmanin, Anle Gou and Cliff Zammit Stevens, the bass Albert Buttigieg, KorMalta (Malta’s national choir), the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra, and Moveo Dance Company.

It is directed by Paul Carr and conducted by Davide Levi with costume designs by the renowned local designer Luke Azzopardi. The production will also feature rarely seen nineteenth century painted backdrops from the theatre’s scenery archives, which were painted in Milan specifically for the Manoel Theatre.

First performed in November 1817, Armida tells the tale of the Saracen sorceress Armida, who uses her powers to bewitch and ensnare her Crusader enemies. Rossini’s masterful composition and the exquisite libretto by Giovanni Schmidt, transport the audience to a world of magic, love, and betrayal.

“We wanted to bring a lesser-known, and never before locally performed opera by the ever-popular Rossini to the Maltese public because we know it will appeal to our audiences who grew up with a myriad of stories about the Knights of St. John” explained Teatru Manoel’s Artistic Director, Adrian Mamo. “The opera is set at the time of the Crusades with its fair share of myth, magic and mysticism that will certainly delight our patrons.”

“Opera has always offered the best in the visual and performing arts from composition and singing to costume and set design, and we are sure that our Armida will uphold this centuries-old tradition. We are fortunate to be collaborating with some of the best creatives in the world of opera, and look forward to delivering to our audiences a spectacular magical production”. 

Armida is a true testament to Rossini’s genius, with its intricate vocal lines, breath-taking arias, and thrilling ensemble numbers. It showcases the composer’s ability to create music that is both technically demanding and emotionally resonant. This, together with the impressive design, exciting direction, and powerful performances will undoubtedly be a unique treat for Rossini and all opera lovers. 

Performances of Armida will take place on the main stage of Teatru Manoel on March 3, 6, 8 and 10. Ticket prices range from €30 to €70. For more information on the production and to purchase tickets, visit www.teatrumanoel.mt call (+356) 21246389.  

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