Carols by Candlelight 2015

11th and 12th December 2015

During this weekend, the event of ‘Carols by Candlelight’ was held at St. Augustine’s Priory in Victoria. This is the twelfth edition of the so-much-awaited Christmas event.

The artistic Director Fr. Joseph Bajada based the design on the ‘winter’ theme. White dominated the scene but warmth was emitted by candles, chandeliers and special light effects.

The selection of pieces included popular Christmas Carols and others less popular which the audiences enjoyed. These included: ‘Ukrainian Bells’, ‘Gifts for the Child of Winter’ with the solo part interpreted by Edward Camilleri, ‘Ninni la tibkix iżjed’ interpreted by Nathan Cini (treble) and the choir, ‘The Holy and the Ivy’ with soloists: Silvianne Cini, Catherine Portelli, Edward Camilleri and Albert Buttigieg, ‘Psallite’, ‘Once in Royal David’s City’ with the first stanza sung by Nathan Cini (treble), ‘Il est né le Divin Enfant’ interpreted in SSA, ‘O Holy Night’ by Soprano Marouska Attard and the choir, ‘Riu Riu Chiu’ and ‘The First Nowell’ with bass Albert Buttigieg, ‘Sir Christemas’ and finally ‘Joy to the World’.  

There was also room for soloists who interpreted various pieces. A quartet formed by Marouska Attard, Catherine Portelli, Edward Camilleri and Albert Buttigieg interpreted a rather daring arrangement of ‘Silent Night’ by Antony Pitts.  Moreover, in trio, Marouska Attard, Edward Camilleri and Albert Buttigieg interpreted ‘White Christmas’ arranged by Paul Portelli. Other solo pieces included ‘Antiche Canzoni di Natale’ by O. Ravanello for organ which were interpreted by Joseph Camilleri on the church organ. Another piece was for piano and cello – ‘Fantasia on Greensleeves’ by R. Vaughan Williams. The cello was played by Simon Abdilla Joslin while Joseph Camilleri accompanied on the piano.

The soirée included also two short interventions about Climate Change and Pope Francis’ encyclica ‘Laudato Si’. The monologues were written by Fr. Richard N. Farrugia and interpreted by George Camilleri who represented a traveller in search of the truth and a solution for many wrong-doings around him.

The audience joined the choir and sang along ‘O Come all ye faithful’ after an invitation from the choir’s Director who talked about music which unites all nations, no matter what differencies exist.

It was clear that the audience appreciated every minute of the concert and showed its appeciation in a standing ovation at the end of the concert, before entering the cloister for the dinner.

As in past editions, dinner was served in the cloister and was freshly prepared by the Ta’ Frenċ Chefs. In the foyer, before reaching the cloister, attendees admired a sculpture of a Salvator Mundi created by artist Manuel Farrugia. Paintings with religious themes, by the same artist were exhibited.

Surely it was another feather in the hat for SCJ who managed in such a short time after their tour in Venice to produce another unforgettable edition of ‘Carols by Candlelight’.



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