The so-much-expected annual Christmas production arrived! From months before, the choristers had been preparing their programme and all the setting started taking shape. This year the production of ‘Carols by Candlelight' was held on two evenings, the 18th and 19th December, to accommodate more people who year after year did not make it on time to get their tickets. Strangely enough, some still did not make it on time and for this the choristers are sincerely upset. This production which had given a boost to both the choir and Gozo, implies a lot of individu

7th Edition
al sacrifices, a lot of hard work - manual and thinking and a lot of energy…but this is clearly understood by all those who attend.

All participants noticed and were touched by the magical atmosphere which was created thanks to the creativity of Rev. Fr. Joseph Bajada, the artistic director together with John Attard the stage manager and all the other contributors like flower arrangements artists Simon Muscat and Anthony Xerri, light effects under the direction of Peter Camilleri and projections by Marvic Bajada. Mr. George Camilleri, compere, introduced the evening and shared various thoughts about Christmas, the miracle of life and the candle which brighten our hectic days. The concert started with an original arrangement of ‘Come Thou Redeemer of the Earth' by Paul Portelli. Marouska Attard started this antiphon a cappella and then was joined by treble Bernadine Attard, the male section followed while the organ joined in, then there was a violin intervention followed by the female voices who led the piece to be joined by the harp. The last stanzas were sung in SATB with organ and trumpet accompaniment. The next pieces were ‘Personent Hodie', ‘Riù Riù Chiù' with the solo interpretation by Bass Albert Buttigieg, ‘Sussex Carol', ‘Carol of the Bells' and ‘Il-Benninena ta' Ġesù Bambin'. Then it was time for the soloists. First there was an organ piece ‘Noel: A la venue de Noel' by Louis-Claude Daquin which was played by Joseph Camilleri on the Mascioni Organ of the St. Augustine 's Monastery. Then chorister and saxophonist Philip Attard interpreted ‘Adoration' by Borowski and ‘Variation on In Dulci Jubilo' by Paul Portelli. He was accompanied by Stephen Attard on the organ. Soprano and Choir Director, Marouska Attard interpreted Head's ‘The Little Road to Bethlehem ' and Adam's ‘O Holy Night'. She was accompanied by harpist Jacob Portelli who later interpreted ‘Greensleves'. The last solo piece was interpreted by Bass Albert Buttigieg who was accompanied by the soprano section of the choir. He interpreted Yon's ‘Gesu Bambino'. The last choral part was accompanied by members of the Jubilate Chamber Orchestra and started with ‘Stille Nacht' which had its verses sung in German, French, Italian, English and Maltese. The Italian verse was sung by the Quartet formed by Soprano Christabella Vella, Alto Janice Gatt, Tenor Marvic Cini and Bass Geoffrey Bajada. Then there were ‘Candlelight Carol' and ‘Shepherds' Pipe Carol' both by John Rutter and finally the ‘Gloria' by Vivaldi and ‘Hallelujah Chorus' from the Messiah by Handel. Most of the carols were animated and some even involved the participation of the audience like when young Francesco in his pyjamas came out with the chamber candlestick holder to light the candles of the audience. Brian Sultana and Evelyn Bonnici were assigned with the animation. ‘Ding Dong Merrily on High' was sung as encore. Then after the concert, the audience reached the foyer where an exhibition of religious articles by Rev. Fr. Charles was held. Then in the cloister a delicious dinner was served by the Ta' Frenċ Chefs. The audience was delighted by the whole production… and as most said it was ‘a truly enchanted evening which brought around the spirit of Christmas'.

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