Tour to Italy

Rome and Assisi

10th to 17th September 2008
Thursday 13th September - Meeting Mro. Bartolucci / Sacred Concert

SCJ Choir visit Mro. Domenico Bartulucci

The forth day in the World Heritage City of Rome turned out to be another memorable day. At 10am, the choristers were at Mro. Domenico Bartulucci's home which is next to the Hall of the Cappella Musical Pontificia – Cappella Sistina. Mro. Bartolucci welcomed the Schola Cantorum Jubilate with open hands and listened to their singing with great interest. The choristers preformed ‘O Bone Jesu' by Palestrina and his own composition of ‘Regina Coeli'.

He was very moved by these interpretations. He immediately asked his assistant Fr. Renzo Cilia, who is Maltese and resides in Rome for almost 40 years to fetch books of his musical collection and some cds with recordings of his compositions. Then, after signing on the books, he donated all this mentioned material to Stefan Attard, the choir leader. Stefan, on behalf of all the Schola members presented him a cd ‘Jubilate' and a book of ‘Mottetti Sacri' composed by Mro. Paul Portelli for the Bartolucci Foundation. Mro. Bartolucci talked to the choristers about the importance of the Chorus in the liturgy and about the universal church language that is the Latin which thanks to His Holiness Pope Benedict is being re-given importance. He was very pleased to see such a group of youths who are working hard to perform and promote the true church music which helps the congregation meditate and sanctify God the Almighty. On leaving Mro. Bartolucci's house, the choristers visited the churches of San Andrea della Valle and La Chiesa del Gesu' where important artistic operas are exhibited.

Then, they proceeded for lunch, after which they went straight to Santa Maria Maggiore for a concert at 2pm. They sang in one of the side chapels with an audience consisting of tourists who visited the church and remained impressed by the singing. After that performance, Marouska Attard , Clare Ghigo and organist Paul Portelli had a rehearsal in the Basilica of Santa Prassede. The visitors, who entered the church, found a seat and had the opportunity to listen the rehearsal of the soloists. In the evening, the choristers left the hotel and by a private coach were taken to the Church of Gesu Divino Maestro near the Gemelli Hospital. At 8pm, they held a concert organized by the Maltese Embassy in Rome. The Parish Priest of this church, Don Mario Laurenti was born in Sliema Malta and settled in Rome at the young age of 12. The Embassy invited the Maltese Community in Rome amongst which were nuns, priests, workers at the Embassy and at the Vatican. All the guests listened with enthusiasm to the Gozitan choir and tears ran down their cheeks as the choir performed the Maltese hymn ‘Nadurawk ja Hobz tas-Sema' (Caruana). The other pieces performed were by Palestrina, Victoria, Mozart, Perosi, Bartolucci, Frisina and Portelli. Marouska Attard interpreted ‘Pie Jesu' by Faure' and then she also performed in a duet - ‘Welcome to this Cheerful life' from ‘Jephta' by Handel with mezzo-soprano Clare Ghigo. The choir was accompanied by Paul Portelli. To everyone's surprise the new Nunzio Appostolico for Malta and Libya attended the concert.

Present were also Mgr. Charles Scicluna, an old friend of the Schola and Fr. Renzo Cilia who met the choir earlier in the day. Silvana Sultana introduced the concert and showed the choir's appreciation towards the Malta Embassy in Rome, the Parish and the guests who attended the concert. Speeches were delivered by Mgr. Scicluna who showed his appreciation for the ‘heavenly music' and by the Nunzio Mgr. Tommaso Caputo who said that this was his first encounter with the Maltese and he openly invited the choristers for a visit at his Nunziatura in Malta and asked for a photo in remembrance of this meeting. After the concert, the choristers and guests had a reception where apart tasting the delicious food prepared, they met different people from different aspects of life who congratulated the choristers and their director, Marouska. On returning back to the hotel for a justified rest, the driver stopped at the Giannicolo so that all the member can have a look of the Roman City from high.

 Concert organised by Maltese Embassy in Rome  Concert organised by Maltese Embassy in Rome

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