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Final preparations for ‘Norma’ at the upgraded Teatru Astra

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Final preparations for ‘Norma’ at the upgraded Teatru AstraFinal preparations are currently underway at Teatru Astra for this week’s double-representation of the opera Norma, at the upgraded facilities funded through an eco-Gozo Ministry for Gozo scheme for non-governmental organisations.

On Saturday evening the Minister for Gozo, Giovanna Debono, visited the theatre during rehersal and was able to meet the main cast, choir members, backstage crew and the opera organising committee as well as Italian artistic director Enrico Stinchelli and music director Prof. Mro. Joseph Vella.

The main cast for this year’s production of Norma is made up of soprano Dimitra Theodossiou in the title-role, “considered as one of the most famous and important sopranos in the world of opera today,” the theatre said, as well as tenor Antonino Interisano as Pollione, mezzo-soprano Oana Andra as Adalgisa and bass Dario Russo as Oroveso. Other roles are being sung by soprano Dorienne Portelli singing the part of Clotilde and tenor Cliff Zammit Stevens as Flavio. The Malta Philharmonic Orchestra will be under the baton of Prof. Mro. Joseph Vella while the Teatru Astra Opera Chorus is being coached by Maria Frendo.

Norma opens the 10th edition of Festival Mediterranea, with a number of events showcasing the islands’ cultural tradition in music, history, art and heritage, running until the 19th of November.

“Socjetà Filarmonika La Stella, the owner of Teatru Astra, benefited from just under €50,000 under the eco-Gozo scheme to support the facilities and marketing initiatives of Festival Mediterranea. The project falls in line with the eco-Gozo short-term measures for 2010-2012, in particular those related to the development of niche-tourism areas for Gozo,” the theatre commented.

The project included the marketing of the opera Norma and Festival Mediterranea in foreign opera-specific and cultural tourism print and online media focusing mainly on the Italian, UK and German markets, and the upgrading of the festival website. The project also included the conversion of light facilities to energy-saving illumination and the refurbishment of a section of the backstage facilities and basic theatre amenities.

Vincenzo Bellini’s stalwart opera will be perfomed this Thursday, the 27th and Saturday, the 29th of October.

More information about the opera Norma and Festival Mediterranea available on 2155 0985 and 7925 6897.

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