[WATCH] Maltese opera on refugees to put up a mirror to society

Xtra Sajf goes artistic as it discusses the upcoming original Maltese opera on refugees and the musical journey of Gozitan band, The Travellers

Marc Cabourdain and Miriam Gauci interviewed by Saviour Balzan
Marc Cabourdain and Miriam Gauci interviewed by Saviour Balzan

An original Maltese opera that deals with the sensitive issue of refugees, seeks to put up a mirror to society, according to producer Marc Cabourdain.

Recounting the struggles of a family trying to escape their war-torn country, Cabourdain said the opera was “deep, brutal, spectacular and very much like a film”.

He was speaking on tonight’s edition of Xtra Sajf, alongside internationally-acclaimed soprano Miriam Gauci, who will play the part of the refugee mother.

"We do not intend to preach but present reality to our audience," Cabourdain said.

Aħna Refuġjati, will also feature tenor Nico Darmanin, counter tenor José Hernandez Pastor, mezzo soprano Clare Ghigo and mezzo soprano Federica Falzon as part of the cast.

The opera will be staged on the Granaries in Floriana tomorrow and Sunday.

Cabourdain said the sensitive theme was specifically chosen to cast a spotlight on a very contemporary issue for Malta, Europe and the Mediterranean. “It touches on the human element and talks about hope, as well as the lack of it,” Cabourdain added.

The opera is entirely in Maltese and was composed by Mario Sammut and Richard Merill Brown, who will also be musical director. Overall direction is in the hands of Mario Philip Azzopardi. It forms part of the Valletta 2018 events.

Gauci hoped this experiment served as an invitation for more works to follow on the same lines.

The opera will last two hours and includes a large cast of 150 people.

Xtra Sajf also featured Chris Gatt, vocalist of Gozitan band The Travellers.