Opera-lovers, take note: as Malta’s operatic home, Teatru Manoel is soon set to stage its first full opera following the COVID-19 pandemic in a co-production with the Valletta Cultural Agency.
Taking to the national theatre stage in March 2023, an all-star cast – directed and joined by international opera star, Argentine tenor José Cura – will bring to life one of the world’s most loved operas, Giacomo Puccini’s Tosca.
The Teatru Manoel and Valletta Cultural Agency co-production, in collaboration with Bank of Valletta, features Cura as Cavaradossi, Tanya Ivanova as Tosca and Carlos Almaguer as Scarpia, alongside a top local cast including Alan Sciberras, Albert Buttigieg, Louis Cassar and Nadia Vella. The choir from KorMalta also enhances Puccini’s romantic score under the direction of chorus master Riccardo Bianchi, against the backdrop of the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Mario De Rose.
“Apart from myself, my team and the two other principal roles, everybody else on stage will be Maltese, from my friends of the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra to the choir, the technicians, dressers, make-up artists, and so on,” explains Maestro Cura. “Our mission is to strengthen Maltese theatrical structures so that we can repeat such beautiful projects in the future. With the hard work of the Manoel family, the support of the Valletta Cultural Agency, the always attentive watch of the Minister for Culture and the encouragement of the Maltese audience, we can enjoy this production and amplify this success in the years to come.”
Following tempestuous opera singer Floria Tosca as she fights to save her lover Cavaradossi from police chief Scarpia, Tosca is a tragic story of passion, jealousy, love, lust, murder and political intrigue. Meeting the challenges of staging this famous opera fan-favourite, the new production at the Manoel features costumes designed by Silvia Collazuol and an innovative set and stage design by Cura himself.
“In order to tackle the Manoel’s pit space limitations, which have always prevented the staging of big operas, I have devised a structural change in the use of the stage to be able to use a full symphonic orchestra. This idea could signal a new staging approach which will bring the big operas to the Manoel in the future” Maestro Cura reveals. “Therefore, the audience should be ready to see and listen, with an open mind, to something different to the usual operatic setting, which traditionally has the orchestra in the pit and the action behind. Actually, we are going to do the opposite – come and see!”
The Teatru Manoel and Valletta Cultural Agency co-production of Giacomo Puccini’s Tosca will be performed at Teatru Manoel on 5, 8, 10 and 12 March 2023, with all performances at 7.30pm. This production is suitable for audiences aged 14 and above. Tickets are available via www.teatrumanoel.mt or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org and telephone on (+356) 2124 6389.