“Magic” may be the key word in Chorus Urbanus’ 3-year project title. However “Magic” was surely on everyone’s tongue after the excellent spectacle that Chorus Urbanus presented as part of the ‘Feel the Magic’ Project. ‘Feel the Magic of Musical Theatre’ is without any doubt the grandest concert ever organised by Chorus Urbanus where music, singing and dancing were intertwined to provide a spectacular concert of famous and popular evergreen songs from musical theatre.

St. Augustine Square in Victoria was the venue for this concert where a large 3-tiered stage was constructed to accommodate all the participants. The adult section of Chorus Urbanus and the Urbanus Junior Choir together with soloists from the two choirs presented a selection of 20 songs from famous musicals ranging from The Phantom of the Opera, Miss Saigon, Oliver, Cats, Les Miserables, West Side Story, Annie, Evita and The Prince of Egypt. They were accompanied by the Malta Concert Orchestra under the superb and inspired direction of Mro. Dr John Galea. The Centre Stage Dance Academy under the artistic direction of Ms Natalie Sciortino provided choreographical interludes to a number of songs culminating in the grand finale with “When You Believe” from The Prince of Egypt where all participants joined forces on stage for a fitting finale to this spectacular concert.

The soloists who sang the solo parts are all local Chorus Urbanus regular members, including the juniors. Yvonne Galea, Ruth Portelli, Hilda Grima, Mario  Portelli, Fabian Galea, Maria Cassar, Antonella Rapa, George Borg, Karl Joseph Buhagiar, Janelle Rapa and Riden Glinofria were all impressive in their performances of some of the best numbers from the West End and Broadway musicals.

The Junior Choir was under the direction of Ms Maureen Zerafa, assisted by Hilda Grima. A number of promising youngsters from the Junior Choir interpreted the solo parts of well-known songs such as ‘Consider Yourself’, ‘I’ll Do Anything’, ‘Food Glorious Food’ and ‘Where Is Love’. One should make particular mention of the excellent and promising voices of Kristen Grima, Gabriel Grech, Nina Debono, Andreas Refalo, Krista Mercieca, Kurt Theuma Scerri, Hannah Vella and Shaniah Portelli, who all provided an impressive interpretation of their songs. This augurs well for the future of Chorus Urbanus.

The artistic direction of the show was entrusted to the experienced Jamie Camilleri whereas Sergio Costa was the sound engineer together with PRO Stage. The lighting effects were provided by Chris Gauci of Beam Light, designed by Ismahel Portelli.

All in all it was the a perfect night for the Feel the Magic project. It was a comprehensive success both in execution, in organisation and in the attendance. The success of this event augurs well for the future events of this new project by Chorus Urbanus. All laurels should be heaped on the organising committee who has been busy endeavouring in new pastures during these last months, in preparation for this  grand concert. The experience gained through this particular concert will surely provide the necessary impetus and encouragement to all committee members to dream and achieve more in providing such exciting events.

The concert was patronised by the Minister for Gozo, Dr Justyne Caruana, the Mayor of Victoria, Mr Josef Schembri, Gozitan members of Parliament and a host of distinguished guests. The compere for the concert was Ms Amanda Ciappara Mizzi, now a staple presence in Chorus Urbanus concerts.

Feel the Magic project is supported by the Gozo Cultural Support Fund, Ministry for Gozo, and the Malta Arts Council, together with other corporate sponsors.

(Photo credits: Betty Bugeja, Joseph Attard, Charles Spiteri and George Scerri, MGOZ)

Local media coverage

https://timesofmalta.com/articles/view/a-west-end-feeling-in-st-augustine-square.726844

https://www.newsbook.com.mt/artikli/2019/07/29/feel-the-magic-of-musical-theatre/


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