With over 7k views in just one week, Feel the Magic of Napoli featuring budding Gozitan baritone Charles Buttigieg accompanied by Dr John Galea was a resounding success surpassing the organizers’ expectations. The live streaming of the concert was Chorus Urbanus’ response to the restricting measures imposed because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Originally intended for a live audience, as part of the Feel the Magic 2020 offerings, the concert was streamed live in 4K by CVC Productions on 31st August 2020 from the Gozo Ministry Main Courtyard.
Charles Buttigieg is currently a student at the Curtis Institute, Philadelphia, US, as a beneficiary of a bursary offered by the Joseph Calleja Foundation. Following a rigorous application process, Charles was selected to audition before the Admissions Panel in Philadelphia last month and was informed that he had been selected for a place on the course which started in September 2018. Curtis is one of the leading music conservatoires in the United States and specialises in educating and training the world’s most gifted young musicians. In its letter of offer Curtis stated that Charles “stood out as one of the most talented and promising students in what was one of the most competitive applicant pools in the history of the Institute”. Mention must be made that Charles Buttigieg was discovered by our artistic director Dr John Galea who has supported him all the way since he was admitted to the ranks of Chorus Urbanus at the tender age of 12 years.
The concert consisted of a selection of ‘canzone da camera’ and other varied lieder by Paolo Tosti, lesser known arie da camera by the young Giuseppe Verdi, De Curtis and De Capua amongst others representatives of the Neapolitan song genre. Baritone Charles Buttigieg sailed gallantly throughout this repertoire that brought out the full potentials of his golden voice.
The whole programme of events of Feel the Magic for 2020 had to be re-defined and re-designed in view of the restrictions in vigour announced by the Health Authorities. Keep watch for further projects for 2020 in the Feel the Magic series. The Feel the Magic Project enjoys the generous support of the Gozo Cultural Support Programme sponsored by Arts Council Malta and the Ministry for Gozo.