The long-awaited final concert of the Vocal Masterclasses in the Feel the Magic series
was held on Saturday, November 20, 2021, at the Astra Theatre in Victoria.
In front of a sizeable audience that is currently permitted under Health Authority
protocols, a good number of lyrical singers performed a pleasant selection of operatic
and profane excerpts after intensive days of coaching and preparation by Professor
Claudia Sasso.
Twelve singers took part in these masterclasses. They were accompanied on the
piano by Dr John Galea, the principal conductor of the Chorus Urbanus, and artistic
director of ‘Feel the Magic’. Chorus Urbanus also sang two choral excerpts from the
operatic repertoire: ‘O Signore dal tetto natìo’ from I Lombardi Alla Prima Crociata
(Verdi) and ‘Barcaruola a due voci’ from L’Elisir d’Amore (Donizetti), the latter also
featuring Prof. Sasso as Adina.
Finally, it was the turn of Soprano Sasso to sing four arias in a warming voice that
truly deserved the loud applause of the audience, along with a standing ovation. The
arias performed by Prof. Sasso included eponymous excerpts from the coloratura
repertoire: ‘Les oiseaux dans la Charmille’ (the Doll Song) from Les Contes de
Hoffmann (Offenbach); ‘Der Hölle Rache’ from Die Zauberflöte (Mozart); ‘Ah! non
credea mirarti’ followed by the caballetta ‘Ah! non giunge’ from La Sonnambula
(Bellini) and ‘È strano… Sempre Libera’ from La Traviata (Verdi).
These heavyweight arias were interpreted in a very professional way that
acknowledges Prof. Sasso’s full credentials of technical expertise and bravura.
The concert ended with the innovative initiative where, for the first time in the
history of local vocal masterclasses, a scholarship award was offered by a choral
organisation as part of its commitment to improve polished vocal technique.
The winning lyric singer of the evening was tenor Angelo Muscat, a former member
of the Chorus Urbanus, who won a scholarship to the St Cecilia Conservatory in
Rome in conjunction with Chorus Urbanus Productions and Feel the Magic project
After her performance Soprano Claudia Sasso declared Mr Angelo Muscat as the winner of the bursary to further his studies at the Conservatorio S. Cecilia in Rome. The award was presented by the Hon. Clint Camilleri, Minister for Gozo in the presence of Dr John Galea, artistic director of Feel the Magic 2019-21. In his speech, Minister Camilleri praised this innovative initiative where local talent is given the chance to pursue higher attainments, both locally and internationally. The Feel the Magic Team heartily congratulates Angelo Muscat for this success as recipient of the first edition of Vocal Masterclasses Award!
Feel the Magic is generously sponsored by Arts Council Malta, the Gozo Cultural Support Programme and other sponsors.


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