Nothing overwhelms you into the Christmas spirit like the annual Chorus Urbanus Productions’ Feel the Magic of Christmas concert. The 2022 edition of Il-Kunċert tal-Milied’ has given our patrons the chance once more to join together at Teatru Astra, feel festive through a plethora of joyful emotions that have helped to remind us all what a special time of the year this festive Season heralds! And to top it all, we were indeed honoured to have H.E. Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, President Emeritus of the Republic of Malta to patronise the concert where contributions towards the projects of the Malta Trust Foundation in Gozo were received by the foundation’s personnel.
It could be witnessed by one and all that the festive season truly began on a high note where all the participants sang their hearts out and performed at their best during this year’s Feel the Magic of Christmas concert, an event that is eagerly awaited year after year, ever since our first Christmas concert in 1998 throughout the chequered history of our long-standing tradition of Yuletide Concerts. Chorus Urbanus, the Chorus Urbanus Junior Section, the Urbanus Festive Orchestra have returned with splendour and majesty, performing an eclectic carol repertoire with an extraordinary range of expressive tone coaxed through the masterly direction of Dr John Galea. For this year’s special 25th edition, we have teamed up with Beta Entertainment Academy, ProStage Sound, Centre Stage Dance Academy and projections by MAV, all under the artistic direction of Jamie Camilleri to provide our patrons with a joyous festive flick bringing to vivd life the theme of this year’s production: Hope amid Darkness.
The concert kicked off with the effective and sonorous ‘Sing Along the Songs of Gladness” What made this one fun was how the choral forces of both Chorus Urbanus and the Junior Section gave each number its own genre-specific vibe. The vocal energies were matched by excellent orchestral playing. With the integration of a fast moving script, well-known carols, and brilliant music, the overall production of this concert with cultivated a calming and heartwarming atmosphere for all ages to enjoy. One particular young actor Giorgio Camilleri whose emotions and dedication brought the engaging script by Jamie Camilleri to life, created a captivating and moving performance that brought an entertaining mix of tradition and novelty in the actual scenes depicting 21st-century life patterns.
The most powerful singing took place on songs like “Mary, Did You Know?”, “Little Drummer Boy” , “Born on Christmas Day”, and “Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas” ably arranged by our musical director, together with the uplifting carols “Joy to the World” and “Adeste Fideles” which turn into joyful explosions of praises of the nativity story. Other evergreen carols included “Carol of the Stars”, “Angels’ Carol”, the eponymous Maltese carol “Ninni la tibkix izjed”, “Coventry Carol” and the wistful “Somewhere in my Memory”. These offerings were ably supported by Nathalie Sciortino’s exquisite choreography by the Centre Stage Dance Academy and impressive projections complemented by exceedingly effective stage lighting design by Chris Gauci (Beam Lighting).
Feel the Magic of Christmas 2022 was brought to its defining hallmark – a standing ovation, where the whole team of participants gave two encores of “Jingle Bells” that proved to be a smashing success with the appreciative 800-strong audience at Teatru Astra, packed to the gills on Sunday, 18 December, 2022.
Feel the Magic 2022-24 is generously supported by Arts Council Malta, The Ministry for Gozo and the Culture Unit, The Victoria Local Council, Michael Grech Financial, Silhouette The Light Shop, Teatru Astra and other sponsors.
(Photo credits: Joe Attard)