The Greatest Enigma of the Cross was a resounding, but yet a sober success, performed to full-house capacity of an enthusiastic and supportive audience. Chorus Urbanus and its soloists, together with the Chorus Urbanus Junior Choir (directed by Maureen Zerafa) displayed a real passion for interpretative singing. Tone was focussed and emotions were intelligently rendered as a musical commentary ensued tellingly to the very powerful script penned by Jamie Camilleri, the director of Beta Entertainment Theatre Academy. Choral attacks were consistently clean, dynamics well delivered to make this Lenten offering one that is both insightful and laden with a contemporary powerful message inherent in Camilleri’s script.
The actors taking part performed their parts convincingly set against a background of sound effects and wonderful music designed to respect, reflect and hope when facing the meaning of the daily Cross.
Beam Lighting played an essential role in giving meaning to the whole presentation, while sound was superbly managed by ProStage Sound.
The programme pivoted around music by Pergolesi, Moore, Stainer, Kodaly, Stradella, Mendelssohn and Dubois, all beautifully and evocatively conveyed. The combined choirs mesmerized the audience in the concluding number where the choristers addressed the Cross with hushed pianissimos, turning their backs to the audience while directing their glances towards the crucified Christ in the moving and hauntingly beautiful ‘Adoramus te, Christe’ by Dubois.
Amy Rapa accompanied the singers on the piano, while Dr John Galea conducted this multi-media concert. At the end of this concert Rev Canon Simon M. Cachia delivered a moving message that is being reproduced hereunder:
For this happened so that the scripture passage might be fulfilled: “They will look upon him whom they have pierced.” This is the comment by which John the Evangelist concludes the 19th chapter of the Gospel, the chapter of the Passion and Crucifixion of our Lord.
While thanking Chorus Urbanus and Beta Entertainment Theatre Company for offering us such a poignant celebration, and while thanking you for joining us in this Shrine dedicated to the pierced Sacred Heart of our Saviour, may I urge you all to look upon Him, hanging from the Cross, pierced by nails, thorns and lance, and let him give you rest. Let Christ give you the hope you are searching for, the consolation that no one else can give you and the victory over all your doubts, tears, solitude and sufferings. As the ancient hymn Vexilla Regis recites:
Blest Tree, whose happy branches bore the wealth that did the world restore;
The beam that did that Body weigh which raised up hell’s expected prey.
Hail, Cross, of hopes the most sublime!
The Greatest Enigma of the Cross has been generously sponsored by the Cultural Heritage Directorate and the Ministry for Gozo. Acknowledgements also go to the Fontana Parish and Mr. John Theuma.
Photo Credits: Sandie Falzon