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An emotional tribute

Christina Lejman reviews the launch of Rachel Fabri’s album, Forever Yours.

Rachel Fabri and performers. Photos: Andrew Cutugno

Rachel Fabri and performers. Photos: Andrew Cutugno

Driving toward the Maria Rosa Wine Estate, I should have known that the evening ahead would be breathtaking and magical. I was about to attend the launch of Maltese songstress Rachel Fabri’s album, Forever Yours, a compilation of carefully-chosen pieces from Rachel’s own eclectic and varied repertoire.

Rachel’s classical crossover and musical theatre style has made her a popular artist both here and abroad and she is an example of the abundance of artistic talent that our small island produces.

Rachel’s new album is about something more to Rachel than just a demonstration of her skills. Rather, it is a personal tribute to those who have supported, inspired and accompanied her on her musical journey thus far.

Having been a fan of Rachel’s for many years, throughout her musical theatre performances and her recording career, I was in no doubt that the quality of the work she would be performing on the night would be of her usually impeccable standard.

However, what I failed to account for was the emotion and atmosphere that would be present throughout the evening and the graceful and delicate arrangement of pieces she has chosen to feature on Forever Yours.

Each piece has been specially chosen to honour her mentors and loved ones with each lyric holding special meaning to her

The album features pieces from classical-crossover, folk and musical theatre genres, all tied together by Rachel’s crystal clear and enigmatic vocals.

Each piece has been specially chosen to honour her mentors and loved ones, with each lyric holding special meaning to her.

This connection to the material was evident in the emotion which permeated the evening. The closing number and bonus track on the album, a partly a cappella version of Amazing Grace, had the audience mesmerised.

Rachel FabriRachel Fabri

Rachel was accompanied on stage by Veronique Vella and Ramona Zammit Formosa on piano, Simon Abdilla Joslin on cello, Silvio Zammit on flute and Kevin Spiteri on the guitar. The singer treated the audience to a nuanced and polishedperformance throughout.

In addition to the strong musicians, Rachel lined up two other surprises for her guests. Riding high after his world-class performance opposite Joseph Calleja, tenor Cliff Zammit Stevens blew everyone away with his rendition of Non Ti Scordar Di Me, while powerhouse singer Roger Tirazona gave a gifted rendition of Stars, from Les Miserables. Both young men also accompanied Rachel in duets, giving the line-up colour and depth.

The album will also launch in the UK on October 17 at The Pheasantry in London, where Rachel will be joined by yet more young artists.

The album is a perfect mix of classical vocals and contemporary style and, with part of the proceeds from its sale going to Puttinu Cares, how could anyone possibly resist?

Both the event and the album it celebrated were well-executed and chock-full of talent.

Rachel Fabri is one of the featured soloists in 1565, being staged at the Mediterranean Conference Centre on September 6 and 7.

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