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Refugee-themed opera to premiere on Friday

Over 100 taking part

The opera Aħna Refuġjati recounts the challenges of a Syrian family forced to leave home due to  civil war – including crossing borders, a lack  of human rights, racism, separation and loss. Photos provided by Valletta 2018

The opera Aħna Refuġjati recounts the challenges of a Syrian family forced to leave home due to civil war – including crossing borders, a lack of human rights, racism, separation and loss. Photos provided by Valletta 2018

More than 150 people are working on Aħna Refuġjati (We are Refugees), a ‘next-generation opera’ by Valletta 2018 which will premiere on Friday.

The team behind the show is made up of over 100 people on stage, including 10 main singers, a choir of 35 people, eight acrobats and around 30 extras.

Meanwhile, more than 50 people will be working behind the scenes, including make-up artists, costume makers and stage crew, among others.

The aim of this musical production is to fuel thought and create a healthy dialogue about current affairs that are often overlooked.

Given its belief that art can be a catalyst for this process, the Valletta 2018 Foundation seeks to create opportunities that foster a creative exchange set against an artistic background.

Some of the 150 theatre artists working on Aħna Refuġjati, which will be performed at the Granaries, Floriana.Some of the 150 theatre artists working on Aħna Refuġjati, which will be performed at the Granaries, Floriana.

With a libretto written by Mario Philip Azzopardi, also the director of this production, Aħna Refuġjati recounts the challenges encountered by a Syrian family forced to leave home due to civil war – including crossing borders, a lack of basic human rights, racism, separation and loss, on a trip motivated by hope for a better life away from war.

From the unpleasant conditions in a refugee camp, hunger, loss, disputes and even brief moments of love and happiness, this opera presents a broad spectrum of human emotions.

With music by Mario Sammut and Richard Merill Brown, the production will also present an innovative audiovisual experience: the sounds of 184 instrumentalists, which have been virtually created by Mro Sammut at his studio, will provide a unique acoustic experience for the audience.

This use of electronic technology, which is frequently found in the world of cinematography, complements the more traditional orchestral style of Mro. Merill Brown, who is also the musical director of the production.

Though the opera will be performed entirely in Maltese, subtitles in English and Maltese will be screened so everyone can follow the action on stage.

Aħna Refuġjati will be presented by the Valletta 2018 Foundation in collaboration with the Floriana Local Council, the Grand Harbour Regeneration Corporation, the Armed Forces of Malta, Transport Malta and Mad About Video.

It will premiere on August 31 at the Granaries in Floriana, and a second performance will follow on September 2.

The cast includes Miriam Gauci, José Hernández Pastor, Joseph Zammit, Clare Ghigo, Federica Falzon, Nico Darmanin, Ruth Sammut Casingena, Nadia Vella, Louis Andrew Cassar and Joseph Lia.

For more information and to buy tickets, log on to https://valletta2018.org/events/ahna-refugjati/ .

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