Published on October 3rd, 2012 | by Desiree' Attard1
Living the Dream – Voices 2012
With just a few hours to go for Voices’ opening night, your InsiterOnline editors Chiara Bartolo and Desiree’ Attard have luckily managed to lay their hands on two tickets for last night’s final rehearsal at the beautiful Mediterranean Conference Centre in Valletta, and can exclusively report to you, our faithful audience, on the happenings of the night. We promise not to spill the beans on the best parts of the show, but we will prepare you for the ‘dream flight’ that is this year’s Voices concert.
The ‘Dream’ theme chosen for this year’s soirees is strongly felt throughout, from the cloud-like stage setting to the songs featured. Keeping things flowing are presenters Josef Bonello and Ronald Briffa, who periodically inject humour breaks as well as sticking to the chosen theme: from taking the audience on a flight of fantasy to confessing their own secret dreams, the two characters provide comic relief and continuity to the show.
Voices is, indeed, the brainchild of the late Louis Naudi’s dream. Way back in 1991, the originator and founding member of Voices, Louis Naudi envisaged a musical performance on a national scale. His dream has certainly come to life: this year’s concerts, running for 10 days, are made up of a 200-strong choir, a band of 11 musicians and another 100 people involved backstage. Strength is surely in numbers, as the people involved are not only living the Voices dream, but are also dream makers, in the sense that the aim of Voices is to reach out to those in need. All proceeds from the concerts are donated to charity and chosen beneficiaries. In addition, a lead project is selected and funded.
This year’s main project is ‘Dar Mamma Margherita’, a Salesian adventure that aims to support youths in difficult family situations who risk homelessness. The idea is to create a bridge into adult life by offering a subsidised accomodation for a few years, in return for serious commitment towards work or education. ‘Dar Mamma Margherita’ will offer six studio flats to these young people to use as a stepping stone towards their future.
As for the concert itself, it is indeed a dream to behold. The choir, donning bright T-Shirts, are a feast for the eyes as well as the ears. Well-thought choreography ensures that the scene is not a stationary one, as the singers, perched on ‘clouds’, sway as one to the beat of the songs, or move their hands in unison. Making 200 people clap or move in perfect synchronization whilst singing harmonies at the same time is no mean feat, but Justine Odom and Gillian Portelli have accomplished it, and the result is a delight to watch.
The song lineup is varied to say the least. From Abba to Pink Floyd, Adele to Michael Jackson, most songs are well-known and will make you dance in your seat. Naturally, this variety of genres will mean that not all songs are to everyone’s liking, yet one cannot but appreciate the musical talent in this team. Most soloists were incredible and gave very emotional performances which gave us goosebumps; some were better than others, some lacked character, but on the whole both soloists and choir members were excellent, and if there were any tiny glitches (there were), they were outweighed by the spectacular energy the performers gave. It was evident that they gave their all on stage and were enjoying it. Which is definitely remarkable, considering that the show was a whopping four hours long. Thank God the seats at the MCC are comfortable.
In conclusion, the whole production had a perceptible dreamy feel to it – by the end of the show, the audience was most definitely in a very positive, albeit weary, mood. Genuine smiles could be seen all around, and that is the highest praise one can give to a show – the ability to induce happiness and peace. One last sneaky giveaway on the night? Just when you think it’s over, it isn’t.
Voices – Dream a Little Dream are held at the MCC from the 3rd – 7th and the 10th – 14th October.
(Photos: Chiara Bartolo)