2016.03.31 Colin Attard 25 Years News Image

ENGLISCH: It was March 31st, 1991 when the Leone Philharmonic Society of Victoria, Gozo, appointed the young and emergent conductor Colin Attard as its musical director and resident conductor of the Aurora Opera House, succeeding Joseph Sammut. Perhaps little did we realise back then, even if we had so much faith in him, how big we could grow together in a span of 25 years.

Bekannt: 31 Mars 2016

It is no hidden secret, in a 1990s bi-parochial and bi-partisan Victoria (Gozo), still under 30 years of age, Colin did not hail from the Leone side. It was indeed a daring feat, both for him to cross the floor and assume a leading role in the Leone Band and Aurora Opera House, as well as for the Leone Band to appoint a young conductor from the ‘other’ side of the competition; a risk that was calculated over and over again. Today, after 25 years, the Leone Philharmonic Society can safely say it was a risk worth taking.

Attard’s association with the Aurora and its parent organisation, the Leone Philharmonic Society, has seen him piloting the Leone Band to new heights as regards concert activity. Aware of the constant need to keep up with change, he has been at the front in presenting the ever-increasing Gozitan audiences with contemporary, challenging and rather ‘unfamiliar’ classics as well as more trendy, popular music – the latter also resulting in the highly rated Leone Goes Pop series. Drifting away from the ubiquitous, tried and tested music has managed to bring back the big audiences to the Leone Band’s concerts and has set new parameters for others to follow. Colin has directed the Leone Band in Gozo, Malta and abroad. Some of his compositions hold a collective sentimental value for the people of Victoria and all those who devoutly celebrate Gozo’s Santa Marija. But apart from the strides ahead in the band sector, Colin also revamped the contemporary history of opera in Malta, through what has come to be known as Opera in Gozo.

Attard was appointed in 1991, when opera in Gozo had revived an interest in the genre in Malta but was not strong enough to become a staple annual event. Together we had worked hard for his first opera at the Aurora – Il Trovatore 1994, and from then onwards opera at the Aurora continued year on year. Really and truly, Attard has become one of the valuable assets thanks to whom Opera in Gozo is what it truly is today.

He may be popularly known for his iconic hairstyle, which truly reflects his personality and his musical soul – all but conventional, energetic, at times explosive and always unpredictable, but in his own inimitable way, he manages to make everything work like clockwork up to a very top-notch standard.

At the Aurora Opera, Attard is much more than a simple conductor. He scouts and deals with the artistes, he trains the choir, he has got his hand in practically every stage of the production and that is a strong sense of security. Thanks to his dynamic character, he manages to juggle on his ten fingers – simultaneously – the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra, highly-demanding global opera stars and divas and the common folk who volunteers its time for opera at the Aurora simply because they belong to the place. Indeed, being professional in a very casual manner is a classically-Colin attribute.

We firmly believe that this quarter-century of dedicated musical contribution should not only be celebrated by all of us at the Leone Philharmonic Society and the Aurora Opera House, but also marked beyond our circles. We know we have helped him age so graciously these 25 years, but we also recognise how much he has helped us move on, improve and grow.

To this, to these 25 years, and to many more, dear Colin, we publicly thank you.

All of us at the Leone Philharmonic Society and the Aurora Opera House.

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Congratulations to Maestro Colin Attard on this great Jubilee. I also just recently celebrated my 25th anniversary at the MET, and know what a great achievement this is! I will never forget beautiful Malta and the public and our great Turandot together and am wishing Maestro Attard another 25 years of successful music-making! Much love,

Maria Guleghina
(Turandot, 2012)

How time flies!!! I remember Colin's debut as a very young man. I had reviewed many operas he conducted as we aficionados cross the 'fliegu' once or twice a year to enjoy, for a few fleeting hours, a genre that that the Maltese Nation has been cruelly deprived of since the Luftwaffe destroyed our opera house in 1942. Colin is one of those brave men who have kept the flame of opera alive in a world that seemed to understand and appreciate it less and less. 25 years? A quarter of a century is a long time and the operas go from strength to strength; better voices, better acting, better productions. Yet the driving force that is Colin remains the mainstay of it all. Ad multos annos

Kenneth Zammit Tabona
Artistic Director, Manoel Theatre

I'd like to express my admiration and my thanks to Maestro Colin Attard for his dedication and commitment to the production and spread of Opera in Gozo. I have had the luck and pleasure of working with him for several years, first as an opera singer and now as Artistic Manager of ITALIA LIRICA, and I have always appreciated his honesty, professionalism and passion for his work!

25 years as artistic and music director of the Aurora Theatre and the Leone Band are a very important milestone: congratulations Master Colin Attard!"

Massimiliano Damato,
General Manager of ITALIA LIRICA Artists Management

I have come to know Maestro Attard in a production of the Barber of Seville and a professional and friendly relationship immediately ensued. Since then I have returned to the Aurora several times. Thanks to him, the Aurora made a huge leap in quality, investing in international artistes who regularly perform in the world’s major theatres. Thank you Colin for what you have done for the Aurora the Leone and their audiences. Dear Colin, I wish you another 25 years of conducting. I am sure you will be doing big things as you have done so far.

Baritone, Marzio Giossi
Bergamo, Italy


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