• The new President Marie Louise Coleiro Preca and now President Emeritus George Abela.
  • H.E. Marie Louise Coleiro Preca, President of Malta and her husband Mr Edgar Preca
  • H.E. Marie Louise Coleiro Preca, the 9th President of Malta

Posted: 5th April 2014


It’s official now. Malta has a new President; the 9th one in its history of being a Republic (since 1974) and the 2nd female one. She goes by the name of Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, until a few days ago – the Minister for Family and Social Solidarity.

If you are Maltese, or familiar with Malta, you might find this piece of news as obvious. But if you are new to our theatre and our culture, it might be interesting to read about the small things we are accustomed to, here on this tiny island of Gozo.

The Aurora Theatre is a voluntary-run theatre, owned and operated by the Leone Philharmonic Society. In itself, the Society is a voluntary-based musical group, in which, the members run a 70-piece wind-band, this magnificent opera house, a folk group, youth circles and even a fireworks factory. So, by far, the Aurora Theatre is part of a larger Society – most definitely not a state theatre.

However, it is the largest opera house on the island, seating up to 1600 persons with one of the largest stages. So, with this massive seating capacity and the magnitude of that stage, the Aurora Theatre is the theatre that brings the really big operas alive. It produces (in-house) one opera every year from the staple repertoire. The Maltese public knows that no Maltese opera house can stage a grander Aida triumphal march than the Aurora!

So opera at the Aurora has, over the years, established itself as a cultural highlight of the year. And since 1976, almost every opera night has been held under the distinguished patronage and in the most dignifying presence of the President of the Republic. The outgoing President of Malta, Dr George Abela and his spouse never missed an opera at the Aurora since he took office in 2009. The First couple has witnessed Aida (2009), Carmen (2010), Tosca (2011), Turandot (2012) and Falstaff (2013). Dr and Mrs Abela have been supportive of the Aurora and its guild of volunteers with their presence, and that was very much appreciated.

But as we thank the outgoing President, the Teatru tal-Opra Aurora would like to salute the new President who took the oath only yesterday – 4th April 2014. The new First couple – H.E. Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca and Mr Edgar Preca are now most welcome to visit our opera house and honour us with their presence for a set of (at least) 5 other annual opera productions, produced in-house by the Aurora Opera House – the first one being Il Trovatore on October 11th 2014. Having pronounced herself in favour of strengthening the voluntary sector in her inaugural speech, describing it as one of the positive values of Maltese society, the Aurora Opera House feels it shares substantial common ideals with Her Excellency, who frankly insists on being referred to by her first name, and thus looks forward to be able to hosting her and collaborate together for the common good.

And as Her Excellency is going on-stage, on a new stage that rises above partisan politics, the Aurora theatre salutes her and well-wishes her with the proper and most heartfelt theatrical jargon: toi toi Madam President! Break a leg Your Excellency!