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Young Maltese mezzo-soprano lands a gig with the stars
10 Apr 2017

Marvic Monreal will perform in Salzburg alongside two world superstars

What started off as yet another audition for young Maltese mezzo soprano Marvic Monreal has become the opportunity of a lifetime, after she landed a role alongside two superstars on a world stage: tenor Placido Domingo and her own mentor, Joseph Calleja.

“The whole thing came as a surprise to me,” she said from London this weekend, where she is taking lessons at the Royal Academy of Music.

The UK-based singer explained that she had won a place on the two-month Young Singers Project for up-and-coming artists, which involves participation in a series of intense masterclasses held in Salzburg over the summer.

Participants are also offered parts alongside established artists in the famous Salzburg Festival. But little did Ms Monreal know she would be sharing a stage with Mr Domingo and Mr Calleja in Verdi’s I Due Foscari. It was only when she was leafing through the opera programme that she found out.


I think it’s quite a big deal to be performing with both Placido and Joseph


“I was accepted in the Young Singers Project, and after I signed the contract, I learned that I had been offered a part in one of the operas. Today there is immense competition everywhere, so I think it’s quite a big deal to be performing side by side with both Placido and Joseph,” she said.

She will prepare for this role of a lifetime just as she has always done: by immersing herself in it, getting to know the cast and rehearsing tirelessly.

This is also the first time that Mr Domingo will perform with two Maltese artists, making the occasion even more significant.

Ms Monreal has worked with Mr Calleja before, but being with him on stage again in Salzburg will be an added treat, as he will help her maintain her calm, she said. Mr Calleja, whose foundation is assisting the aspiring star, described Ms Monreal yesterday as having a “beautiful, round voice”, as well as a good presence and personality, which made it a pleasure to work with her.

“The board of the BOV Joseph Calleja Foundation is thrilled to support her and to see her going from strength to strength. It’s quite the coincidence that Placido mentored me and I mentored Marvic in turn, and we are all on the same stage this summer,” the tenor said.

Life has a way of going full circle: Ms Monreal is hoping that this will be her breakthrough role, just as Mr Calleja himself made his way into the professional opera world by entering a competition run by Mr Domingo.

“The course alone is already a very important step for anyone just starting out, but getting the opportunity to not only perform in Salzburg but to do so with two of the best artists is an added bonus,” Ms Monreal said.

Click here for additional information about the scholars that the BOV Jospeh Calleja Foundation is supporting.


 Published on The Sunday Times of Malta - 9th April 2017

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