Reuben Pace

Blog 86 - Gabrielle Portelli


As an adult choir singer in Blat, I have definitely gained a lot from this experience. I have gained new friends, lovely memories, experience acting in a movie set and also being part of an opera.


Being able to work closely with Dr Reuben Pace, the composer of Blat, the choir was able to understand the music more fully, which is something that we are not able to do when performing pieces written centuries ago. This was something quite unique to me. We were explained the history behind certain scenes in the opera and I could appreciate the small details in the way certain pieces were performed in order to evoke the constantly evolving chaos that surrounds the opera. Being a proud Maltese woman, I also felt that I could express my pride for my country but also develop within myself the helplessness, hope, fear, anger and unsettling happiness that the second world war instilled in our ancestors, through my interpretation of the music.


The wonderful Mro Riccardo Bianchi guided us well to use our already learnt vocal techniques in relation to the demand of the music but also to turn our personal vocal abilities and knowledge into a collective one in order to bring the opera's choral pieces to life as a proper representation of the maltese common folk during WWII.


On the whole, this experience has allowed me to grow artistically as an actress but also more as a fully fleshed singer as I got to work with people involved in various sectors in the maltese music industry.

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