December 12, 2017
NYU Washington, DC, Washington Performing Arts, and the Embassy of the Republic of Malta in Washington, DC presented Songs of Warmth: A Winter Concert by acclaimed Maltese talents Nico Darmanin, tenor & Gabi Sultana, pianist.
Maltese tenor Nico Darmanin is fast establishing himself in the Bel Canto repertoire, having performed at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Welsh National Opera, Scottish Opera, Opera Vlaanderen, Opera Holland Park, the Wexford Opera Festival and the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro.
Maltese Tenor Nico Darmanin studied at the Royal College of Music and the National Opera Studio. He made his debut at the Royal Opera, Covent Garden as Danieli (Les Vepres Sicilennes) under Pappano, a production which won an Olivier award, soon returning as Apparition of a Youth (Die Frau ohne Schatten) under Bychkov which won Best Opera at the South Bank Sky Arts Awards.
Other roles include Conte Almaviva (WNO, Opera Holland Park, Gozo), Don Ramiro (Scottish Opera, Opera Holland Park), Italian Tenor in Rosenkavalier and Don Ottavio (Opera Vlaanderen), Belfiore in Il Viaggio a Reims (Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro) Don Ottavio (Nederlandse Reisopera), Comte D'Ory (Dorset Opera Festival) and Mergy (Wexford Festival) and in 2015 he represented Malta at the Cardiff Singer of the World competition.
His concert appearances include Messiah at the Royal Festival Hall, and Beethoven 9th Symphony at the Barbican in London. He has appeared in masterclass with Joyce DiDonato (Royal Opera House), Juan Diego Florez (Pesaro) Dame Kiri te Kanawa and Sir Thomas Allen (Solti Accademia) and Mirella Freni (Cubec Masterclasses in Modena).
His discography includes world premiere recordings of songs by Massenet and Sullivan's Shore and Sea, both with Richard Bonynge, and he has appeared in recital in the US and Canada under the auspices of the Maltese Arts Council. His current and future plans include a return to Covent Garden for Les Vepres Siciliennes, a recital at the Three Palaces festival in Malta and Washington, Messiah with Nederlandse Reisopera, and Rodolfo in La Boheme in concert.
Described as “a demon of energy; yet one of impeccable articulation”, Gabi Sultana, who hails from the island of Malta, is an internationally acclaimed soloist and chamber musician.
Her specialisation-field spans over works composed post-1950 to the present day, and her ability to bring contemporary compositions to the public has contributed greatly to her success.
Gabi has performed extensively in Europe, USA, Australia and Japan. Highlights in season 2016/2017 included solo performances at InnerSound New Arts Festival in Bucharest (Romania); Walter Wolff’s composition concerts in Helsinki and Ekenas (Finland); Festival Frammenti in Rome (Italy); Teatru Manoel in Valletta (Malta); De Bijloke in Ghent (Belgium); Ars Musica in Brussels (Belgium); De Link in Tilburg (The Netherlands); performances in Italy, Vienna, Luxembourg and Strasbourg for the Maltese Presidency of the Council of the EU; and the Australian premiere of Philip Glass’ Tirol Piano Concerto with the CYO in Canberra (Australia).
Chamber music highlights include Daan Janssens’ “Menuet” with SPECTRA Ensemble; Frank Nuyts Ad Hoc Ensemble at the World Music Festival in Hamamatsu (Japan); Benjamin Van Esser’s [IN]VISIBLE in Brugge (Belgium); and duo with Jason Noble (clarinet) in Sydney (Australia).
In May 2014, following her success at the 2013 IBLA Grand Prize International Music Competition in Sicily, Gabi was invited to tour the States of Virginia, Arkansas and New York culminating in her debut in Carnegie Hall.
Based in Ghent (Belgium), she currently works with SPECTRA Ensemble. Since 2017, Gabi forms a piano duo with Mirek Coutigny; as well as a collaboration with soprano Lieselot De Wilde.
Gabi holds a Post-Masters' Degree (MaNaMa) in Contemporary Music summa cum laude, following her success in obtaining her Masters’ Degree summa cum laude, both under the guidance of Daan Vandewalle at the Royal Conservatory of Ghent, Belgium.
This performance is part of Washington Performing Arts' The World in Our City initiative and is organized with the help of the Cultural Diplomacy Fund of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Malta, the Embassy of Malta in Washington, D.C., and NYU Washington, DC.