Roger Waters: Ca Ira in Malta - report... and DVD!
Written by Matt   
Friday, 30 April 2004

The early hours of this morning saw the world premiere of selections from Roger Waters forthcoming opera, Ca Ira, in Malta to accompany the EU accession celebrations of the country.

A New Year's Eve style countdown in the capital of Malta lead to the words "Welcome Europe" and "Solidarity" being beamed onto Fort St Angelo's imposing walls, as the former Pink Floyd front man's eagerly awaited new work started up. Smoke from a barrage of fireworks cleared to reveal 25 flag-bearing small sailing ships in the harbour - one for each EU (European Union) member state from midnight. The member states increased in number when ten states joined the existing fifteen.

A huge crowd witnessed the extravaganza, leaving most vantage points full to capacity. The weather was calm, despite early fears of rain and wind, and the still water in the harbour served as a mirror to the lights and lasers used so effectively by Gert Hof and Ross Ashton.

Unfortunately, television audiences in many countries were let down by the coverage of the event - getting patchy or non-existent sound and pictures of the event. Some countries decided to talk over the performance, much to the annoyance of Roger Waters fans, tuning in just for this!

In terms of the premiere, we heard three parts of the overall opera, sequenced together by Hof. Starting with the Overture, as previously performed at the Royal Albert Hall in October 2002, this lead to a short, two minute piece called "The Taking Of Bastille", that lead to a wonderful, eight minute piece entitled "Silver, Sugar, and Indigo". These items were key trading commodities at the time of the French Revolution, and were commonly used in exchange for slaves. Indigo was used as a dye, and was much in demand. The piece was a great conclusion to the event - a real showstopper of a tune!

For those who missed out on the performance, our friends over at RogerWatersOnline bumped into Gert Hof in Malta, and found out that he will be releasing a collection of six of his shows on one DVD before Christmas, and this will include a re-edited Malta performance as part of it.

Finally, with much thanks to Charles Marsh, we can share a number of pictures of the event with you. Click on any of interest to launch a larger version of the picture. [Pictures no longer available]