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Queen Guitar Rhapsodies

My week in Mauritius, Malta and Norwich and how I avoided a good kicking

Going to waste in Mauritius

The beginning of my week started in Mauritius, an island in the South Pacific drenched in heat, sun and tropical rain. At first I thought I could live quite happily there, but then decided I would probably spend all my time going to waste on the beach or at the bar, a destiny I do not wish for myself.

On Sunday night I took a series of interminable flights to reach the island of Malta, finally arriving on Monday afternoon. I have been giving concerts in Malta for many years. It is a beautiful island full of history, and what’s more the capital Valleta has one of the best theatres I know.

The Manoel Theatre is like a miniature Scala, complete with private box entrances. The sound, unamplified, is excellent. I played a mixed programme which included Renaissance dances by Jean D'Estrée, the Choros and preludes by Heitor Villa-Lobos, Capricho Arabe and Gran Jota by Francisco Tárrega and J.S.Bach's Lute suite BWV996.

Spring in Malta and meeting Mizzi

The second part of the programme I dedicated exclusively to the music of Maltese composer Gordon Mizzi who was in the audience. I have recorded two albums of his music and admire the sentiment of his compositions. On this occasion I had worked long and hard to prepare for the performance. I made some changes and improvised some embellishments, uncertain of whether they would meet with Gordon's approval. I invited him onto the stage to share some of the thunderous applause at the end of the performance, thereby risking a good kicking from him. I could tell from his expression he was not amused, so for a brief moment a public showdown was prevented only by his good manners and my carefully guarded distance. Still, we are friends, and the next day we partook of an abundant supper and fine wine in his splendid home, and I hope all or nearly all was forgiven.

The next day Wednesday I went sightseeing in Mdina with guitarist Tony Pace ending up back at my hotel where I bumped into the newly-appointed Maltese Minister of Culture who promptly invited us to dinner 'sometime'.

In the early evening I gave a class in the theatre's Toi Toi series for local guitarists ranging from 10 to 60 years of age, the event organised by Rosetta who bubbles over with enthusiasm for and dedication to the educational programmes she runs.

Back to Arctic Blighty

Thursday dawned bright, warm and sunny and I was dreading my return to London still in the grips of winter, especially since I had not brought with me an overcoat, scarf or gloves!I imagined myself in Camden Town catching frostbite on the way home with a guitar strapped to my back, while pulling a suitcase behind me and trudging knee-deep through snow drifts. Actually it didn't turn out quite as bad.

Good Friday was nearly a day of rest, but by late afternoon I was on my way to Norwich for my engagement organised by veteran course organiser and my life-long friend Jane Bentley with the newly formed Norwich Classical Guitar Society. I heard play a variety of keen and talented players and I think a good time was had by all, including yours truly.

And so ended my eventful week, although I have to admit to you that I am off again and writing these words on Sunday from an aeroplane winging its way to Munich.

31st March, 2013, Munich, Germany

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Printed from: http://www.carlosbonell.com/blog/?p=2309 .
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