If we had to go back in time to ancient Rome, where dinner parties or banquets were the order of the day, we could see that the real entertainment there lay in musical performances that featured flutes, lyres, hydraulic organs and choral works.

On to royal merrymaking in ancient Israel: Apart from food, music was also very prominent during such occasions, the very mention of which can be found in the Hebrew bible book of Ecclesiastes: “I got me men-singers and women-singers”. Even later on, in medieval times, food and music were the main constituents of any celebration.

I could go on and on, but to cut a long story short, let’s just say that food and music have long been enjoyed together in many parts of the world, ever since humans discovered the beauty and power of song, and were able to make their own instruments and music.

Through time, many great composers and performers have been known to be food buffs, and some have even contributed to the culinary world with their delicious recipes. It is said that hadn’t Gioacchino Rossini gone down the musical route and gained fame as a master of music he would alternatively have been ranked as one of the world’s gastronomic geniuses.

Food and wine are known to have inspired new musical compositions and contributed to the creative process of many a composer. As a consequence, references to both can be found in many musical oeuvres. I’m pretty sure a few of you are familiar with the food and drinking songs in the operas of Mozart, Rossini and Verdi.

Nowadays, the merging of food and music has acquired a more modern twist. However, we shall not be delving into the recent phenomenon of musical pairing. That’s a whole new science on its own, where music is paired off with food and beverages via a mathematical formula. We shall rather be enjoying a pleasant three-course meal alongside a fully-fledged chamber music concert in an intimate and exclusive event taking place at Palazzo de Piro in Mdina.

The Malta Philharmonic OrchestraThe Malta Philharmonic Orchestra

It is said that hadn’t Gioacchino Rossini gone down the musical route and gained fame as a master of music he would have been ranked as one of the world’s gastronomic geniuses

The audience will be treated to a performance by the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra’s Voice & Harp Trio consisting of Britt Arend (harp), Gillian Zammit (voice) and Clare Ghigo (voice). The repertoire will include songs by Mozart, Bellini, Puccini, Gounod and Rossini. Some of the all-time favourites to feature are O mio babbino caro from Gianni Schicchi, Voi Che Sapete and Sull’aria from Le Nozze di Figaro, Je veux vivre from Romeo and Juliet, and Barcarolle from Les contes d’Hoffmann.

Munching away while listening to music may not be to everyone’s taste. Therefore, during this special occasion, very aptly named A Taste of the Classics, the three courses will be served during pauses in the evening’s repertoire.

In this way, patrons will be able to dedicate their full attention to the concert pieces without having to sift through the clitter-clatter of the cutlery and the munching and crunching of teeth. They will be able to continue sipping on their drinks throughout the performance, which will constitute a total of around 50 minutes of music.

The event will be intimate due to the set-up of the tables surrounding the stage, which will be placed at the longer edge of the room, allowing all tables to have a clear view of the performers. Dinner will be served by Infinitely Xara and will comprise a starter, main course and desserts, accompanied by wine, water, tea and coffee.

“This is a brand new initiative and joint venture between the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra and Palazzo de Piro, which presents the perfect combination of chamber music and fine dining in one of Mdina’s most picturesque and beautiful locations,” said MPO marketing and development manager Maria Blanco.

A Taste of the Classics will be held on November 26 at 7.30pm at the Sala Panoramica of Palazzo de Piro. Dress code is formal. Tickets are selling at €80 per person or €600 for a table of ten. Tickets are available online, by sending an e-mail to info@maltaorchestra.com or calling on 2124 4473.

www.ticketline.com.mt; www.maltaorchestra.com

Independent journalism costs money. Support Times of Malta for the price of a coffee.

Support Us