Recently I was in Malta en route to Australia after spending a semester as a visiting scholar at the Composition Department of Indiana University, USA.

I was amazed to read, in your issue of May 13, an article claiming that the first Maltese opera utilising a Maltese language libretto was composed in modern times.

I felt the responsibility both as a composer, academic and scholar on Dr Paolo Nani's music (part of my doctorate was the production of a modern performance edition of Nani's opera La Mezza Notte) to inform your readers that the very first Maltese opera composed by a Maltese composer using a Maltese language libretto was composed by Dr Nani in the mid-19th century. The opera bears the title L-Hors ta' Grezzju w Minka. Without any further elaboration, it is understandable that the language employed was the colloquial Maltese of the time.

Unfortunately, the entire score did not survive. However, luckily enough some parts did, and they are well preserved at the Mdina Cathedral Archives.

I hope that this clarifies this important historical fact in the interest of all those who value Maltese heritage and culture and the correct documenting of history.

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