Paul Asciak

Paul Asciak was born in Valletta on the 28th January, 1923. He was educated at St. Paul's School, Valletta and at the Seminary, Floriana.

He made his debut in Malta as Turiddu in "Cavalleria Rusticana" at the Radio City Opera House, Hamrun in 1946. His debut in Italy came in 1950 when he sang Manrico in "Il Trovatore" at the Politeama Italia, Citta di Catanzaro.  In 1952 he sung the part of the Italian Tenor in "Der Rosenkavalier" at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.

Following the participation in concerts with the world renowned singers Tito Schipa and Maria Caniglia in Malta, Paul Asciak proceeded to Rome in March 1950 on the initiative of Signora Caniglia who entrusted him to Maestro Alberto Paoletti of the Teatro dell'Opera, Rome, for his singing lessons.

He was the winner of the 1951 edition of the "Concorso per Giovani Cantanti Lirici" of Spoleto, together with, among others, Franco Corelli, Anita Cerquetti and Gabriella Tucci. He was granted a bursary, voice and histrionic training under the guidance of Maestro  Giuseppe Bartelli, Maestro Luigi Ricci, and Maestro Riccardo Picozzi at the Teatro dell'Opera of Rome and he performed the part of Radames in "Aida" during the 1951 Opera Season at the Teatro Nuovo of Spoleto with the complex of the Teatro dell'Opera of Rome. He also sung the leading role in "Andrea Chenier", "Carmen", "Cavalleria Rusticana", "I  Pagliacci", "Tosca", "Il Trovatore" and "Norma" in Italy.

He joined the Royal Opera House Covent Garden Company in 1952 as the "Tenor Soloist" to 1954 where he appeared over 50 times as Melot in "Tristan Und Isolde", The tenor singer in "Der Rosenkavalier", Flavio in "Norma", Radames in "Aida", Pinkerton in "Madam Butterfly" and others; his last appearance there was in 1958. He sung also with the Welsh National Opera Company, Dublin Grand Opera Company, Carl Rosa Opera Company, Touring Opera Company between 1952 and 1961. He also appeared  in performances on the B.B.C. Sound and Vision and I.T.V. In the U.K. he sang the leading parts in the following Operas: Aida, Il Trovatore, Rigoletto, La Fanciulla del West, Martha, Cavalleria Rusticana, I Pagliacci, Madam Butterfly, Carmen, Bohemian girl, and Der Rosenkavalier. He also gave numerous concerts mainly throughout Wales. He sung in Malta with visiting Italian companies the leading parts in Aida, Ernani, Carmen, Il Trovatore, I Pagliacci, and Verdi's Otello. Recorded works include Flavio in Morma with Maria Callas in 1952 and Live Performances 1953 - 59. A book about him, "The Making of a Maltese Tenor" was written by Vincenzo Maria Pellegrini.

He joined the Education Department in 1961 and retired in 1984 as Head of Department Music.

Director of Music, St. Edwards Collage, 1967 - 1973.

Honorary Representative of Trinity Collage of Music, London in Malta and Gozo, 1965 - 88.

General Manager, Manoel Theatre, Malta 1988 - 92.

Licentiate of Trinity Collage of Music, London;

Licentiate of the Royal Schools of Music, Teacher's Diploma;

Licentiate of the Royal Schools of Music, Performer's Diploma;

Fellow of Trinity Collage of Music, London;

Fellow London Collage of Music;

Honorary Member of Trinity Collage of Music, London;

Awarded the Medalja ghall-Qadi tar-Repubblika in 1994.

Paul as Don Jose in Carmen by G. Bizet