Soon after it was announced that well-renowned theatre director, author, and drama teacher Carmel Aquilina passed away, many took to Facebook to pay tribute to the late inspirational artist.
From actress Clare Agius to Teatru Malta creative director Sean Buhagiar, Aquilina helped inspire and educate a new generation of artists.
“Karmenu taught me. He taught me a lot. He recommended the first scripts which I directed back in 2006. I am forever indebted to him,” Buhagiar wrote.
“He had an unforgettable character. A whole biography of theatrical works, a huge Chekhov expert, and, as he used to say, a lover of words.”
National theatre company Teatru Malta also bid farewell to the artist, vowing to keep his memory alive through his works.
“Karmenu was a prominent actor, director, educator, and writer. This is a huge loss for Malta’s artistic scene. We will keep celebrating you through your work,” the company wrote.
Aquilina’s theatrical works include ‘Irġiel tat-Tiben’ and ‘Il-Ġnien u l-Arka’.
Political cartoonist and head of communications department at the University of Malta Ġorġ Mallia was up next with a heartfelt tribute to Carmel Aquilina.
“A wonderful actor. A great stage director. A playwright of no mean capability. A beloved teacher, and a man I knew quite well in the past,” Mallia wrote.
“A respectful man who gave all to his profession. A man who lived for his art. I never knew Carm to say anything that did not include some sort of lesson in it. I have not met him for many years, but whenever I did in the past, it was always a pleasure.”
Actress Clare Agius went as far as to say that she owes her acting career to none other than Aquilina.
“How deeply sorry I am to hear of your passing… Carm, you were and always remain a force to be reckoned with in drama here in Malta and I am so grateful that you took me under your wings when I was a 14-year-old student,” Agius wrote.
“I will never forget your subtle humour, your intellect, your ‘set in your ways’ life motto, but most of all your insight into people and ability to recognise what people are actually made of and bring out the best in them.”