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3 Shows You Should Binge-Watch in the following days

3 Shows You Should Binge-Watch in the following days

La Mer - Gergely Madaras & Dmitri Ishkanov

The sea is the inspiration for the closing concert of this year’s edition of the Malta International Arts Festival, featuring the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra directed by the young conductor Gergely Madaras.

Claude Debussy’s symphonic suite La Mer, which gives the concert its name, will be followed by a performance of Benjamin Britten’s Four Sea Suites, extracted from his opera Peter Grimes.

Charles Camilleri often drew on the musical heritage of the Mediterranean in his works, and this is very much evident in his “Mediterranean” piano concerto. 13-year-old prodigy Dmitry Ishkhanov, a Maltese pianist of Russo-Armenian origin, will be taking on the solo role.


Hofesh Shechter presents his critically acclaimed work Political Mother, his first full evening creation for his internationally renowned company building on the worldwide success of Uprising/In Your Rooms. Nominated for a South Bank Sky Arts award in 2011 and declared an ‘audio visual marvel’ by critics, Political Mother brims with Shechter’s emotional and gritty complexity. Pulsating live music, extraordinary ensemble sequences, and cinematic editing make Political Mother a dance experience like no other. Political Mother is performed by Shechter’s internationally acclaimed dancers and is accompanied by his cinematic score featuring a band of live drummers and electric guitarists. Political Mother promises to draw audiences back to Shechter’s world whose astonishing unisons, percussive grooves and raw, honest physicality mark him as one of the most exciting artists to emerge in recent years.

Elin-Manahan-Thomas--819x1024 (1).jpg

Since the founding of a mixed voice choir in 1972, the Choir of Clare College has gained an international reputation as one of the world’s leading university choirs. In addition to its primary function of leading services three times a week in the College chapel, the choir keeps an active schedule recording, broadcasting, and performing. Former directors have included John Rutter and Timothy Brown. Under the direction of Graham Ross, Director of Music since 2010, it has been praised for its consistently ‘thrilling’ and ‘outstanding’ performances worldwide.

Quick guide: Events in Malta

Quick guide: Events in Malta


Our goal? You’ll find everything you need to know about great events in Malta you won’t want to miss ... and you have plenty to choose from!

Malta’s national festivals and events are highlights in the country’s cultural calendar and are anticipated and enjoyed each year by thousands, both audience and participants. With their wide-ranging art forms, they serve to delight almost all cultural tastes.

Festivals Malta (the organizer of these events) has a vision, mission and strategy for all of Malta’s festivals falling under its auspices. In line with goals set by Arts Council Malta, it shall endeavor to shape Malta’s cultural development through all the performing arts, and to develop and financially sustainable ecosystem, that entertains, enriches and inspires performers and audiences alike. Furthermore, these events promote education and the nurturing of talent and giving opportunities while providing platforms for artists, local and international.

Together with the support of the Arts Council, Festivals Malta aims to give value to the diverse range of creative expression and invest in relevant, innovative and enjoyable creative experiences as well as embracing excellence as a principle that drives our work. We, as Festivals Malta, support the development of knowledge, skills and competences that enable you to engage in a creative life for your enhanced well-being as well as strongly believing that talent should be transformed into a profession to its full potential.

Let’s go through the events we have prepared for you this year!

Malta World Music Festival – 18th and 19th May 2018. This event celebrates the beauty of cultural diversity, the exchange and dialogue of people’s roots and the vitality that is borne out of such experiences and expressed through the powerful medium of music. Visit for more information.

Għanafest - 22nd & 23rd June 2018. Għanafest celebrates the diversity of Mediterranean and world music, bringing together a rich programme of Għana (maltese folk music), Maltese bands and foreign folk acts. Għanafest is a multinational get-together, an event that celebrates multi-ethnicity and cross-border collaborations. Visit www.għ for more information. Watch newly refurbished Argotti Gardens (Festival's venue).

Malta International Arts Festival – 29th June until 15th July 2018 (various locations). Featuring a varied programme of theatre, music, dance and visual arts and offering a broad range of genres and artistic forms, events are held mainly in open-air venues in Malta’s warm summer nights. The Festival also includes a number of residencies and workshops with some of its international guests. This event seeks excellence in artistic integrity while reaching out to the community by aspiring in placing Malta on the world’s cultural map. This festival creates an environment whereby the want to aspire and thrive are constant factors from which expressivity and innovation are a celebration of art. We are also inviting you artists to participate! Visit for more information and open calls deadlines and requirements.

Malta Jazz Festival: 16th July until 21st July 2018. Valletta’s magnificent Grand Harbour sets the backdrop to the Malta Jazz Festival. This event has become a byword for high-calibre performances which delight jazz aficionados and lay persons alike. Visit for more information.

Summer Carnival: 17th until 19th August 2018. In Malta, the roots of Carnival can be traced back to the early 1400s, although it was the Knights of the Order of St.John that endowed the national festivities with spectacle and pageantry. Visit for more information.

Notte Bianca: 6th October 2018. Notte Bianca, Malta’s beloved nightlong arts and culture event sees the capital’s street and cultural venues come alive thanks to a carefully designed programme of events offering a variety of entertainments and experiences. Visit for more information.

Three palaces festival: 2nd until 11th November 2018. Music of quality and distinction. The 3 palaces has been building a tremendous following allowing the world’s greatest artists and younger generation musicians to come and celebrate together with all on Malta during the festival month of November. Visit for more information.

The festivals and events take great pride in reaching out to the community and has programmed plenty of street theatre, dance, music, visual art, cinematography, puppetry and much more to name a few, by local and international artists in the streets of Valletta being the European Capital of Culture and other locations. Different performances target different audiences, and thus the whole community is enabled in experiencing different forms of art, all the while developing a taste for culture and arts.

This is just a snippet of the rich and diverse range of this year’s events. Stay tuned!

Avvenimenti u Spettakli f’Malta

Avvenimenti u Spettakli f’Malta


L-għan tagħna huwa wieħed. Dan l-artiklu jservi ta’ gwida għall-avvenimenti u spettakli u għandek issib l-informazzjoni kollha li għandek bżonn… u għandek ħafna minn fejn tagħżel!

L-avvenimenti u l-ispettakli saru parti mill-kalendarju kulturali lokali u huma antiċipati u mgawda minn eluf, kemm mill-udjenza u kif ukoll mill-parteċipanti. Bil-varjeta’, dawn l-avvenimenti jservu ta’ attrazzjoni għal kwalunkwe gost kulturali.

L-organizzatur ta’ dawn l-ispettakli, Festivals Malta, għandha viżjoni, missjoni u strateġija għall-avvenimenti kollha tagħha. Flimkien mal-Kunsill Malti għall-Arti u Valletta 2018, l-organizzazzjoni tippromwovi apprezzament fl-iżvilupp tal-arti f’Malta. Barra minn hekk, l-attivitajiet jservu ta’ opportunita’ edukattiva u tħeġġeġ l-iżvilupp artistiku tat-talent lokali waqt li jservu ta’ pjattaforma għal artisti lokali u internazzjonali.

L-iskop ta’ Festivals Malta, flimkien mas-sapport tal-Kunsill Malti għall-Arti u Valletta 2018, huwa li nagħtu valur mistħoqq lid-diversi ġeneri ta’ espressjonijiet artistiċi u kreattivi filwaqt li ninvestu f’ideat ġodda u innovattivi. Aħna, bħala Festivals Malta, nħeġġu l-iżvilupp ta’ għarfien u ħiliet li jikkumplimentaw ħolistiku u ninkoraġġixxu l-potenzjal tat-talent lokali.

Ejjew nagħtu daqqa t’għajn lejn dak li hemm ippreparat għal din is-sena:

Malta World Music Festival – fit-18 u d-19 ta’ Mejju 2018. Dan l-avveniment jiċċelebra l-isbuħija tal-kulturi differenti, it-taħlit tal-għeruq tad-differenzi fil-kultura, l-esperjenzi u l-espressivita’ permezz tal-mużika. Żur is-sit għal iktar informazzjoni.

Għanafest 22 u 23 ta’ Ġunju 2018. Għanafest tiċċelebra d-diversita’ tal-Mediterran u l-mużika minn madwar id-dinja, flimkien mal-programm divers tal-mużika folk, għana u spettakli minn gruppi etniċi internazzjonali. Għanafest hija fiha nnifisha festa ta’ kulturi u ċelebrazzjonijiet diversi. Żur is-sit www.għ għal aktar informazzjoni. Dan il-festival se jerġa’ jsir fil-Ġnien tal-Argotti l-Furjana, fejn sar xogħol ta’ tisbiħ matul din is-sena (ara l-video hawn taħt).

Malta Interational Arts Festival. Mid-29 ta’ Ġunju sal-15 ta’ Lulju 2018, f’lokalitajiet differenti. Programm vast ta’ teatru, mużika, żfin, arti viżiva u għażla ta’ ġeneri u forom ta’ arti differenti. Il-festival jinkludi wkoll numru ta’ workshops ma’ kumpaniji ta’ fama internazzjonali. Dan l-avveniment joħloq ambjent fejn wieħed jaspira u jiġi mħeġġeġ għal elementi espressivi u innovattivi li huma ċelebrazzjoni tal-arti. Jekk inti artist jew artista, għandek iċ-ċans tipparteċipa magħna! Żur is-sit għal aktar informazzjoni dwar il-festival u r-rekwiżiti tal-open calls.

Malta Jazz Festival. Mis-16 sal-21 ta’ Lulju 2018. Il-Port il-Kbir iservi ta’ sfond għall-Malta Jazz Festival. Dan l-ispettaklu ta’ kalibru għoli sar parti mill-kalendarju kulturali f’Malta fejn jinkludi atmosfera sabiħa għall-familja kollha. Żur is-sit għal aktar informazzjoni.

Karnival tas-Sajf: mis-17 sad-19 t’Awwissu 2018. F’Malta, l-għeruq tal-Karnival imur lura lejn il-bidu tas-snin 1400, żmien il-Kavallieri tal-Ordni ta’ San Ġwann, fejn sawwru l-festi nazzjonali bi spettaklu u reċtar. Żur is-sit għal iktar informazzjoni.

Notte Bianca: Avveniment mistenni minn kulħadd, lejl imdawwal b’attivitajiet artistiċi u kulturali qalb it-toroq tal-Belt Valletta. L-edizzjoni li jmiss ser issir fid-6 t’Ottubru. Għal iktar informazzjoni, żur is-sit

Three Palaces Festival. Mit-2 sal-11 ta’ Novembru 2018. Mużika ta’ kwalita’ u distinzjoni. L-avveniment jgħaqqad flimkien l-aqwa artisti u mużiċisti tad-dinja mal-ġenerazzjoni tal-lum permezz ta’ ċelebrazzjoni ta’ mużika klassika. Għal iktar informazzjoni, żur is-sit

B’unur, l-avvenimenti u l-ispettakli organizzati minn Festivals Malta għandhom għan wieħed, li jilħqu l-komunita’ permezz tal-arti, teatru fit-toroq, żfin, mużika ta’ kull ġeneru, arti viżiva, ċinematogrofija, spettaklu ta’ pupazzi fost oħrajn minn artisti lokali u internazzjonali fit-toroq tal-Belt Kapitali Ewropeja tal-Kultura 2018, Valletta u lokalitajiet oħrajn. Spettakli differenti jilħqu udjenza differenti u b’hekk il-programm jindirizza lil kulħadd fejn is-soċjeta’ għandha l-opportunita’ li tesperjenza forom differenti ta’ arti waqt li nkattru l-valur tal-kultura u l-arti.

Din hi biss togħma tal-programm divers li għandna lest għalikom din is-sena!

Open call for artists for Malta International Arts Festival 2018

Open call for artists for Malta International Arts Festival 2018

Festivals Malta has issued a number of open calls for artists in various disciplines, for performances and workshops, for this year’s European Capital of Culture special edition of the 2018 Malta International Arts Festival (MIAF), which runs this year from 29 June to 15 July. The programme celebrates the Mediterranean, diversity and mankind, and brings together different art forms, diverse cultures, and creative minds. Involvement and participation are key, and below are the open calls for performances and workshops:

Call for outdoor art

Have you ever wanted to experience being an ‘arty busker’? Proposals are being accepted from artists who wish to perform in the first ever MIAF morning programme to date. The brief is anything artistic you wish to do: sing, dance, paint, play or act. Your canvas? Malta’s beautiful baroque gem: any outdoor space in Valletta. This free-for-all day will be held on  June 30 (10 a.m. – 12 p.m.). Come with your easels and paintbrushes, your violin, your electric guitar, dancing gear, saxophone, your acrobatics and circus skills, your new poem, new monologue or one-act play… anything goes! The artistic committee will be choosing participants from among the submissions received. Proposals across all art forms are eligible. There will be a small remuneration for artists per act. Applicants should submit a letter of intent, with an explanation of their project or performance; a biography; and, if applicable, photos and digital samples of their work. Due to the nature of this concept, there is very little scope for any tech riders and requirements, however, if something is essential for the ‘performance’, please indicate this in your submission.  Please send your application to the Artistic Director of the Festival, Dr Michelle Castelletti  by May 4. The email should be entitled MIAF 2018:ARTIBUSK! Chosen artists will be notified by May 25.

Call for art

Visual artists are being asked to submit a work for inclusion within the MIAF 2018 printed programme. Any visual art form which can be reproduced in print via photography will be accepted. Please use the current events and performances as inspiration for your work. The overarching thematic unity is the Mediterranean, whether it is colour and passion, or resurgence and humanitarianism.   

The artistic committee will go through all artwork received and will make a selection.  The festival reserves the right not to choose any work for this publication. The decision of the committee is final. To apply, please submit a digital copy (in high resolution) of your work to the Artistic Director of the festival, Dr Michelle Castelletti: The email should be entitled MIAF2018: Call for Art. Applications should be received by 18 May. Chosen artists will be notified by 25 May.  Programme page size: 10cm width by 21cm height + 5mm bleed.

Call for composers

Are you a classical or alternative composer who has had his/her worked performed and would love to share this with more people?  The MIAF will be presenting ‘Classical Juke Box’ – an interactive space where people can walk in and choose what they would like to listen to from the playlist available.  If you would like your work to be on this playlist, please write directly to the Artistic Director of the festival, Dr Michelle Castelletti, with a link to your work on YouTube, SoundCloud or any other digital medium.  Please include your music bio, and feel free to include any other web-links, or sound files for audio-related material.  The work may also be for "tape" and may also include projected visuals. The e-mail should be entitled: MIAF2018: CLASSICAL JUKE BOX.  The artistic committee will go through all artwork received and will make a selection. The decision of the committee is final. Applications should be received by May 11. Chosen artists will be notified by June 8.

Dance workshop

Applications are being received for participation in a workshop with Hofesh Shechter Dance Company on 15 July. Hofesh Shechter is one of the UK’s most exciting contemporary artists. His unique style of choreography, infused with honesty and raw physicality has won Shechter and his company world-wide acclaim. Led by Hofesh Shechter Company dancers Merel Lammers and Diogo Bolacha de Sousa, this three-hour workshop is an opportunity for dance teachers, students and professional dancers to explore the company’s distinctive movement style. The workshop will include a full warm-up and use repertoire and imagery from Shechter’s newest work, Grand Finale, to explore his creative process. The workshop costs €60 (cheques made payable to Arts Council Malta) and will be held at the University Dance Studies Studios, Hometrends Building second floor, Taż-Żwejt Industrial Estate, San Gwann. To apply, send a brief bio to The closing date for applications is 30 April.

For further information visit:

Call for dancers for international project collaboration

MIAF is looking for 20 dancers (male and female). It will be offering a free two-week intensive dance residency (choreographic lab) with an international choreographer which will culminate into a site specific performance for the opening night of the MIAF on 29 June 2018. Through an audition process the selected applicant will have the opportunity to receive an exceptional experience, widen their abilities and vision as a dancer by working with international choreographer Oded Ronen (Israel). This is an opportunity to become part of a unique process where music and movement will equally inspire each other through Ronen’s style of work.

Applicants must have a strong contemporary dance technique and knowledge of classical technique, good feeling for lines and detail, flexibility, open-mindedness for collaboration with choreographer, strong stage personality, creativity as well as being able to contribute to the creative process.

Venue: University of Malta School of Performing Arts Dance Studies Department

Address: Hometrends, second floor, Taż-Żwejt Industrial Estate, San Gwann

Pre Auditions:   14 June, by invitation through application

Final Selections: 17 June by Oded Ronen

Time:  17:00 – 21.00

Deadline for subscription: 30th  April 2018 (noon)

Residency working period: 17-28 June (five/six hours daily)

Performance date:  29 June at 21:00 St.George’s Square Valletta, Malta.

Audition fee: none

Residency fee: none

Performance fee: none

Send your applications to


Malta International Arts Festival jerġa’ jingħata l-EFFE label

Malta International Arts Festival jerġa’ jingħata l-EFFE label

Il-Malta International Arts Festival (MIAF) reġa’ ingħata l-label Europe for Festivals, Festivals for Europe (EFFE) għat-tieni sena. Dan il-label jindika l-impenn artistiku tal-festival u l-kontribut tiegħu lejn is-soċjeta’ bi programm li jinkludi wkoll artisti internazzjonali.

Il-Malta International Arts Festival 2018 hija edizzjoni speċjali għaliex hija parti miċ-ċelebrazzjonijiet tal-Belt Kapital Ewropea tal-Kultura. Il-festival ser isir mid-29 ta’ Ġunju sal-15 ta’ Lulju. Id-Direttur ta’ Festivals Malta qalet li “Ninsabu kburin inhabbru li l-Malta International Arts Festival, li sar avveniment importanti fil-kalenderju tal-kultura, reġa’ ingħata l-label EFFE għat-tieni darba. Il-festival jippromwovi l-liberta’ tal-espressjoni artistika b’programm li jinkludi diversi ġeneri ta’ arti u jinvesti kemm fl-artisti kif ukoll fl-udjenza”.

Minbarra l-element ta’ ċelebrazzjoni, il-festival jinvolvi aspetti umanitarji u politiċi. Dan jinkludi il-ġurnalista fotografika Reza Deghati ‘Exile Voices’, storja tar-refugjati mitqala mir-refuġjati stess, flimkien max-xogħol profond tal-fotografi Darrin Zammit Lupi u Charles Mifsud li jitrattaw l-qagħda mwiegħra tar-refuġjati. Il-koreografu-kompożitur Iżrael Hofesh Shechter se jkun qed itella’ x-xogħol mill-aktar magħruf, Political Mother. Il-gazzetta Ingliża The Guardian tirraporta dan ix-xogħol bħala “xogħol li huwa għal kulħadd”.

Id-Direttur Artistiku ta’ dan il-festival, Michelle Castelletti qalet li “l-Arti għandha effett qawwi fuq il-ħajja tal-bniedem, u aħna għandna l-qawwa li nagħmlu d-differenza. Għaldaqstant, il-festival ta’ din is-sena iħares lejn il-ħafna uċuħ tal-Mediterran:kulur, diversita’, passjoni, ċelebrazzjoni, u l-umanita’”.

Il-festival jemmen fl-edukazzjoni u t-trawwim tat-talenti u din is-sena se joffri diversi opportunitajiet għall-artisti. Il-Malta Youth Orchestra se tkun qed taħdem id f’id ma’ waħda mill-aqwa orkestri ‘Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra’, ser jittellaw masterclasses ma’ Hofesh Shechter u Kamea Dance Company, workshops għat-tfal, workshops ma’ Clare College Cambridge Choir u Dance Hybrid fost oħrajn. 

Il-programm vast tal-festival jiċċelebra kull forma ta’ arti, minn żfin minn kumpanija Taljana ‘No Gravity’, xogħol ġdid tal-kittieb Malti Immanuel Mifsud imħawwar max-xogħol ta’artisti viżivi lokali Vince Briffa u Paul Portelli u l-mużiċist Kris Spiteri. Din is-sena infakkru l-100 sena anniversarju mill-mewt ta’ Debussy. B’hekk, il-mużika tiegħu se tiġi ċċelebrata f’diversi kunċerti kif ukoll viżwalment f’esibizzjoni ta’ Kenneth Żammit Tabona li ġġib l-isem ta’ Watercolour Madness

Il-festival iservi ta’ pjattaforma għal artisti minn kull ġeneru ta’ arti: Teatru fit-toroq, żfin, mużika, arti viżwali, ċinematografija, spettaklu ta’ pupazzi u esperjenzi artistiċi oħrajn minn artisti lokali madwar it-toroq tal-Belt Valletta. 

Dan huwa biss kampjun mill-programm artistiku ppreparat għal din l-edizzjoni. Għal iktar informazzjoni, żur is-sit

Malta International Arts Festival awarded EFFE label again

Malta International Arts Festival awarded EFFE label again

The Malta International Arts Festival (MIAF) has been awarded the prestigious Europe for Festivals, Festivals for Europe (EFFE) label for the second time running. The label is a sign of a festival’s artistic commitment, community involvement and its international and global outlook.

The MIAF, which runs from 29 June to 15 July, marks a special celebratory European Capital of Culture edition. Festivals Malta director Annabelle Stivala said: “We are proud to announce that the Malta International Arts Festival, the highlight of Malta’s cultural calendar, has been awarded the EFFE label for the second time. The festival promotes freedom of artistic expression through a programme that embraces various art forms and invests in artists and audiences alike.”

In addition to the celebratory element, the festival also features an underlying humanitarian and political aspect throughout. This includes National Geographic photojournalist Reza Deghati’s Exile Voices, the story of refugees told by the refugees themselves, together with the poignant work of photographers Darrin Zammit Lupi and Charles Mifsud, also documenting the plight of refugees. Israeli choreographer-composer Hofesh Schechter’s Political Mother is a grand-scale work about political indoctrination and totalitarianism, described by The Guardian as one that “shows that new dance is for all, not just those in the bubble”.

Speaking about this social strand to the festival, Artistic Director Michelle Castelletti noted how “the Arts have the power to transform people’s lives and we have the power to make a difference. And therefore, this year’s festival is looking at the Mediterranean with all its multifarious facets – be they colour and diversity, passion and celebration, or resurgence and humanitarianism.”

In keeping with its continuous efforts to seek excellence in artistic integrity, the festival boasts one of the greatest orchestras in the world: for their first performance in Malta, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra will play Mozart, Mendelssohn and Beethoven.

The festival crucially believes in education and the nurturing of talent and is this year offering an enviable array of opportunities namely that for the Malta Youth Orchestra to perform alongside the Concertgebouw; masterclasses with Hofesch Schechter, a residence with Kamea Dance Company, children’s workshops in stop-motion, an open workshop with the Clare College Cambridge Choir, the annual Dance Hybrid as well as other calls.

The festival’s programme is its richest yet as it celebrates all the art forms from dance with the Italy-based company No Gravity, whose name says it all, the premiere of a new work that stems from writer Immanuel Mifsud’s text and fuses other art forms with the work of visual artists Vince Briffa and Paul Portelli and musician Kris Spiteri. Debussy’s music is celebrated in a number of concerts as well as visually in Watercolour Madness, a watercolour exhibition by Kenneth Zammit Tabona.

The festival takes great pride in reaching out to the community and has programmed a plethora of street theatre, dance, music, visual art, cinematography, puppetry and alternative experiences, to name a few, by local and international artists in the streets of Valletta.

This is just a snippet of the rich and diverse ingredients of this year’s festival. For further information, visit

The Malta International Arts Festival 2017 Aftermath Movie

The Malta International Arts Festival 2017 Aftermath Movie

Żewġ festivals sajfin li l-arti tagħhhom qiegħda tilħaq iktar nies

Żewġ festivals sajfin li l-arti tagħhhom qiegħda tilħaq iktar nies

Il-Kunsill Malti għall-Arti hu kburi bir-riżultat taż-żewġ festivals ewlenin tas-sajf li ttellgħu fl-aħħar jiem ta’ Ġunju sa t-22 ta’ Lulju. Minbarra ż-żieda fiċ-ċifri ta’ kemm dawn raw nies, il-Kunsill hu kuntent li l-Festival Internazzjonali tal-Arti u l-Festival tal-Jazz Malti qegħdin dejjem ikomplu jiżviluppaw kif ukoll qegħdin jilħqu firxa akbar ta’ nies.

Sandro Zerafa, id-Direttur Artistiku tal-Festival tal-Jazz li għadda, qal li probabbilment din kienet l-aħjar attendenza matul is-snin, li għalih hu sinjal tajjeb ħafna u li kull min ta sehmu fih hu kuntent dwarha. Fil-fatt wieħed mill-kunċerti ta’ filgħaxija, li kien bla ħlas, mela kompletament Pjazza Teatru Rjal. Waqt li l-kunċerti f’Ta’ Liesse kellhom żieda ta’ 22.5% fl-udjenzi.

“Imma nixtieq niġbed l-attenzjoni dwar dak li hu inqas ovvju fil-Jazz Festival Malti. Il-festival qed jinfiltra fix-xena kulturali Maltija. M’għadux konfinat f’Ta’ Liesse.  Qed jikkontribwixxi għal ħolqien ta’ dak li wieħed jista’ jsejħilha ‘x-xena tal-jazz’,” sostna Zerafa. Żied jgħid: “Qed jilħaq lin-nies bla ma jissagrifika l-kontenut. Il-festival qed iħalli legat. Il-jam sessions, il-kunċerti ta’ nofsinhar, il-masterclasses u l-gigs informali tal-fringe għandhom valur daqs l-attivitajiet ewlenin. Il-mużika hi dwar li toħloq konnessjoni man-nies u l-jazz jeħtieġ li jikseb dak l-element ‘popolari’ bla ma jaqa’ għall-popoliżmu.”

Min-naħa tagħha Dr Michelle Castelletti, li kienet id-Direttur Artistiku tal-Festival Internazzjonali tal-Arti li għadda, spjegat li hemm ħafna affarijiet li jogħġbuha dwar il-Festival Internazzjonali għall-Arti – l-iktar għax imiss ħajjet in-nies waqt li jarrikkixxi lil gżiritna bl-arti li tinħoloq jew tinġieb, jistimula l-udjenzi u jqanqal l-emozzjonijiet. Dan minbarra li joffri doża tajba ta’ gost u eċitament. U dan kollu hu ta’ sodisfazzjon kbir għaliha.

“Imma taf xi jqanqalni l-iktar minn ġewwa? Li nara tifel b’għajnejh miftuħin beraħ, issummat jisma’mużika klassika kontemporanja jew jara l-arti tissawwar quddiemu u jibqa’ b’ħalqu miftuħ bla ma jiċċaqlaq, jew jaqbad u jibda jiżfen quddiemi.

“Li nara l-frott tal-workshops u nkun naf li biddilna l-ħajja ta’ dik il-persuna għal dejjem – anki jekk din għadha ma tafx b’dan. U din is-sena rajt dan kollu jseħħ,” żiedet tgħid Dr Castelletti, li diġà qed taħseb għall-festival tas-sena d-dieħla u l-Kapitali Ewropea tal-Kultura tal-2018.

Il-Kunsill Malti għall-Arti bħalissa jinsab għaddej bil-ħidma tiegħu biex itella’ l-Karnival tas-sajf bejn il-25 u s-27 ta’ Awwissu li se jsir f’San Pawl il-Baħar u Marsaskala.

Two summer festivals reach wider audience

Two summer festivals reach wider audience

Arts Council Malta is proud to report the success of two of its primary summer festivals held between the end of June and 22 July. Apart from the increase in the number of attendees, the Council is pleased to note the Malta International Arts Festival and the Malta Jazz Festival continue to develop as well as to reach a wider audience.

Sandro Zerafa, Artistic Director of this summer’s Jazz Festival said that this edition probably saw its best turnout in years, for him a positive sign and, naturally, one which all those involved are extremely happy about. Indeed, one of the free evening concerts saw a completely packed Pjazza Teatru Rjal, while the Ta’ Liesse concerts saw an increase of 22.5% in attendance.

“However, I would like to shift the attention to the less ostentatious sides of the Malta Jazz Festival. The festival is permeating Malta’s cultural scene. It is no longer confined to Ta’ Liesse. It is contributing to the creation of what might be termed ‘a jazz scene’,” commented Zerafa. He went on to note how “it is reaching out to the people without sacrificing artistic content. The festival is creating a legacy. The jam sessions, the midday concerts, the masterclasses and the informal ‘fringe’ gigs - they are as valuable as the main events. Music is about connecting with people, and jazz needs to restore that ‘popular’ element without succumbing to populism”. 

Dr Michelle Castelletti, Artistic Director of this year’s Malta International Arts Festival, explained how there are so many things that she loves about the International Arts Festival – mostly because it touches people’s lives and enriches our marvellous island, creating wonders, stimulating audiences, and, perhaps, even triggers emotion. All this topped up a good dose of fun and excitement. It is, for her, undoubtedly the most satisfying feeling in the world.

“But, do you know what moves me most inside? It is when I see a child watching with his or her eyes wide-open, still and mesmerised listening to classical contemporary music or watching art unfold in front of him/her and remaining open-mouthed and motionless, or starting to dance in front of me. 

“It is when I see the workshops come to fruition that I know we have changed that person’s life forever – even if s/he does not know that yet. And I’ve seen that this year,” added Dr Castelletti, who already has her eyes keenly set on next year’s festival and Malta being European Capital of Culture 2018.  

Arts Council Malta is currently in the throes of organising the summer carnival on 25 and 26 August in Bugibba and on 27 August in Marsascala.

The Malta International Arts Festival Leading Towards European Capital of Culture 2018

The Malta International Arts Festival Leading Towards European Capital of Culture 2018

Leading towards European Capital of Culture 2018, the Malta International Arts Festival is based on artistic integrity, excellence and breadth. Malta International Arts Festival believes in the importance of artistic collaboration between cultural realities and strives to forge synergies.  With our unique position in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, we can act as an artistic bridge between Europe and the African coast.  We are also in right in the middle between East and West, and are very lucky to be an island imbued with history – history that we can look back to, react to, be inspired by and use as a canvas.  This provides us with an incredibly diverse, rich and colourful tapestry to work on, and create new things, fusing different cultures, using our heritage, but looking also beyond.

The Malta International Arts Festival crosses boundaries and promotes the freedom of artistic expression through a programme that embraces site-specific curation, music, visual arts, theatre, dance, opera, installations, films, community projects, interactive and participatory events, and education, in multidisciplinary fashion, through celebrating the past, but also promoting the Art of our Time, mostly in venues and spaces of massive historical significance.

The Malta International Arts Festival 2017 (EU Presidency Special Edition) is creating an even stronger culture of commissioning new work, particularly interactive/installation-based work.  It is also creating calls and providing new platforms for various artforms, and cultivating a culture for residencies [e.g. London Sinfonietta].  The aspiration is for Malta to become a destination on the world’s cultural map.  The vision is to achieve this by bringing Art to the people, through distinctive programming and by creating a unique cultural offer.  MIAF wants to thrash the perception of elitism, without losing the respect towards the highest form of Art.   We have merged Maltese and international art together with exciting results. We are bringing what is happening in the world to Malta, but, importantly, we are nurturing talent and giving our young artists a platform.

Emerging and established artists are encouraged to push boundaries through creative and innovative practices and performances making the festival a fertile breeding ground for ideas, collaborations and possibilities with an emphasis on interdisciplinarity.  We have created interactive swings, magic visual carpets, a moving theatre going around villages in a traditional Maltese bus, a hybrid of dance, movement and sound open for participation across all levels, theatre workshops, composition workshops, calls for artwork etc.  The aim is to engage with the public, not just in learning environments, but in bringing art to the people and allowing the interaction between the two to create Art.  

We issued calls for different things, creating a choir to perform for Arvo Pärt, visual art which was then printed in our programmes, compositions which were then given life, young artists’ proposals for which we created a series. We have transformed Shakespeare’s Hamlet into a real life court case together with real Maltese lawyers, Judge and jury.  We worked with disadvantaged children, youths, communities. 

We are now in a position to say we are attracting the best in the world to come to Malta, creating a wonderful melting pot of cultures and artistic fusion.  As Artistic Director for MIAF in this very privileged time when we are working towards ECOC2018, I will always seek to grow – interaction, participation, innovation, internationalisation, engagement, diversity and reach.  And that is what we have to, and need to do, in order for 2018 not to become a wondrous one-off aurora borealis, but to have constantly evolving Turner skies. 

Dr Michelle Castelletti