The 9th edition of the Valletta Baroque Festival is back. Long-awaited by classical music aficionados everywhere, this year’s festival features a safe, socially distant programme, adapting to the COVID-19 pandemic. Here’s what to expect if you’ve booked flights to Malta this January.

The Baroque Festival is a yearly celebration of baroque music, with concerts performed by artists, soloists and ensembles. The festival takes place in the capital city, Valletta, a city built at the start of the Baroque period and the perfect spot for such a prestigious event.

This festival was founded in 2013 by its Artistic Director Kenneth Zammit Tabona and is held at the Manoel Theatre, one of the oldest working theatres in the world. “No stone has been left unturned in securing some of the best contemporary Baroque exponents of the moment, both from the international sphere as well as locally.”

“An audience is extremely important for the artist, the applause is his lifeblood, and to keep the arts alive, these small-scale concerts and performances are necessary. This year’s festival will be a miniature of festivals past, without compromising quality and variation. We are extremely proud to be holding this festival despite all odds“.

Artistic Director Kenneth Zammit Tabona
Baroque Festival 2021 | Flights to Malta | Air Malta

COVID-19 measures taken

Visitors need not worry. The Valletta Baroque Festival 2021 is taking all precautions to ensure it is in line with COVID regulations. The below measures will be taken.

  • The original programme for the 2021 edition of the festival was postponed to 2022. This year’s festival will take place on a smaller scale and will adhere to social distancing guidelines.
  • All but one concert will be hosted at The Manoel Theatre, with the final concert taking place at the Basilica of St.Gorg in Gozo. This allows the organisers to be more vigilant with Covid-19 protocols.
  • The theatre will be sanitized in between shows and there will be multiple exits and entrances to stagger people.
  • The seats are capped at 80 with empty seats in between guests to ensure social distancing.
  • The audience will go through temperature checks and multiple sanitizing stations will be distributed around the theatre.
  • Masks on at all times.

Seven out of the thirteen concerts will be live-streamed for free on the festival’s official website.

The Valletta Baroque Festival 2021 | Air Malta
Promotional poster courtesy of The Valletta Baroque Festival

The Valletta Baroque Festival 2021 programme

The festival is running from Friday 15th January to Sunday 24th. Here is the full programme:

Friday 15th at 19:30hrsMusica da Camera del Barocco Napoletano
by Abchordis Ensemble
Saturday 16th at 12:00hrsArcangelo Corelli – Sonatas for viola da gamba and continuo by Andrea Buccarella and Teodoro Baù
Saturday 16th at 19:30hrsPasticcio Handeliano by Abchordis Ensemble
Sunday 17th at 11:00hrsGoldberg Variations by Andrea Buccarella (Harpsichord)
Sunday 17th at 19:30hrsVery British by La Petite Écurie
Monday 18th at 19:30hrsResonance by Teodoro Baù
Tuesday 19th at 19:30hrsFamous Baroque Arias by Marvic Monreal and Luis Aguilar
Wednesday 20th at 19:30hrsInspired by Baroque by the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra
Thursday 21st at 19:30hrsBach – Viola Da Gamba Sonatas transcribed for Double Bass by Gjorgji Cincievski
Friday 22nd at 19:30hrs
Baroque Female Composers by Valletta Baroque Ensemble
Saturday 23rd at 12:00hrsToccami L’Anima by Marco Mencoboni (Harpsichord)
Saturday 23rd at 19:30hrsArlecchino Innamorato by Cantar Lontano with Gillian Zammit and Gianpaolo Fagotto. Dir Marco Mencoboni
Sunday 24th at 11:00hrsItalian Baroque Masters by The Goldberg Ensemble – Dir. Michael Laus
Sunday 24th at 20.00hrsBaroque Female Composers by the Valletta Baroque Ensemble [held at St. George’s Parish Church, Gozo]

You can purchase tickets from the Manoel Theatre website, here.