The Valletta International Baroque Festival 2014

20 January 2014

Winter in Malta is notorious for its mild Mediterranean temperatures and many visitors flock from Northern Europe’s cold climates to escape the snow. Just like I did a few years ago now! For music lovers, January is an excellent time to come to Malta. The Valletta International Baroque festival, which is preparing for its second annual event is taking place in January following on from last year’s overwhelming and incredible success.

 Baroque Festival 2014

There will be daily performances running over a two week period. From the 10th January – 26th January 2014 this festival will offer visitors a dazzling display of musical performances including the world premiere of the parody of the opera Hippolyte et Arcie which is performed with live singers, live musicians and life size puppets. 

Last year saw 18 different events featuring over 200 performers to packed out audiences in over 5 different venues, all located within the capital city of Valletta. 

This year is billed to be even bigger and better and will feature 23 performances, in over 8 different venues within Valletta, during the 2-week period. One event I am particularly interested in is the Baroque Costume Ball at the Manoel theatre

The venue choices in Valletta include the

  • Manoel theatre  (Europe’s 3rd largest working theatre), 
  • St John’s Cathedral, St. Catherine d’italie Church, 
  • All Souls Church, 
  • The President’s Palace, 
  • St Paul’s Anglican Pro-cathedral, 
  • Ta’Giezu Church 
  • Grand Salon at Museum of Archaeology.
Teatru Manoel’s Chairman, Dr. Michael Grech, states that the purpose of this festival is for it to grow into a major international event to place Malta firmly on the global cultural map.

With the city awarded the European Capital of Culture accolade for 2018, this is just one of the on-going events that will increase visitors to Malta, showcasing its history and its culture.

Performers include artists such as Max Emmanuel Cencic, one of Europe’s leading countertenors and Malta’s own Gillian Zammit, Clare Massa, Nicholas Mulroy, Albert Buttigieg, the Anon and Goldberg Ensembles under the direction of Michael Laus and the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra. On Sunday 19th January the Toi Toi Baroque Sunday wikk offer a free workshop for children at Teatru Manoel.

Parliamentary Secretary for Culture Dr. Jose Herrera said at the launch of this year’s International Baroque Festival "This festival is a cultural gift to the people of Malta and celebrates the architectural beauty of Valletta through the Manoel Theatre, St John’s Co Cathedral and other religious and secular venues. Having a baroque music festival in an intrinsically baroque city is a logical progression"  

Ticket prices start from €10. For a full programme of events and Bookings click here. I think I am going to surprise my wife with tickets for the world premier of the parody of the opera Hippolyte et Arcie. I'm a secret fan of opera and a not so secret fan of puppets!

Author: Adam Claffey

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