The highly awaited Malta International Arts Festival (MIAF), organised by Festivals Malta, is taking place from June 14 to 23 with a vast calendar of cultural events.

The 10-day festival, features visual arts, theatre, contemporary and classical music, and dance performances.

This year, such venues include the Manoel Theatre, the Valletta Underground, the Grand Harbour, the Grand Master’s Palace, and the Inquisitor’s Palace in Vittoriosa.

The programme includes a variety of notable highlights of unique performances by local and international artists, including several fringe events with collaborative efforts from different members of local communities.

<em>Voice at the End</em> will open this year&rsquo;s festival on June 14.Voice at the End will open this year’s festival on June 14.

The festival kicks off with Voices at the End on June 14, which is a contemporary dance and music piece by ŻfinMalta. During the performance, the national dance company will perform a new choreography by Paolo Mangiola, set to John Psathas’ Voices at the End.

Following this concert is Voices of Valour on June 15, which will see KorMalta performing several 16th-century choral works in different areas of the Grand Master’s Palace.

The ever-popular Harbour Odyssey also has a spot on the programme as the show will take place from June 17 to 20. The event involves a sunset cruise which will take audiences on a boat ride along the Grand Harbour while they are entertained by a cast of actors who will retell stories and anecdotes from corsairs who once sailed our shores.

<em>Underground Valletta</em> is taking place between June 17 and 20. Photo: Lindsay BahiaUnderground Valletta is taking place between June 17 and 20. Photo: Lindsay Bahia

Another highlight will be the Underground Valletta: In Concert performances, which will include two separate shows with prominent artists, namely Austrian clarinet virtuoso Simon Reitmaier between June 17 and 18, and world-renowned glass harmonica player Thomas Bloch between June 19 and 20.

Audiences will also be treated to a concert by the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Michael Laus as they perform two masterworks during Beethoven-Shostakovich. During the first part of the event, the orchestra will perform Beethoven’s 5th Symphony, and in the second half, they will play Shostakovich’s Cello Concerto No 1, accompanied by cellist Konstantin Manaev.

Dance enthusiasts can also look forward to this year’s MIAF with performances such as the M.A.D. – xMusic and Dance residency, which will lead to a performance set to live music on June 20 and 21.

The dance event La Desnudez on June 23 is a thought-provoking performance by Daniel Abreu Company which explores the relationship between love and death.

<em>Young Creatives in Motion</em>. Photo: Darren AgiusYoung Creatives in Motion. Photo: Darren Agius

The Malta International Arts Festival also includes several fringe events forming part of its programme.

These include Steli – an interactive street art performance which will take place in Sliema, Birżebbuġa and Valletta from June 14 to 16. The event Streets of Connection, from June 15 to 19, is a community street-art event produced by Dance Beyond Borders in collaboration with Refugee Week Malta which will include refugee and asylum-seeking communities.

On June 17 is Fashion Unleashed – a fashion and performing arts show by students from MCAST, and June 19 will show Young Creatives in Motion – a collaboration between six local dance schools featuring young dancers.

<em>Il-Karattri tal-Fantasija Maltin</em> will take place on June 16 and 23. Illustration by Eric LeoneIl-Karattri tal-Fantasija Maltin will take place on June 16 and 23. Illustration by Eric Leone

Also forming part of the fringe events is Il-Karattri tal-Fantasija Maltin which will take place on June 16 and 23. This performance, which will be in Maltese, will introduce audiences to different ghosts and ghouls which form part of Maltese folklore – a real nostalgia trip for those of us who remember these characters from our childhood days.

The Malta International Arts Festival will take place from June 14 to 23. For tickets and more information, please visit This event is supported by the Ministry for the National Heritage, the Arts and Local Government, and sponsored by Coca-Cola.

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