The Trials of Magnus Coffinkey
A haunting fairy tale about grief and life after loss is being staged at Spazju Kreattiv in Valletta between May 12 and 14.
Produced by Give or Take theatre company, the story recounts the tale of Magnus Coffinkey, who must repair an ancient bell atop a lofty spire in order to meet the one that he’s destined to love. A fall leads to his untimely death, and the beginning of his dark ordeal.
The play, certified 15+, is written by Malcolm Galea and his wife Angele, and is directed by Philip Leone Ganado. Becky Camilleri and Joseph Zammit play the story’s protagonists.
For tickets, visit kreattivita.org.
Opening Doors: Revolution
An evening of short works by actors, dancers and musicians training with the Opening Doors Association is taking place at Theatre Next Door in Magħtab on May 12 and 13 at 7pm.
The performances are supported by the Ministry for Inclusion, Voluntary Organisation’s and Consumer Rights - Inklużjoni.
The Opening Doors Association is also supported by Arts Council Malta, The P. Cutajar Foundation and The Melita Foundation.
For tickets, visit tnd.com.mt.
The Band’s Visit
The Band’s Visit, winner of 10 Tony Awards, including best musical, is being staged again at the Manoel Theatre in Valletta from May 12 to 14.
Based on Eran Kolirin’s 2007 film of the same name, the offbeat tale is set in an Israeli town that is way off the beaten path, where a group of Egyptian musicians arrive disoriented, out of nowhere. Under the spell of the desert sky, the band and their provincial Israeli hosts move tentatively towards each other, from breaking bread to sharing secrets, suffering and music.
The show, brought to Malta by Revamp.mt, features a book by Itamar Moses and a score by David Yazbek together with a cast of local actor-musicians. It is directed by Dorothy Bezzina.
For tickets, visit teatrumanoel.com.mt.
Women’s Voice: From America to Sweden
Soprano Andriana Yordanova, accompanied by pianist Julia Miller, will be presenting works by Swedish composer Valbour Aulin and American composer Amy Beach, among others, at Our Lady of Victory church in Valletta on May 9 at 12.30pm.
Entrance to the concert is at a suggested donation of €10. One can obtain the tickets prior to the concert from the venue itself or by e-mailing email@example.com or calling on 7968 0952.
After the concert, a viewing of the 10-minute documentary Grand Master de Valette and His First Church of Valletta in the underground cinema is free of charge to all patrons.
The Big Band of the Malta Concert Orchestra, under the direction of Paul Abela, will present an evening of swing music at Pjazza Teatru Rjal in Valletta on May 12 at 8.30pm.
They will be joined on stage by singers Joe Cutajar and Nadine Axisa, who will give their twist to memorable and immortal swing numbers.
Tickets are available from ticketline.com.mt.
Feel the Magic of Opera Favourites
Chorus Urbanus Productions is presenting an evening dedicated to popular operatic arias at the Astra Opera House in Victoria on May 12 at 8pm.
Taking part will be soprano Claudia Sasso, tenor Leonardo Capalbo, the Chorus Urbanus and the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by John Galea.
For tickets, visit teatruastra.org.mt.
Christus Resuscitatus Vivicat
A vocal and instrumental concert featuring the Malta Police Force Band is being held at St George’s parish church, Qormi, on May 12 at 7.30pm. It is being held as part of the 100th anniversary celebrations of the band’s foundation and proceeds will go in aid of the Malta Trust Foundation.
The concert will also feature soprano Ruth Sammut Casingena, tenor Charles Vincenti and Cappella Musicale Caeciliana together with musicians Mario Ciantar (violin), Karen Cremona (cello), Lydia Buttigieg (harp) and Chris Rolé (organ).
Anthony Cassar is the concert’s artistic director.
For tickets, visit showshappening.com.
Chamber Music Concert − Clarinet & SPMO String Ensemble
The St Paul Metropolitan Orchestra, in collaboration with the management of the Mediterranean Conference Centre, is holding a chamber music concert on May 12 at 7.30pm.
The concert will feature musicians Noel Beck on clarinet, together with James Zammit (violin), Jurgen Abela (violin), Stephen Zammit (violin), Marika Abela (violin), Noel Grech (violin), Daniel Zammit (viola), Gilmour Peplow (cello) and Silvio Vella (double bass).
The programme includes works by Gerald Finzi, Charles Camilleri and John Barry.
For tickets, click here.
A series of concerts and other events are taking place alongside an exhibition, titled Decadence, Now. (see Visual Arts section below), being held at the premises of the Malta Society of Arts, Palazzo de la Salle in Valletta, between May 11 and 31.
The first event, a ‘salon recital’ titled Um Mitternacht (At Midnight) is taking place at the palazzo on May 13 and 14 at 8pm, featuring Andre Morsch, Gillian Zammit and Charlene Farrugia, who will perform songs by Richard Strauss, Gustav Mahler and a world premiere by Karl Fiorini.
The event is directed by Denise Mulholland.
For tickets, visit showshappening.com.
Llantrisant Male Choir in Malta
A 33-strong Welsh male choir established in 1898 will be performing in Malta and Gozo on May 13 and 14.
Their repertoire includes songs from the world of opera and musical theatre, traditional Welsh hymns, spiritual and gospel music, love songs and popular current day chart hits.
The Llantrisant male choir will be performing under the direction of Matthew Nash at the Gozo Cathedral on May 13 at 8pm and at the Valletta Waterfront on May 14 at 2pm. Entrance is free.
Valletta Resounds: The Caravaggio Experience
St John’s Co-Cathedral Foundation and Udjenza are producing a new concert as part of the Valletta Resounds series, which strings together Malta’s cultural heritage with theatrical storytelling and timeless classical music.
Titled The Caravaggio Experience, the concert is being performed weekly inside the oratory, which is adorned with Caravaggio's masterpieces.
Critically acclaimed Maltese musicians under the musical direction of Jacob Portelli are at the helm of the site-specific performance, bringing to life the works of baroque masters such as Vivaldi and Bach, along with the sound of sacred Maltese music by composer Francesco Azzopardi and more. They are accompanied by sopranos Dorothy Bezzina and Dorothy Baldacchino.
The concert is woven harmoniously with tales of the Knights of St John narrated by Jeremy Grech.
A highlight of The Caravaggio Experience is the music score for the atmospheric light installation on details of the master's paintings.
The concert is being performed weekly on Wednesdays and Fridays until June 21 (except May 19 and June 2) at 6.30pm, with ticket holders being granted exclusive after-hours access to the Co-Cathedral at 6pm.
Alongside its majestic architecture, visitors may also enjoy rare, centuries-old tapestries that will be exhibited inside the Co-Cathedral until June 24, following a 16-year-long restoration project.
Tickets may be purchased from www.showshappening.com.
For more information visit www.udjenza.com.
The Embassy Cinemas, in Valletta, is tomorrow screening the 1980 film Raging Bull, directed by Martin Scorcese and starring Robert De Niro, as part of the Tnejn Għat-Talkies series of screenings.
The biopic tells the story of boxer Jake LaMotta, whose violence and temper led him to the top in the ring but destroyed his life outside of it.
Tnejn għat-Talkies is an initiative of the Valletta Cultural Agency’s Strada Stretta programme.
For more information and tickets, visit the Embassy Cinemas website.
Lux Audience Award Screenings
The 2022 film Burning Days by Turkish director Emin Alper is showing on May 9 at Spazju Kreattiv in Valletta, as part of the Lux Audience Award screenings taking place throughout this month.
The award is organised by the European Parliament and the European Film Academy.
One can rate the films on the LUX Rating Platform, entering a competition to win from a number of prizes, that include the opportunity to travel to Strasbourg to attend the LUX Awards ceremony at the European Parliament and meet the directors of the nominated films.
The film that wins the LUX Audience Award will be adapted for visually and hearing-impaired audiences.
For more information and tickets, visit kreattivita.org.
The Għaqda tal-Malti − Università, Inizjamed and the Jesuits’ Church Foundation are holding an event dedicated to slam poetry at the Jesuits' church oratory in Valletta on May 11.
Slam poetry is a form of performance poetry that combines the elements of performance, writing, competition and audience participation.
Entrance is free. Visit the event's Facebook page for more info.
The Malta International Spring Music Festival Parade 2023
Leon Promotions Malta and Euro Art Productions Italy, in collaboration with the Valletta local council, are organising the Malta International Spring Music Festival 2023 Parade, taking place in the capital city’s streets on May 13 between 10.30am and 12.30pm.
Seven groups from Bulgaria, Slovenia, Serbia and Malta are participating. These are St Lawrence Band of Vittoriosa, Qormi Baden Powell Scout Group and Żebbuġ B.P. Band of Malta; Kud Dukat Folk Group of Serbia, Tropoli Folk Group of Bulgaria, and the Slovenian National Majorette Team and the Slovenian Railways Wind Orchestra.
Kids Dig Science
The next Kids Dig Science event is following Nemo − the friendly clownfish from the film Finding Nemo − around his watery world to learn about the biodiversity in the vastness of the oceans.
This underwater exploration, taking place at Spazju Kreattiv, in Valletta, on May 13 at 3pm, will spotlight the delicate balance that is marine biology and what needs to be done to ensure its survival.
This project is hosted by the Malta Chamber of Scientists and is supported by the Arts Council Malta’s Programme Support Fund.
The Kunsill Nazzjonali taż-Żgħażagħ is holding an environmental fair at Romeo Romano Gardens in Santa Venera on May 13 from 10am to 4pm.
There will be a panel discussion, entertainment and thrift shops, among other activities.
Entrance is free. For more information, visit the event’s Facebook page.
Nice Things Market Spring Edition
Over 40 local makers and small brands are setting up shop at the Nice Things Market Spring Edition, taking place on May 13 at Café Riche in Vittoriosa from 3 to 9pm.
Entrance is free. For more information, visit the event’s Facebook page.
Science in the Citadel
The fourth edition of Science in the Citadel is taking place on May 14 from 10am to 6pm. The educational event features activities for all the family and for all ages.
Free activities include workshops, an interactive science fair, animated action, demonstrations and experiments, exhibitions, tours and talks and some science, comedy and dance.
For more information, visit the event’s Facebook page.
Xaxa Calleja is presenting her sixth solo exhibition at the Volunteer Centre, Bartolomew Street, Rabat, with part of the proceeds of the sales of works going to Puttinu Cares.
In the exhibition, the artist tries to capture a moment in time in her paintings before that moment disappears before her eyes. She tries to portray the intensity of her feelings in the works before that feeling fades away.
Thematically, the paintings fall naturally into a group of three. The first group are studies of heads capturing snippets or impressions of people or objects that have left a mark with her. The second group are landscapes or floral arrangements, while the third group are abstract works which are mostly an exploration of a mood or a feeling.
Between Sea and Land
MICAS, Malta International Contemporary Art Space, is hosting a virtual exhibition featuring works by a number of contemporary Maltese artists at the Mediterannean Conference Centre in Valletta on May 13 and 14.
The participating artists are Caesar Attard, Matthew Attard, Aaron Bezzina, Ruth Bianco, Vince Briffa, Austin Camilleri, Charlie Cauchi, Patrick Fenech, Norbert Francis Attard, Romeo Roxman Gatt, Anton Grech, David Pisani, Pierre Portelli, Teresa Sciberras and Raphael Vella.
Their works will be shown on a series of screens and there will be virtual reality (VR) headsets to enhance the experience. Viewing times: May 13 from 1 to 7pm and May 14 from 9am to 7pm. Admission is free and no booking is required.
From May 13 onwards, the exhibition will be presented on the soon-to-be launched MICAS Virtual platform, which will simulate the forthcoming MICAS gallery spaces.
To mark the occasion, a panel discussion titled 'Art and the Digital World' will be held on May 13 at the MA Grima Hall, MCC, from 10am to 12.30pm.
The discussion will be chaired by Edith Devaney, chair of the MICAS Creative Committee and will include the exhibition’s curator, independent art historian Jo Baring, artificial intelligence scientist and entrepreneur Angelo Dalli, and contributing artists Matthew Attard and Austin Camilleri.
Art historian Katya Micallef will give a brief introduction before the panel discussion.
Entrance is free but registration is required on https://forms.gle/iEnv9GfRcVwU4qR59.
For more information, visit https://micas.art/.
Faces & Places
Caroline Said Lawrence is presenting a mini-retrospective at Art By The Seaside Gallery, in Senglea.
Titled Faces & Places, the exhibition explores four themes: portraits, landscapes, cityscapes and the caricaturish Parole! Faces. Most of these works are being exhibited for the first time.
Said Lawrence has been painting portraits since 2004, and is considered by the artist as her career’s primary body of work. The ink and acrylic paintings of the Three Cities reveal Said Lawrence’s love of architectural drawing, and of the area. The SoPicasso and Parole! paintings, meanwhile, are quirky humourous portrayals of social conversations.
The exhibition is open until May 19. Consult the gallery’s Facebook page for opening hours.
Esprit Barthet – A Life of Colour
Il-Ħaġar, Heart of Gozo Museum in Victoria is hosting a retrospective exhibition of Esprit Barthet (1919-1999).
Curated by Nicoline Sagona, the landmark exhibition is showcasing Barthet’s famous ‘rooftops’ series, as well as his well-known portrait paintings and experimental styles throughout his career.
The exhibition runs until May 22. The museum is open daily from 9am to 5pm. Entrance is free.
Read more about the exhibition here.
Celebrating Francesco Zahra
MUŻA, the National Art Museum, has launched its first exhibition in Your MUŻA – a series of outreach andaccessibility efforts where works from the national art collection will be temporarily loaned to different localities.
The current exhibition, dedicated to Francesco Zahra, is being held at the Oratory of the Holy Crucifix in Senglea until May 22. Zahra died 250 years ago, in August 1773 and is considered as one of the foremost Maltese artists of the 18th century. he was born, baptized, bred and artistically mentored in Senglea.
Artefacts on display at the exhibition include a painting by Gian Nicola Buhagiar, who was Francesco Zahra’s teacher; coins dating to the time of the Order of St John in Malta; a painting by Antoine Favray, who admired and briefly collaborated with Zahra; the artist’s baptismal record; a painting by Zahra that is usually on display at the Archbishop’s Curia; commission records of the oratory’s sculptures and paintings; and Zahra’s self-portrait, showing him in his mid-40s at the peak of his artistic career.
Professor Keith Sciberras, head of the Department of Art and Art History within the Faculty of Arts of the University of Malta, will be giving a talk on May 10 at 7pm at the Collegiate Basilica of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary, Senglea. The talk, to be delivered in Maltese, will provide a brief background about Zahra and his importance in 18th-century Maltese art, and will place in context the works at the oratory of the Holy Crucifix as well as the exhibition itself.
The New Gothic
Local contemporary artist Ġulja Holland, renowned for thought-provoking and politically engaged practice, is holding her fourth solo exhibition at Spazju Kreattiv in Valletta.
Entitled A New Gothic, it is her largest boday of work to date, produced over three years, and draws on timely themes such as the anthropocene, eco-anxiety, and gender issues, challenging viewers to engage with the complexities of our world and to question their own place within it.
Curated by Andrew Borg Wirth, the collaborative project will also see Holland overlap with local and international artists, academics and practitioners from across disciplines including Charlie Cauchi and Rieko Whitfield (UK).
Also read the following article.
Trails of Colour
Gemelli Framing in Ta' Qali is hosting an exhibition by Carm Borg.
His paintings illustrate diverse episodes, moments or conditions dramatized by strong hues, shafts of light or solid brushwork. His intense interpretation of various portraits reveals his fascination with the enigmatic yet appealing characters such as clowns, jesters and other performers who, through their spectacle and performative roles, establish a deep-seated furtive cast on our psyche and imagination.
Trails of Colour, curated by Roderick Camilleri, is open until May 28. Consult the venue’s Facebook page for opening hours.
Freedom in Simplicity
Stephen Saliba's monumental abstract paintings will shine in a new minimalist space in Msida from May 13 to 26.
Coming from a scientific background, seeped in biology and chemistry, the artist was tutored by the late Mro Pawlu Grech for long years, who always advocated for his slow and meticulous teaching approach among both his visual art and music students.
Saliba’s reluctance to exhibit originates from his former tutor’s philosophy, that art is self-expression rather than self-exposure. The artist is influenced by the work of Spanish surrealist Joan Miró and British artist Victor Pasmore, among others.
Freedom in Simplicity, curated by Art Sweven, is being hosted at 119, Valley Road, Msida. Consult the event’s Facebook page for opening hours and more information.
Insider Outsider: Mellieħa
Insider Outsider: Mellieħa is the title of Debbie Bonello’s and Sarah Calleja’s current exhibition at the Palm Court Lounge at Phoenicia Hotel, Floriana. As the title indicates, this exhibition is a portrayal of the village by two of Malta’s most foremost landscape artists. They both paint en plein air, thus capturing the nuances much more effectively.
Bonello is the insider as, although not currently living in Mellieħa, she was born and raised there. Calleja is the outsider as she visits the village for its nature and beaches.
Curated by Charlene Vella, the exhibition is on until May 31.
Read this article for more information.
The exhibition Decadence, Now launches at the Malta Society of Arts on May 11, showcasing artworks, objects, music and paraphernalia from the Decadent art movement from 1880 to 1910.
The project claims, to a great extent, that the critical study of decadence should not be confined to its traditional association with morbidity, a cult of artificiality, exoticism and aestheticism. Although these topics continue to fuel a whole new wave of contemporary decadentism in visual culture.
Decadence, Now. looks to the curatorial as an art method in and of itself, with the exhibition becoming the ultimate art object. In doing so it seeks to reposition artefacts, reconstruct narratives and reopen artistic debates; creating a friction and a presence that is expressed by a number of individuals investigating a common theme.
The exhibition runs until May 31 and admission is free. The exhibition is curated by Andrew Borg Wirth. Reacting artists include Andrew Borg Wirth, Luke Azzopardi, Michael Zerafa and Maria Theuma.
VIA: Way of the Streets
Christine X Curated is hosting a street photography exhibition of silver-gelatin handprints by Jacob Sammut.
The photos document the human element in the streets and were shot in Budapest, Edinburgh, Florence, London, Prague, Scotland, Turkey, Valletta and Zealand.
The images used in this first edition of VIA have been chosen from a vast archive of work that Sammut started working on in 2014. They were shot using 35mm or 120 medium-format, black and white film, which were then developed and hand-printed on fibre-based paper in the darkroom.
The exhibition launch on May 12 will also go live online at 7pm. It will remain open daily (except Sundays) at Christine X Art Gallery in Tigné street c/w Hughes Hallet Street, Sliema, until the end of May from 10am to 1pm and 4 to 7pm.
For more info, visit the event's Facebook page.
Malta 1971 and Oskar – Photographs by Uno Karlsson
Swedish photographer Uno Karlsson visited Malta back in 1971, snapping pictures of Malta in colour. Now 24 of these photos are being exhibited at the Malta Postal Museum and Arts Hub in Valletta from May 5 to June 3.
These photos stand out like postcards of beauty, showing a rural temperament that was part and parcel of everyday life enjoyed by all locals in a carefree, unselfconscious manner.
A series of black-and-white prints documenting Oskar Nilsson, somewhat of a local character in Stromstad, Sweden, are also being exhibited.
Nigerian Contemporary Art Exhibition 2023
Joseph Barbara and Bruno Eke of Simpli International are holding a second contemporary art exhibition at the two galleries of the Cavalieri Art Hotel, St Julian’s, until June 1.
Fifty works have been selected for this exhibition, representing a wide spectrum of Nigerian art executed by well-established and new young artists.
The styles differ from traditional African art to avantgarde modern paintings, with figurative, abstract and surreal themes.
There will also be two other exhibitions, one starting on June 2 until June 22, and the other from June 23 to July 16.
The works are by Nigerian artists based in Nigeria and from the country’s diaspora. Artists from the UK, the US and other parts of the world are also participating.
The aim of the exhibition is to promote cultural exchange and deepen the relationship and friendship between Nigeria and Malta.
Shoah the Holocaust: How Was It Humanly Possible?
The Tayar Foundation for Jewish Heritage in Malta has organised a Holocaust Memorial exhibition which will be displayed at three venues in Malta until June.
The exhibition deals with major historical aspects of the Holocaust, beginning with Jewish life in pre-Holocaust Europe and ending with the liberation of the Nazi concentration and extermination camps across the continent and the remarkable return to life of the survivors.
The display panels feature explanatory texts, with quotes from Jewish victims and survivors, photographs, art documents and videos for eight survivor stories.
The exhibition is open until June 4 at the University of Malta, Msida Campus, from Monday to Friday from 7am to 11pm and on Saturdays and Sundays from 9am to 4.45pm.
For more information, visit shoah.jewishheritagemalta.org/.