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Valletta Baroque Festival 2020 - Announcing the first highlights!

From 10th to 25th January 2020 the Valletta Baroque Festival will again feature top-notch artists, both from Malta and abroad, performing wonderful music from Monteverdi to Bach and beyond. Just like last year the festival will explore beautiful baroque settings outside Valletta, such as Verdala Palace or the beautiful San Filippu ta' Aggira Parish Church of Żebbug, and as such bring baroque music into the places it was composed for.

While programming, each edition takes a life of its own and forms a distinct pattern; sometimes intentionally and sometimes not. The forthcoming festival edition is predominately secular with lots of concertos from all over Europe.

Artistic Director Kenneth Zammit Tabona highlights that especially close to his heart are the Neapolitan concertos, which inspired our own Maltese composers who went to study with Francesco Durante in the 18th century. As Malta at the time was ruled as a sovereign principality by a semi monastic order of chivalric aristocrats coming from the four corners of Europe it was inevitable that the culture of the time was deeply influenced by this rich potpourri; this is reflected in our culture even today. However, it was Naples, the nearest and most cosmopolitan capital, ruled by a branch of Spanish Bourbons, that was our cultural alma Mater.

Catherine Jones

Connections to the royal and imperial courts of Europe at the time were a fact and cross fertilisation of cultures was unavoidable. This is what aptly describes the spirit of the 2020 festival: a celebration of European culture from the music commissioned by the Infanta Isabella Clara Eugenia, regent of the Spanish Netherlands, to the 20th century masterpieces that were ‘Inspired by Baroque’; a commemoration of the apogee of what historian Arthur Bryant indelibly christened ‘The Age of Elegance’.

La Grande Chapelle

La Grande Chapelle will perform music written for Isabella Clara Eugenia on the 22nd of January in the mesmerizing setting of St. Johns Co-Cathedral, and that marks already an important highlight. Some sidesteps are the Clarinet version of the Goldberg Variations by MOA trio (22 January) and the reworked versions of original and transcribed music from Bach by Teodoro Bau & Andrea Buccarella (16 January).

MOA Trio

Not to be missed are the Bach concertos by the young French and already renowned Ensemble Dynastie (23 January) and the Sacred Vivaldi concert by La Serenissima at the Collegiate Church of St. Paul in Rabat (11 January). Other highlights this year are the opening concert at Teatru Manoel with the renowned orchestra Les Musiciens du Louvre and Vivica Genaux directed by Thibault Noally bringing music by Porpora & Handel (10 January) in collaboration with the French Embassy; Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater at the Church of St Catherine in Żurrieq by Abchordis Ensemble (18 January); and the concert dedicated to Neapolitan Cello Concertos performed by Catherine Jones on the 16th of January; or the Ensemble Barocco di Napoli with music by Vivaldi, Handel and Pergolesi (19 January).

Last but not least, the 8th edition will close in style with Bel Canto from Naples by Simone Kermes & Amici Veneziani at Teatru Manoel.

Sacred Vivaldi concert by La Serenissima

Simone Kermes

The Valletta Baroque Festival is an initiative of Teatru Manoel and is structurally supported by the Ministry for Justice, Culture & Local Government and the Malta Tourism Authority.

You can follow the festival on the following channels:

Contacts:Kenneth Zammit Tabona - artistic director -

Thomas Grima - festival manager -

Ann Laenen - PR & Marketing -

Images and content supplied by Manoel Theatre

Edited: TEMPLE Team



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