Ten glorious years!
For a decade now, the Malta Arts Festival has been delighting audiences with its mix of the finest cultural performers the world has to offer. From virtuoso musicians to Shakespearean drama, stunning visual installations to breathtaking dance, each year the Malta Arts Festival has strived to enrich the local cultural calendar with a host of must-see events. The Festival has also continuously championed the best that the local arts scene has to offer, providing Maltese artists, both established and emerging, a dynamic platform to showcase their art and engage with broader audiences.
Now in its tenth edition, the Malta International Arts Festival takes a fresh approach with a remit to help lead Malta into the European Capital of Culture in 2018. MIAF 2015 promotes freedom of artistic expression in multidisciplinary fashion, and has created a programme of events that is fresh, exciting and innovative, alongside challenging workshops and master classes. Running from the 10th July to the 3rd August, most of these events will be held in some of the island’s most prestigious historical venues, such as Pjazza Teatru Rjal, Argotti Gardens, Fort St Elmo and the recently renovated Valletta City Gate.
Image: Kibbutz. Credits: Uri Nevo
The programme was put together by an artistic committee, all of whom are artists themselves, led by the MIAF Artistic Director Dr Michelle Castelletti, together with composer Ruben Zahra, choreographer Francesca Tranter, and Riccardo Carbutti, cultural project manager from Italy.
‘I am thrilled, honoured and proud to be presenting, together with a phenomenal team of people, the Malta International Arts Festival. MIAF 2015 is a statement. It is a summoning through pens and minds. It is a coming together of different approaches, different mentalities, different media, different cultures… all with a common core of artistic integrity and excellence. MIAF 2015 reaches out to the public and engages with the wider society, bringing art to the people with its fresh, new approach and with an underlying remit to help lead Malta towards the European Capital of Culture in 2018. MIAF 2015 crosses boundaries and promotes freedom of artistic expression in multidisciplinary fashion, creating a programme of events that is exciting and innovative through celebrating the past, but promoting the art of our time.’
Dr Michelle Castelletti, Artistic Director, MIAF 2015
Among this year’s classical highlights are world-renowned classical pianist and Debussy specialist Noriko Ogawa from Japan, as well as Talich Quartet – one of the world’s finest string quartets, internationally-recognised as torch bearers for the Czech musical tradition across the globe. Led by our very own Marcelline Agius (leader of the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra) with pianist Joanne Camilleri, Bar-to-Bar Quintet will be performing an energetic Shostakovich and Bartók at the Palace Courtyard.
Commissioned by the Silk Road Art Music Festival of Hong Kong, we bring a multidisciplinary performance by two of the most respected ensembles of Mediterranean musical tradition, En Chordais and Constantinople, who join forces to recreate a colourful musical journey in tribute of Marco Polo.
Again forging new international links, the MIAF welcomes EU-funded Meeting the Odyssey – a social and artistic collaborative project set on the ship named Hoppet that set sail in the Baltic in 2014 on a journey of discovery through constantly changing artistic landscapes and cultural attitudes, developing synergies across Europe.
Image: Meeting the Odyssey
After having played over 20,000 performances to more than 12 million people around the globe, the multi award-winning phenomenon STOMP from the UK makes its debut appearance in Malta at the Festival. With their blend of rhythm, theatre, comedy and dance, this promises to be a spectacular show for audiences of all ages.
Under the direction of Israeli choreographer Rami Be’er, the much-acclaimed Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company will be performing their original piece If At All, a moving theatrical event in figurative and abstract dance. The newly-launched national ŻfinMalta Dance Company will be creating a contemporary adaptation of Mallarmé’s 1876 L’Après-midi d’un Faune, with their original production choreographed by Mavin Khoo. The Malta Philharmonic Orchestra will be one of the festival’s celebration, with a programme that is open air and free for the public at St George’s Square, Valletta on July 26th.
Other local productions include Faith, Hope u Charity, an epic drama scripted by local author Immanuel Mifsud and directed by Josette Ciappara, which is set in Malta at the start of the Second World War; and, following their highly successful sold-out run last year, Kelma Kelma Nota Nota shall be returning with another performance packed with traditional Maltese prose, poetry and songs given a contemporary twist. Our newly-launched MIAF+ will be forging new partnerships and creating new links across the artistic communities in Malta.
One of the strongest statements of the festival will be the opening night with Pendulum Choir – an original choral piece for 9 a cappella voices and 18 hydraulic jacks, creating a living, sonorous body at the entrance of Valletta. Conceived and constructed by Michel Décosterd with composition by André Décosterd, interpreted by Jeune Opéra Copagnie – Les Voix and directed by Nicolas Farine, this multi-award-winning creation has been presented all over the world and will be free for the Maltese public on the 10th July. Experimental and multidisciplinarian, Miguel Chevalier also comes to Malta with a new commission – Pixels Wave 2015, a generative and interactive virtual reality installation with a giant carpet of moving lights that will fill Republic Street at City Gate, which will open on the 10th July and remain throughout the festival.
Image: Pendulum Choir
For more information and the latest updates on all the Festival’s events, visit www.maltaartsfestival.org
The Malta International Arts Festival is organised by Arts Council Malta under the Ministry for Justice, Culture and Local Government, in collaboration with the European Capital of Culture 2018 and with the support of the Valletta Local Council, TVM, MSV Life, Grand Hotel and The Phoenicia Hotel.