The Minister for the National Heritage, the Arts and Local Government Owen Bonnici announced details for the 12th edition of the Valletta Baroque Festival, which will take place between 11 and 28 January 2024.
Minister Bonnici stated that this year is a special edition with an exceptional line-up and dynamic performances. “Extending across three weeks, the festival provides an essential Baroque experience in splendid venues like St John’s Co-Cathedral, The Verdala Palace, Palazzo Parisio, and Teatru Manoel. These locations boast genuine Baroque settings adorned with opulent decor, sculptures, and paintings characteristic of the period,” Minister Bonnici said.
The Valletta Baroque Festival is an important attraction for cultural tourism. “This festival is a crucial one for this agency because apart from opening our calendar year, it is a festival that is closely linked to our country. I am saying this since it is a festival that continues to strengthen our identity, as represented through our heritage, festive celebrations, architecture and art,” stated Aaron Zahra, Festivals Malta Chairman.
This is the 3rd edition that Festivals Malta is producing since the festival was added to the agency’s portfolio of events in 2021. Frans Agius, Festivals Malta CEO, remarked that the varied programme contains more than 30 concerts spread over 3 weeks, which are being held in more than 15 different places around the island. This year’s programme includes an exceptional list of international musicians and local artists.
The festival’s Artistic Director, Kenneth Zammit Tabona, on his part, said that “from its very inception this festival enjoyed a strong international reputation and has established itself among the top ten festivals of its kind in Europe”.
The opening concert ‘St John Passion BWV 245 by Johann Sebestian Bach’, which will be performed by the Valletta Baroque Ensemble and Kor Malta under the musical direction of Riccardo Bianchi at St John’s Co-Cathedral in Valletta, will open the festival with grandiosity. The festival will wrap up with an opera for children with the name of La Serva Padrona by Pergolesi under the musical direction of Sarah Spiteri, and scenic direction of Jacob Piccinino. The festival has a stellar line-up including artists Robin Pharo, Zefiro Ensemble, Alon Sariel, Holland Baroque with Wu Wei, Lucile Boulanger, Vox Luminis, and Les Contre-Sujets.
Following last year’s success, this year’s edition will also see the return of The Rock Troupers & the Valletta Baroque Ensemble with their project BaRock at the Manoel Theatre. The festival will also feature a collaboration with the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra, featuring a diverse line-up of Malta’s finest concert pianists playing the Bach Keyboard concertos.
The Valletta Baroque Festival is produced by Festivals Malta in collaboration with Teatru Manoel and Visit Malta. Tickets and more information are available on www.festivals.mt/vbf.