5 top-notch concerts for Valletta Baroque Festival opening weekend

Since its inception in 2013 the festival has continued to evolve and has now established its place between the renown early music festivals in Europe and beyond.

Amy Ryan Media

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

Programmed in mid-winter, the Valletta Baroque Festival fills a gap in the cultural season for both local and international music lovers inviting the audience to enjoy baroque music in the places it was composed for.

15 days of musical highlights

With 31 concerts in 17 venues the festival again invites the audience to explore beautiful baroque spaces and places in- and outside Valletta. There is something for everyone. Let’s see what the first days have to offer.

Benjamin Chelly

It all starts on Friday the 10th of January with a grandiose opening concert at the festival’s home base Teatru Manoel. That evening one of France’s top orchestras Les Musiciens du Louvre will accompany Vivica Genaux in a musical battle between works of Handel and Porpora. Followed on Saturday at noon with a concert by Les Contre-Sujets at the Ta’Gezu Church in Valletta presenting works of Couperin, Buxtehude and Telemann under the title of (not so) Italian Concertos inviting the audience to discover these Italian concertos with a French and German twist.

Later that day the renown ensemble La Serenissima welcomes music lovers at the Collegiate Church of St Paul in Rabat with sacred music of Vivaldi. Sunday at noon Les Contre-Sujets takes the audience to Verdala Palace and brings music from German Celebrity Composers such as Handel and Telemann and in the evening La Serenissima will offer a feast of instrumental colour with oboes, bossoons, trumpet, strings and continuo by the finest composers of the baroque era such as Telemann, Fasch and Vivaldi.

Monday evening offers something special. Joel Frederiksen and Ensemble Phoenix Munich use the Grand Salon at the Archeology Museum for a delightful concert featuring English, French and Italian music from late Renaissance and early Baroque. Both Sunday and Monday evening has the opportunity to meet the artists after the concert whilst having a drink and some appetizers.

Other highlights in the first week are Daniel and Pablo Zapico at the Bibliotheca in Valletta, Inspired by Baroque performed by Malta Philharmonic Orchestra at Teatru Manoel, Durante’s Messa de’ Morti by Cantar Lontano, the Valletta Baroque Ensemble and the Monteverdi Project at the Church of St Philip of Agira in Żebbuġ, Bach Reworked by Teodor Baù and Andrea Buccarella at Palazzo Parisio in Naxxar  and the concert with Neapolitan Cello Concertos by Catherine Jones and Controcorrente.

Exclusive merchandising line

New this year is an exclusive merchandising line with baroque inspired items designed by Kotba Calleja, Ritienne Zammit and Glenn Ellul available before and after the concerts at the different venues.

The Valletta Baroque Festival is an initiative of Teatru Manoel and has the support of the Ministry of Culture and the Malta Tourism Authority. The opening concert is sponsored by the French Embassy and a group of French patrons. Venue supports in the first week come from the Valletta Local Council and Palazzo Parisio.

Information and tickets may be found on www.vallettabaraoquefestival.mt or you may install the app: app.vallettabaroquefestival.mt.