Joseph Calleja’s Ode to Joy in Valletta

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

The renowned Maltese-born tenor Joseph Calleja shared his own inspiring contribution of Europe’s “Ode to Joy” during the European Cultural Heritage Summit taking place in Berlin on 18-24 June. This unusual version sung in German and then in Maltese, the ‘Innu l-Ferħ’,was recorded in the historic Church of Our Lady of Victories in Valletta. The video was premiered today during the European Policy Debate “Sharing Heritage – Sharing Values” to the delight of the high level audience discussing the future role of cultural heritage in Europe.

This is the first time Schiller’s verses are sung in the Maltese language, one of the 24 official languages of the European Union and the only one with Semitic roots. Mr Calleja was inspired to sing the ‘Innu l-Ferh’ in Maltese as a response to the #Ode2Joy Challenge, which was launched by Europa Nostra and its President Maestro Plácido Domingo. This initiative celebrates Europe and our shared heritage on the occasion of the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018.

Joseph Calleja stated: “Music, alongside mathematics, is a universal language and a language that brings us all together. Initiatives such as the #Ode2joy Challenge challenge us all European cousins in the right way and brings us together as only music can.”

The “Ode to Joy” was translated into Maltese by Europa Nostra Council Member Dr John Vassallo, former Ambassador for Malta to the European Union. The flagship restoration of the historic Church of Our Lady of Victories was recently completed by Europa Nostra’s member organisation, Din l-Art Helwa.