Published on Friday 1 November 2019

KorMalta, an initiative by Arts Council Malta which falls within the Ministry for Justice, Culture and Local Government and Malta’s first national choir, has launched its 2019-2020 season.

Minister for Justice, Culture and Local Government Owen Bonnici commended the success of the choir’s first year, stating that the choir has proven to be another step forward in the strengthening of professionalisation within the sector. Minister Owen Bonnici said that “through the creation of our first national choir we have filled in a void which was present for quite a number of years. Our Government is committed to making arts and culture more accessible, and this is possible thanks to the delivery of a varied, all-year-round cultural calendar which caters for everyone.”

This year’s KorMalta season starts off with Biber’s ‘Requiem in F’ in November, whilst also seeing the choir setting off to Vienna to perform an a cappella mix of traditional Christmas tunes. The choir will also be performing Delibes’ ‘Missa Brevis’ at Votivkirche, a neo-Gothic church.

Speaking at the launch, Chairperson of the KorMalta Coordinating Committee Etienne Bonello talked about the importance of having a national choir. “Now that it has been established, KorMalta has an exciting year ahead with so many varied events planned for 2020. Like it did with other season launches such as ŻfinMalta’s, Arts Council Malta is fully committed in making next year another success story.”

KorMalta will also be bringing the Christmas spirit to Malta in a choral Christmas concert to be held at the St Paul’s Pro-Cathedral in Valletta in December. This concert will consist of a collaboration between the national choir and the Jubilate Deo Choir, with a musical itinerary ranging from Gregorian chant to contemporary repertoire.

Artistic Director Riccardo Bianchi highlighted the importance of being a leading voice for Choral Music in Malta and Gozo through ongoing advocacy and media profiling of the benefits of choral singing for all. Bianchi said that “through KorMalta, we will be providing educational opportunities for choirs, choral singers and conductors in Malta and Gozo through training and development programmes towards increasing participation and excellence.”

KorMalta will be taking part in the Valletta Baroque Festival and is also participating in the annual operatic production at Teatru Manoel, performing Rossini’s ‘Otello’.

In March, KorMalta will be teaming up with the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra for Mozart’s ‘Requiem’ at the Collegiate Church of St Lawrence in Vittoriosa, in an initiative by Fondazzjoni Kottonera. The national choir will also be presenting a reprise of this at the Parish Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary in Qrendi, this time accompanied by a solo piano.

The third and final opera by Maltese composer Paolino Vassallo, Edith Cavell, will be performed by KorMalta and the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra in May in production by Pjazza Teatru Rjal. The choir will also be celebrating Beethoven with one of his unusual works, ‘The Ruins of Athens’, in a concert with the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra.

Closing off the season, KorMalta will be performing Ola Gjeilo’s renowned ‘Sunrise Mass’ in the beautiful surroundings of the Mnajdra Temples in two concerts being held during the summer solstice in June in an event produced by KorMalta in collaboration with ŻfinMalta and Heritage Malta.