Present at the launch were Hon Minister Dr José Herrera, accompanied by Arts Council Malta’s Executive Chairman Mr Albert Marshall, Hon Glenn Bedingfield Chairman of Fondazzjoni Kottonera, KorMalta’s Chairman Mr Etienne Bonello and representatives from TEN08, an entertainment group producing music festivals and theatrical productions on a national scale.
KorMalta Chairman Mr Etienne Bonello said that the national choir accepted a proposal from Honourable Bedingfield to start planning for a big concert in Cottonera. "After discussions with Maestro Riccardo Bianchi, we decided to start working on the production of Fauré’s Requiem. The concert will include members of all national choir, as well as local harpist Jacob Portelli, violinist Sarah Spiteri, cellist Ákos Kertész, international organist Andrea Tottardello, as well as bassist Albert Buttigieg. "
Gabriel Fauré’s Requiem is one of the world’s best-loved choral works, with its exquisite Pie Jesu and haunting In Paradisum. In his seven-section Requiem, the French composer distilled some of the most beautiful melodies he ever composed. As with much of Western classical music, the Requiem owes its roots to Christian faith. Traditionally, at its heart, it is a prayerful lament for the dead. Fauré’s Requiem was altogether different, though. In place of the sombre nature of many requiems that had gone before, Fauré’s is noted for its calm, serene and peaceful outlook. Here we find musical solace in a work that focuses not on the morbid, but on the supposedly restful and fear-free nature of death.
In his address, the Honourable Glenn Bedingfield said that this concert is part of a series of cultural activities will take place during this year in Cottonera. "Our cities offer an excellent backdrop for all sorts of representations in churches, squares, stairs and walls. We would like to see Fondazzjoni Kottonera start a dialogue with experts and even with people, in general, to see what should be the strategy of the country to better use the great potential of the bastions built three hundred years ago.
Honourable Minister Dr Herrera said that this is all being done according to the strategy approved by the cabinet among its main goals which should the strengthening of the cultural identity of the three cities and Kalkara.
"I congratulate the taking initiatives to Cottonera Cottonera Foundation, serving as a cultural platform for artists in every field. Today, we are announcing the concert by KorMalta, but I know that there are other projects are underway including musical concerts and theatrical productions to put the Cottonera on the cultural map of our country. Therefore I urge Cottonera’s unions and organisations, to bring forward projects through which we can together continue to shape the Cottonera regeneration," said Dr Herrera in his closing statement.
Fauré’s Requiem will be held on the 22nd of March, 7 pm at St Lawrence Collegiate Church, Birgu. Performing will be KorMalta as Malta’s National Choir, Albert Buttigieg on bass, organist Andrea Gottardello and KorMalta’s very own conductor Riccardo Bianchi. Entrance is free of charge.
KorMalta gave its debut concert in December 2018 and has since gone from strength to strength. It’s most recent performances to note include participation in The Three Palaces Festival and the Valletta Baroque Festival with Biber’s Requiem, a collaboration with the Valletta Baroque Ensemble; singing in Vienna on invitation of the President of Malta’s office for the unveiling of the Maltese crib last Christmas and recording the Innu Malti for the President’s Christmas message. The choir is presently preparing for its last performances of the Teatru Manoel Opera, Rossini’s Otello.