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The MaltaToday Feature

Published in the MaltaToday, Friday 19th September, 2014.


Notte Bianca returns for its ninth edition

The annual one-night celebration of arts and culture will return to the Valletta streets on October 4.

Church bells will ring; communities will prepare food in the streets; a giant science and art installation will be set up… Notte Bianca is back for its ninth edition – and with around 100 artists, a team of around 5,000 people involved and an audience of almost 70,000, the celebration remains the capital’s largest cultural event.

Information on the event was given at a press conference held at Aziamendi100, where Culture Minister Owen Bonnici, Arts Council Malta chair Albert Marshall, Valletta 2018 Foundation chair Jason Micallef, Valletta mayor Alexiei Dingli and Notte Bianca artistic director Sean Buhagiar addressed the press.

To be held on Saturday 4 October, this year’s event brings a mix of old and new, with some firm favourites and innovative new projects.

One of these is Bellophone, a project by Mario Sammut – of Cygna fame – which will allow members of the public to ring the Valletta church bells at the push of a button.

O Żmien Ħelu, a concert inspired by the local old days, will feature the old greats of Maltese music such as Enzo Gusman, Freddie Portelli, Mary Spiteri, Mary Rose Mallia, Mike Spiteri, Tony Camilleri and others, to music arranged by Mro Dominic Galea. This will be broadcast live on PBS.

Amaze², a massive installation in the shape of a giant cube housing a maze, plans to portray the various elements of science in a fun and eclectic way.

The sheer breadth of Notte Bianca means that it can accommodate an installation of this type while also hosting Ġennata Rjali, an installation with crafts from feasts, a couple of streets down.

Modern and traditional come together again in Tberfil Tattoo, where it will be possible to get a live tattoo in the style of traditional Maltese tberfil.

And because Notte Bianca is ultimately a celebration for the people, a number of projects also feed into the community.

One of these is L-Gћana l-Kbira, a community project where a group of gћannejja was commissioned to collaborate with Evan Plumpton to teach 50 guitar students the art of gћana. This culminates in a big concert with four gћannejja singing surrounded by over 50 guitar students.

Meanwhile, audiences will be happy to see the return of some of last year’s favourites: PintaTeatru will be back with a twist – its stories will be inspired by the Qatt Ma Ninsa project at the Maritime Museum. Żiffażfin is also back – as is the Great Flea Market, the music bands and several others.

From cultural events to performing arts to visual arts and new media, from live music to literature, food and fairs, the sheer span of Notte Bianca promises to show a different side to the capital.

Like last year, the programme is broadly split into two: the main programme, which includes festival commissions and projects – and Atmosfera, a programme of ancillary events inspired by the energy running through the capital on the night. Churches, museums and other spaces will be open to visitors.

Notte Bianca also offers a platform for collaboration with the Valletta 2018 Foundation. V18 chair Jason Micallef said: “The Valletta 2018 Foundation is coordinating a number of community projects while promoting an innovative and experimental approach to culture.

“Among these are l-Ikla t-Tajba and Band on the Run – two projects which will be showcased during Notte Bianca and which are a perfect example of Valletta 2018’s efforts to empower and enable communities. These will allow their talents to grow along the road to 2018. Amaze2 – the space where the relationship between art and science can be discovered, in Pjazza San Ġorġ, will serve as a link between Science in the City and Notte Bianca.”

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About Notte Bianca

Notte Bianca is Malta’s biggest annual arts and culture festival. For one special night every October, Notte Bianca lights up the Valletta cityscape with a spectacular celebration that is open to the public free of charge.

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