Teatru Manoel has introduced a new season with a launch event celebrating the completion of works on the façade and throughout the historic building.

Members of the press attended an event to view the new façade, before taking a tour of interior works alongside Teatru Manoel CEO Massimo Zammit and Minister for the National Heritage, the Arts and Local Government, José Herrera.

While the façade has been restored to its former glory, the building’s characteristic Baroque-era style was likewise honoured throughout extensive interior refurbishments.

Within the theatre itself, a restored stage floor and new curtains will welcome audiences for the first performance of the new season. A blown Murano glass chandelier and sconces in the Rezzonico style complete the scene.

Set to continue over the coming months will be a range of ongoing works designed to improve accessibility. As well as refurbishment of the Priory of Navarre building, there will be a larger booking office, an exhibition area displaying costumes and artefacts related to the history of the theatre, a cafeteria, a dedicated VIP area and an extension of the Maria Ghirlando Hall. Meanwhile, the installation of a lift will provide wider access to the building and theatre, as will new toilet facilities at the Basement level.

“The structural and restoration works at Teatru Manoel are an important venture to preserve and sustain Malta’s national theatre not just for artists today, but also for the future artistic and cultural community,” explains Minister Herrera. “We hope that the revitalised theatre space and building will further support and inspire local artists as they plan, grow and develop new work.”

The primary refurbishments are also complete in time for the 2021-2022 theatre season at Teatru Manoel. This will kick-start with the opening performance of O – tribute to Oliver Friggieri on Friday 29 October, a newly devised drama and dance piece that pays tribute to legendary Maltese poet, novelist, literary critic and philosopher Oliver Friggieri.

The packed programme for the new season also features the Valletta Baroque Festival and ŻiguŻajg International Arts Festival for Children & Young People, as well as a Chopin recital by renowned pianist Dmitry Ishkanov, concerts by the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra and A Celebration of Opera featuring the island’s leading opera singers. Roald Dahl’s The Twits will be brought to life through a collaboration between Teatru Manoel and Masquerade Malta, while Moveo Dance Company brings Frida / Four Seasons to the national stage. Meanwhile, Ir-Raġel li ħawwad lil Martu ma’ Kappell will offer a Maltese translation of The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat by Oliver Sacks. An Easter concert by Big Band Brothers is sure to delight audiences, as will an exciting new production of Shakespeare’s tragic play Othello, directed by Ian Moore. The unmissable season will conclude with Teatru Manoel’s first in-house musical theatre production of Sweeney Todd, with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim.

“We are delighted to introduce an exciting new season at Teatru Manoel by celebrating the architectural restoration of Malta’s beloved national theatre,” says Mr Zammit. “This vibrant new season represents a new lease of life not just for Teatru Manoel, but for the local theatre community and audiences. The programme features high quality productions and concerts that showcase the extraordinary range and talent of both local and international artists.”

For more information and to book tickets, visit www.teatrumanoel.com.mt, call on +356 2124 6389 or email on bookings.mt@teatrumanoel.mt.