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PARMA Recordings Presents

Malta Philharmonic Orchestra Presents: Grand Finale

August 11, 2021 3:00 PM EDT
Grand Finale Event Image

The Malta Philharmonic Orchestra marks the end of the 2020-2021 concert season with a spectacular audio-visual production featuring award-winning and world-acclaimed soprano Diana Damrau in a concert under the baton of José Cura.

With audio produced by PARMA Recordings at Valletta’s iconic Fort St. Elmo, the online production features a number of vocal and symphonic numbers from operas and musical theatre, with Italian, French and Russian repertoire amongst others. The star-studded line-up also includes Nicolas Testé and young Maltese artists Marvic Monreal and Charles Buttigieg, all captured by elaborate and cinematic videography.

Presented in collaboration with the Malta Tourism Authority.


  • George Gershwin
    Bess, you is my Woman Now
  • Vincenzo Bellini
    Casta Diva from Norma
  • Jacques Offenbach
    Belle nuit, ô nuit d’amour from Les Contes d’Hoffmann
  • Giuseppe Verdi
    Mercè, dilette amiche from I Vespri Siciliani
  • Pietro Mascagni
    Intermezzo from Cavalleria Rusticana
  • Gioachino Rossini
    Largo al Factotum from Il Barbiere di Siviglia
  • Georges Bizet
    Seguidille from Carmen
  • Frederick Loewe
    I Could have Danced all Night from My Fair Lady



José Cura Conductor
Diana Damrau Soprano
Nicolas Testé Bass
Marvic Monreal Mezzo-Soprano
Charles Buttigieg Baritone

Malta Philharmonic Orchestra

For half a century, the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra has been Malta’s leading musical ensemble. The orchestra was founded in April 1968, when musicians from the defunct “Commander-in-Chief” (C-in-C) orchestra of the Malta-based British Mediterranean Fleet regrouped as the Manoel Theatre Orchestra. It continued to serve as the theater’s resident orchestra until September 1997, when it became an independent orchestra, taking up the name National Orchestra of Malta. The orchestra became the MPO in 2008 when it expanded into a full-size symphony orchestra, bringing together the best of Maltese talent and musicians from Europe and beyond.

Joseph Sammut, the C-in-C’s last conductor, was the orchestra’s first conductor, remaining at the helm until 1992. Since then, the orchestra has also been under the direction of Joseph Vella, John Galea, Michael Laus, and Brian Schembri.

In 2019, the MPO has appointed Sergey Smbatyan as Principal Conductor and Michael Laus as Resident Conductor. The MPO also works with local and international guest conductors and soloists including Lawrence Renes, Michalis Economou, Guy Braunstein, Alexei Volodin, Camilla Tilling, Joseph Calleja, and Enrico Dindo. As Malta’s only professional orchestra, the MPO averages more than one performance a week including symphonic concerts, opera productions in Malta and Gozo, community outreach and educational initiatives, as well as various concerts of a lighter nature.

The orchestra has performed in leading venues across the globe, including in the United States, Russia, Germany, Austria, China, Italy, and Belgium, and presently embarks on at least one international tour each concert season. The MPO is a keen exponent of Maltese composers, regularly performing their works in Malta and overseas, as well as frequently premiering and commissioning new compositions.

Through the MPO Academy and the Malta Youth Orchestra, which regularly give concerts across Malta, the MPO is also responsible for the training and professional development of the next generation of Maltese musicians.


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