Max Gazze’ and Gigi D'Alessio are known as two of the most identifiable performers in Italy and one of the things which they seem to share is the love of performing with others and one of the individuals that they have shared the stage with is none other than the Maltese pop/rock chic, Ira Losco whose catapult to fame was gradual through public perception. Following the release of her last studio album in 2008 known as Fortune Teller which included a string of hits including Idle Motion, Don't Look Down, Shoulders of Giants and What's The Matter With You? amongst others, it seems that Ira wanted to take some time off and indeed she did but late in 2011, she made her intentions to return quite clear and in the summer of 2012, she made this happen with the release of a brand new single entitled What I'd Give which has seen her triumph at the Bay Music Awards and the ONE Tribute Awards. The performances from her are becoming a joy to watch again and she is definitely back in the spotlight once more.
Source: escflashmalta.com, Emil Calleja Bayliss (Image)
It is that time of the year when festive celebrations clearly need no reason to be celebrated noting that the spirit of the season is invested in the hearts of many, ultimately leading to a successful and positive life, keeping several sane throughout the year of the year. For one night in particular, people can enter the world of fantasy and uncover, what has become unbelievably popular, the traditional Christmas Pantomime which is organised by several theatrical companies in a number of venues and concert halls. The showcase has become a sight for many noting that energetic routines, stunning vocals and once more, quite important, eye candy. There is popular belief amongst many that certain things wouldn't be missed until they are eventually gone and this is proven right considering that the Masquerade Company hasn't put up a pantomime in two years and thus expectations are high as they prepare their adaptation of Snow White which has been coined as The Curse of Snow White.
The Masquerade Theatre Company has become quite popular throughout the years for the vast amount of talent they seem to possess but nevertheless, considering that the pantomime is all about the dame, it is quite the element to see someone new take on the role noting that this time round, it will be none other than popular radio host; Colin Fitz who has agreed to be in the position. We have been in touch with one of the senior members of The Masquerade Theatre Company to speak about this years' pantomime in the form of Veronica Bezzina, whom alongside her husband, Anthony Bezzina have created this marvelous institution on behalf of the arts. The idea behind the pantomime has always been popular with the local crowds so we asked her, what the pantomime in itself aims to represent and she states that it is 'a launch pad for up and coming youngsters to showcase their talents' whilst the show itself 'represents joy, excitement,surprise and a celebration of the talent Malta has to offer. It is a time for families to get together and really enjoy the magic on stage. Pantomime is often the first production a child will see at the theatre and really does get them interested in the performing arts thus creating the next generation of young actors.'
The pantomime has become increasingly popular that many people seem to worry that storylines might die out so our query somewhat surrounded the element of being original and coming up with different storylines each year. Veronica stated that the 'sequence to doing pantos' is relatively unwritten and with 'more than one company' now present, it is vital to choose 'a traditional panto' and 'twist the plot', possible evening turning 'a musical into a panto' with the format, always being somewhat similar. A pantomime is important in content and that is where, the issue of song selection comes in with many people bobbing their head along with the tracks, some even grasping the tune and thus hum or sing along. The choice of songs is not coincidental with 'modern songs which kids and teens can identify with' remarkable being the easiest elements behind the selection but then it is pivotal that they are worked 'in a classical' manner for the 'older audience'. In fact, Veronica went onto add that the choice of the songs is done 'with great care so that they convey to the audience the plot whilst keeping them entertained' adding that 'the use of current musical numbers' is important for the simple reason that there is a feel good factor.
Veronica Bezzina spoke to escflashmalta.com with courage, and heart noting that her love of the arts shined through most of the conversation we seemed to have and she 'expects people to come to the beautiful Manoel Theatre and have fun'. She adds that everyone has 'worked very hard' and that their team is strong with a number of upcoming performers. 'Masquerade has always put up great pantos, and we are happy to be back at the Manoel'. Speaking about this years' selection she goes onto add that 'The Curse of Snow White is sure to enthrall audiences. The story has taken on a new and very exciting twist that will be completely unexpected'. We can vouch for her on that matter noting that several members of our editorial board have seen their productions in the past and can safely agree that another great run of performances is expected from Boxing Day onwards. Amongst this years' cast there is none other than former Malta Eurovision Song Contest Finalist; Rachel Fabri as well as escflashmalta.com guest contributor; Joseph Zammit as well as Katherin Brown, Colin Fitz, Louis Cassar, Steffi Thake, Milly Uylenbrock, Rebecca Camilleri, Andre Agius, and Bolton White. Purchase your tickets online and stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for more news.
Source: The Masquerade Theatre Company
The European Broadcasting Union has been pretty adamant about putting off rumours of a mass withdrawal from the upcoming edition of the Eurovision Song Contest and therefore succumbed to releasing the list of participating nations quite early due to the international media coverage which might have had a negative impact on the competition especially noting that Malmö is making several adjustments in order to accommodate a different type of show than what many have seen in recent years. The financial situation around the continent has not been a help and three of the four withdrawals; Bosnia & Herzegovina, Portugal and Slovakia have singled out this decision as the factor behind their pulling out with Turkey on the other hand believing that the recent amendments of the regulations at the event have somewhat put them in a disadvantaged position hence their disappointing results.
The Executive Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest at the European Broadcasting Union, Jon Ola Sand is quite upbeat about the number of participating countries believing that despite the economic situation, public broadcasters are very much committed to the traditional element that the contest has created over time. In fact, since the semi-final system was introduced back in 2004, there have always been between 36 and 43 participating nations and the 39 that will take part in 2013 are similar to the amount that took part in 2010 when the competition was also held in a Scandinavian nation with Oslo, the capital city of Norway playing the role of host. Losing three countries to economic reasons was quite disappointing but nevertheless, Sand is quite 'surprised' by the decision of Turkey noting that they 'never formally objected' the rules as regulations which were brought in back in 2009, a year in which Turkey finished in fourth place.
- Albania (RTSH)
- Austria (ORF)
- Armenia (AMPTV)
- Belarus (Ictimai TV)
- Belarus (BTRC)
- Belgium (RTBF)
- Bulgaria (BNT)
- Croatia (HRT)
- Cyprus (CyBC)
- Denmark (DR)
- Estonia (ERR)
- Finland (YLE)
- France (France 3)
- Georgia (GPB)
- Germany (NDR)
- Greece (ERT)
- Hungary (MTV)
- Iceland (RÚV)
- Ireland (RTÉ)
- Israel (IBA)
- Italy (RAI)
- Latvia (LTV)
- Lithuania (LRT)
- FYR Macedonia (MKRTV)
- Malta (PBS)
- Moldova (TRM)
- Montenegro (RTCG)
- The Netherlands (TROS)
- Norway (NRK)
- Romania (TVR)
- Russia (C1R)
- San Marino (SMTV)
- Serbia (RTS)
- Slovenia (RTV SLO)
- Spain (TVE)
- Sweden (SVT)
- Switzerland (SRG SSR)
- Ukraine (NTU)
- United Kingdom (BBC)
As you can see, the leading European broadcasters including the Big Five featuring; the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Spain and Italy return for yet another competition noting that their results are improving especially with regards to three in particular. Some countries have already revealed their entries noting that national finals have already taken place in Belarus, Switzerland, Belgium and Lithuania whilst artists have been chosen for The Netherlands, Spain and Montenegro. Despite less countries than last year, the song quality thus far looks to be quite intriguing and this could be a strong edition for the Eurovision Song Contest with Sweden surely organising it to the best ability and letting it known that whoever did not want to participate would have missed out on a great opportunity. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news as soon as it becomes available.
December is a time for peace, love and prosperity apart from the surge in economy due to the fact that it has been coined as a season for gift buying whilst tunes in accordance to Christmas are blaring within every department store. Nevertheless, at the end of the evening marks a time of relaxation, pleasure and a hot cut of tea preferably lying down on a bed or a sofa and wrapped up in a blanket. Television offers the warmth that one would enjoy pleasantly and on a Wednesday evening, Television Malta has the perfect programme; D.R.E.A.M.S, the weekly musical drama series which has captured the hearts of the younger demographic because it represents elements of real life, somewhat at a point where one doesn't realise that this is actually happening on television.
Another week has passed and it has been quite an intriguing week noting that the focus continues on the semi-finalists of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest but nevertheless, the issue at hand, this evenings' episode of D.R.E.A.M.S will be focusing a lot on the storyline of Patsy May (Analise Mifsud) in order for the viewers to realise what happened in the past couple of months within her respective life due to the breakup with Maria Sultana (Marie-Clare Sammut) who was still not confident enough of her sexuality to pursue anything too serious and in the eyes of her schoolmates. Nevertheless, Tiffany (Kristen Camilleri) is facing some issues of her own at home noting that she catches her father, Richard (Michael Mock) going out in a sneaky manner and thus wonders whether he has a plan. On the other hand, the focus of the story will be alternating this evening considering that Jasmine (Rachael Tedesco Triccas) will have more problems to deal with but not with her illness, something else which is as detrimental in her persona life. The brand new President of the School Council, Alex (Luke Brincat) takes on his role and prepares a surprise for Jade (Rachel Genovese) but will it be a negative or a positive one? More issues regarding the students with Chloe (Michela Dalli) and Lara (Petra Bugeja) insisting that they visit Amber (Celine Cuschieri) at home but will this be a good idea in the end? There will be several issues to be dealt with during this episode so make sure to watch as of 20:40 CET on Television Malta. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com in the meantime as we continue to promote the series as it unravels.
Source: Rewind Productions, Evelyn Saliba La Rosa, Michael Vella Haber
Hiatus has been coined to be a difficult word especially when an artist calls for some time off with the idea to focus on other areas of life but then again, a comeback would definitely be seen within a bigger picture and this is something that Ira Losco has been planning for the past couple of months with the release of her recent single What I'd Give reminding her fans and the industry that she is still the leading solo female artist in the country and will work even harder to make sure that she does indeed stay within the spotlight. The festive season is upon us and just hours before the actual Christmas day, Ira Losco along with her band comprising of Alex Mallia, Ivan Borg, Peter Borg and Steve Muscat will be giving a performance at the Open Air Theatre in Valletta, the capital city of Malta. In fact, the session has been scheduled for the 23rd December between 19:30 and 21:00 CET respectively.
Source: Jagged House, Ira Losco, Emil Calleja Bayliss (photo)
89.7 Bay have been known to create a number of successful artists throughout the years through airplay and opportunity to perform at some of their most esteemed events and one endorsement which they have given in recent times is that of Lyndsay who has been gradually building her solo career from scratch with a variety of sounds which all point to that one individual. It has been well noted that she has performed in ample television shows as well including Pjazza, Saturday Night and most recently, Ħadd Għalik on the national broadcaster; Television Malta. System Overload, Zip It Up, Love Sick and Going Under are four tracks which bear a touch of elegance, some sultry vocals and a lot of energy, ultimately showcasing the talent that Lyndsay bears which seems to have been noticed by producers of Britain's Got Talent, led by Simon Cowell who has successfully created the careers of Susan Boyle, One Direction, Leona Lewis, JLS, Olly Murs and Rebecca Ferguson amongst others who came out of such shows as well as his sister show known as the X Factor.
Just a couple of days back, Lyndsay performed at the Bay Music Awards with Dimal noting that she features on his latest single Let's Make It Happen earning him a nomination for Best Newcomer in the field missing out on the opportunity with the award going to Cryptic Street who released their debut video Indecisive on escflashmalta.com earlier this year. The local performer is not the only one who got the opportunity to audition for Britain's Got Talent noting that Malta Eurovision Song Contest 2011 and 2013 semi-finalist; Domenique has also managed to get the call as noted through the television programme; Sibtek and an earlier press release sent to all major media outlets. In the meantime, Lyndsay is looking to close the year on a high by virtue of a live acoustic gig at the Plaza before the year comes to an end with many fantastic things coming forth in the next couple of months including a music video for a brand new single which will be showing Lyndsay in a completely different light as she plans to strip down to the basics, though enough said about that and let the mystery unravel later. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for more news in the coming days about local artists.
In February 2008 singer Glen Vella who represented Malta in Dusseldorf, Germany in 2011 with the song ‘One Life’ spoke about his dream of forming a Gospel choir to fellow singers and companions Pamela and Leontine. Instantaneously Animae Gospel Choir was a dream come true. By mid-March 2008, well-known Maltese entertainers formed the singing group as it is known today. With a lot of liveliness and never-ending rehearsals, the members of the choir have managed to put their voices and souls together to create an exceptional Gospel sounds. Animae Gospel Choir is now becoming a household name and they performed shows over-seas with immense success.
The mishmash of well-known Gospel songs together with other innovative tunes is what makes Animae Gospel Choir one of the premium musical groups in tiny Malta. The lovely harmonies produced leave a flawless impression, and together with their well-practiced moves performed throughout the songs, they persuade the audience to join in, clap and sing. Now, for the first time ever, the notorious singers and musicians forming Animae Gospel Choir are going to perform renowned Christmas Carols and sparkling Gospel Classics, during this unique season! The Christmas Shows will be on the 22nd December at St. Theresa Sanctuary, Birkirkara at 8.30pm and on the 23rd December at Good Shepherd Chapel (Taċ-Ċawla), Victoria, Gozo at 7.30pm
The Animae Gospel Choir includes a stunning list of performers including artists who have been in the Malta Eurovision Song Contest on countless occasions such as Pamela, Leontine, Janice Mangion and Nadine Axisa whilst Debbie Scerri also represented the country in the 1997 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest with her charming entry Let Me Fly which ranked in the top ten. The performance lasts for about an hour and a half. All takings will go to the children of St. Joseph's home in St. Venera. More details on www.entertainment.com.mt! To reserve please log on to www.biljetti.com or call 21 80 80 80. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for more news about local events which comprise of some of the best that the local music scene has to offer.
Source: Press Release
The starting point has always been difficult but once the feet are put in the right shoes, they walk in the right path towards success. Carrie Haber has been representing the nation in the United Kingdom in recent years noting that her success started back in 2009 when her debut extended play entitled It's Complex including hit single Me Oh My attracted the attention of several local and foreign critics who instantly compared her to the likes of Björk, Tori Amos and Regina Spektor whose music genre has been redefined on several occasions but includes expressive piano tracks. Her initial material earned her accolades at the 2009 edition of the Malta Music Awards, earning the Best Songwriter and Best Female Artist award during the ceremony. Living in the United Kingdom, Carrie performs on the circuit consistently and is a true independent artist, striving for success. Her most recent release earlier this week is I'd Rather Die.
With the support of the Malta Arts Fund, Carrie Haber has released her latest video and she does not seem to have strayed throughout her musical journey because the release of her new extended play Taurus invigorates the same genre that many have come to expect from her. Carrie has been busy in the studio as of late working with the renowned Steve Orchard, a producer and songwriter who has worked with the likes of Roger Waters, Natasha Bedingfield, Mariah Carey and Madonna. In fact, whilst recording at the A&M studio, the same Leonard had told Carrie that she scares him for being such a perfectionist, recording her notable track Naked in just one take. The official video for the brand new single off her latest extended play was actually launched last night at The Bedford in London, a major bar which has seen several artists perform including Paolo Nutini, KT Tunstall and James Morrison amongst others. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for more news about local artists who are succeeding in foreign waters.
Source: Official Facebook Page
One has to believe that once a year, magic does indeed impact the lives of many and that is why, creativity becomes the key to a successful life because otherwise boredom would take over and that is surely one element which should never be controlling to the individual. The arts in Malta have become predominantly popular and during the festive season, several venues and concert halls gear up to host a satire of comedy with enriching casts; full of exuberant dancers, terrifyingly good voices and of course, some of that annual eye candy. For the past thirty five years, one company which has not been amiss in hosting the pantomime is MADC and this year will be no different with what is expected to be yet another glorious spectacle featuring the storyline of The Wizard of Oz with slight variations as expected.
Alan Montanaro who is featured in the middle within the picture above has become a popular figure in the local entertainment industry puts his acting skills to show whilst flourishing in extravagant silly costumes, a vocal which truly fits the role and a choreography which truly inspires you to dance along. Speaking about the song selection, he believes that the outcome does depend greatly on the mix of tracks which are used saying 'we always try to get a mix of songs to ensure that there is something for everyone. I nearly always include a remix or two because that way I know I’m going to hit at least 2 generations'. The pantomime is annually watched by hundreds of people so it is of pivotal importance to keep it current whilst not losing the tradition that has indeed made it popular. Marco Calleja, the director adds that this year, they are building more into the element of 'magic .. lots and lots of magic. Oz is all about magic and so is panto thus one only expects a double dose of it'. Fiona Captur did add to what Marco said in fact, with people surely set to be amazed considering the 'handful of unusual surprises' that have been prepared.
MADC as a company has been strong but originality is the key to their success this year noting that The Wizard of Oz is a story which could be told in a variety of ways. Alan Meadows, who just happens to be the Chairman of MADC spoke with an aura of confidence in saying that the panto had indeed 'evolved into a 'total-theatre, full blown show for the family with a Fairytale or children story line for the with the usual battle between good and evil where the good always triumphs This is intermixed with satire and more adult joke for the adults. There is much audience participation for young and old. As a show it has all the ingredients, song, dance, jokes, glitzy and outrageous costumes and wigs' and beautiful sets. There is comedy, farce, pathos and a little burlesque all thrown in together. It has been described as a more sophisticated form of Tejatrin'. The setting is also an important part of the showcase and Meadows did concur that the Malta Fairs and Conventions centre allows for much more creativity and imagination, the possibility to suspend reality.
The whole cast is indeed going that extra mile to succeed with resoundingly flying colours in fact with the choice of The Wizard of Oz being extremely unpredictable to say the least. Alan Montanaro who is the Script Writer as well as the dame said that this time round, the inspiration came from sitting within a restaurant where Mr Sandman by The Andrews Sisters was playing in the background. Later on in the evening, Alan was singing 'Mr Tin Man and therefore, as 'they say, the rest is history'. Fantasy and make believe are two elements behind the writing of the script as well as what the people expect. Whilst Alan will head the cast as the dame, other individuals that the people should look out for are the Dorothy's being played by Bettina Paris and Philippa Cassar, the Wicked Witch of the West being played by Izzy Warrington, the trio made up of the Scarecrow, Tin Man and the Lion being played by Alex Lewis, Ralph Mangion and Andy Catania respectively and several others. Tickets may be bought on the official MADC website and prices range from 10 to 25 Euro respectively. As they say in panto, be nice to each other!
In the past couple of years, charity has been one of the most pivotal aspects that create a successful nation which despite being limited in resources is somewhat not lacking in generosity with record funds being targeted and somewhat achieved every year. The most popular charity event has surely been L-Istrina from which the funds are divided to various organisations with several beneficiaries. One of the methods on how to aid in the collection of the funds is the recording of a theme song which returns for another year in order to keep with the recently started tradition. This time round, a group of five singers have come together to record a song entitled Stay with the songwriting credits belonging to Steve Compagno and production being done by DJ Toby.
The five performers certainly do not need any introduction with the first being; Marilyn Mifsud, the lead vocalist of an upcoming band by the name of Cruz who have already been featured on escflashmalta.com in the past most recently with the release of their brand new single Good On You, the second artist is also a somewhat newcomer and is the songwriter of this track; Steve Compagno who has been working on a number of charity singles, moving onto the third artist; a runner-up in the Malta Eurovision Song Contest back in 2011 with the song Finally comes Richard Edwards and swiftly from the same edition of the competition is the fifth placed Raquela. Both artists are awaiting their faith for the upcoming edition of the showcase with the results set to be revealed during Xarabank tomorrow evening. One last name to have been added to the fray is that of Kurt Calleja who represented Malta in the Eurovision Song Contest earlier this year with This Is The Night qualifying to the final for the very first time in three years. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news and the actual release of the song as soon as it becomes available.
Source: L-Istrina 2012