A couple of news items today:
– MALTA TODAY 11 February 2014
THE TIMES OF MALTA
Update 2 – Legendary guitarist Brian May for Malta concert – Anniversaries celebration highlights announced 10 February 2014
Legendary Queen guitarist Brian May will be performing in Malta on April 5, it was announced today as the government unveiled a series of events to mark important anniversaries this year. May, author of some of Queen’s finest songs, will be performing with Kerry Ellis. The concert is expected to be staged in St George’s Square.
63 activities are being held to mark the 35th anniversary of Freedom Day, the 10th anniversary of EU membership, the 50th anniversary of Independence and the 40th anniversary of Republic Day. They include a series of art exhibitions by Maltese artists, three major multimedia shows in Grand Harbour, Floriana and Valletta, the creation of four interactive installations marking each anniversary, a concert of classical music, a show by DJ Garath Emery (Ministry of Sound), a concert of ballet and other dance, a concert featuring Maltese bands, a production of the rock opera Gensna and a musical interpretation of the historic Kantilena. There will be an event grouping all those born in those historic days.
A children’s book on the events will be published and distributed in s chools. There will also be activities for migrants.
Heritage Malta will put up an exhibition with 100 items outlining Malta’s history. Commemorative stamps will be issued.
The programme was announced by Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, who underlined the importance of unity. He said it was an accident of history that four important anniversaries would converge on a single year, and Malta would use this occasion to move forward while recognising mistakes of the past, such as the fact that Independence was not celebrated by the government, and March 31 was given second status. The people’s identity lay in the future, not the past, he said.
May is the author of classic Queen songs like We Will Rock You and Save Me apart from well-known solo songs like Too Much Love Will Kill You. Despite Freddie Mercury’s demise in 1991, May has carried on touring with drummer Roger Taylor and performed in high-profile events. The, singer, songwriter and astrophysicist has released an album of acoustic songs with British singer Kerry Ellis. They are both involved in charity work with the Born Free Foundation.
In 2012, May was ranked the second greatest guitarist of all time by a Guitar World magazine readers poll.
Brian May among guests in series of events to celebrate historic events
10 February 2014 by Duncan Barry
Putting aside our differences and singing the same tune is the aim of the activities to be held this year during four anniversaries: the 50th anniversary of Independence, the 40th anniversary of the Republic, the 35th anniversary of Freedom Day and 10 years of EU accession, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said today during the government’s unveiling of 63 activities tied to these anniversaries.
The activities will include a performance by legend guitarist Brian May and another by a Ministry of Sound top deejay, Garath Emery. May is the author of classic Queen songs like We Will Rock You.
Today’s event, which was held at Auberge de Castille, was used as an opportunity for Dr Muscat to congratulate the Malta Eurovision Song Contest winners, Firelight. Firelight won with their song ‘Coming Home’. They will be representing Malta in the Eurovision song contest to be held in Denmark in May.
The activities planned for the anniversaries are being coordinated by the foundation for national celebrations whose members were appointed by the government soon after the general election, and which include former television host Lou Bondi and radio personality Gianni Zammit.
Other activities and initiatives include exhibitions, an interactive activity organised by Meusac for children turning 10 this year, the publication of a children’s book on the four historical events, which eventually will be included in the curriculum, four multimedia shows at Grand Harbour, Floriana and Valletta, among other events. Worthy of note are the events tied to the Malta Arts Festival, which will also be integrated with some of the 63 activities planned. The theme of these events is ‘Int, jiena, ahna Maltin’ (You, me, we are Maltese).
Dr Muscat urged all Maltese citizens to unite to mark these special occasions He said that St Paul had stayed on our islands for three months and had changed the landscape of the islands, performing a number of miracles. He was speaking in the context that it is high time us Maltese change the current landscape in terms of celebrating national events, and to celebrate them as one nation.
The feast of St Paul’s Shipwreck is being celebrated today.
Soon after the March general election, Dr Muscat had been quoted as saying that the number of national days should be reduced from five to two. He had said so during a Labour Party activity held in Birgu to commemorate the 34th anniversary of Freedom Day. He had said that the time was ripe for this to happen and could not understand how 25 years had gone by before the government and the Opposition celebrated a national day together but had stopped short of mentioning which of the public holidays would become national holidays. The rest of course would remain public holidays. He had expressed his wish for Labourites to love Independence Day as much as they loved Freedom Day, and for Nationalists to love Freedom Day as much as they did Independence Day.
Asked by this newspaper, following today’s event, if he was of the same thinking 10 months down the line after raising the issue in March, Dr Muscat replied: “It is now part of Malta’s convention and one needs to discuss”. Exchanging a few words with Firelight’s band members, Dr Muscat joked that the only one who will not be supporting the band during the Eurovision contest is the finance minister.
During today’s unveiling, a number of familiar faces in the music scene were present and gave a short interpretation of what these activities meant. A band member also said that we should put aside our differences and sing the same tune, words which were echoed by the prime minister during his address.
Today’s event was presented by former Net TV programme presenter Andrea Cassar.