escflashmalta.com is currently focusing on the upcoming edition of the Eurovision Song Contest whilst keeping dibs on the latest news from the local music scene and one of the features which we promote highly is that of the television series, D.R.E.A.M.S whose script is written by Evelyn Saliba La Rosa and Michael Vella Haber with original songs composed by Maestro Ray Agius. The element of creating original music in Maltese was met extremely well by music critics and this gives the public the opportunity to venture out of the typical drama. Maestro Ray Agius is an established composer noting that he has achieved success locally and internationally with two of his songs in particular, representing Malta at the Eurovision Song Contest, where they achieved top ten results. These were of course; Keep Me In Mind by Mike Spiteri in 1995 and Let Me Fly by Debbie Scerri in 1997 and both achieved top ten results for Malta. The series which airs on Television Malta, the main organ of transmittion for the Public Broadcasting Services will return for a twenty-second episode this evening.
A plot is known to have a series of twists and they are definitely not lacking at the moment in the case of Karen (Lara Dimech) who recently learned from her mother, Helen (Roberta Briffa) that her father is not the figure she has known for all the past couple of years but Paul (Kevin De Leonardo). This will surely come as a shock to many for the simple reason that his name is not new, and indeed so because he also happens to be the father of Diane (Michela Galea). Karen who is being accompanied by her brother, Jeremy (Mikhail Attard) is dumbfounded at how the cards have played out in what was meant to be the final house of the night. The second story which is receiving a lot of coverage at the moment is the one featuring Frances (Sabina Attard) whose sole is to convince her husband, Samwel (Joseph Fenech) that she is innocent of the fraud charges that landed her in prison in the first place. Pamela (Lara Cuschieri) had played her cards right in a bid to get the former job that Frances had as a high level executive and the man whom she truly loved. Nevertheless, Amber (Celine Cuschieri) was having none of this and she was foiling Pamela's plans in a series of lies.
Samwel is visited by someone at the door, that someone most likely being Hilda (Evelyn Saliba La Rosa) but this will be revealed this evening. In the meantime, Antoinette (Annalise Psaila) is still seemingly being given the cold shoulder by Brandon (Jean Pierre Cassar) over numerous faults created specifically by Tiffany (Kristen Camilleri). Jade (Rachel Genovese), Jasmine (Rachael Tedesco Triccas) and Katia (Jade Cini) will be trying their best to show the evidence they have acquired against Tiffany but will he believe them or will he rather believe his mind. His reaction might be expected but what will it unfold. Antoinette on the other hand is told of the issues at hand and decides to confront Tiffany this evening but the latter might be playing her cards right, so much so that deception might the key to success in this storyline. The social stratosphere has taken an intriguing turn of late but nevertheless, when turning back to the limitation of a classroom with Carlo Francalanza (Joe Tanti), it seems that everyone is seemingly spaced out but what is the reason behind this? Another scintillating episode of D.R.E.A.M.S awaits on Television Malta right after the evening news bulletin at around 20:45 CET. Remember that every part of the episode bears a lot of importance and thus it is vital that one sees it through.
Source: Rewind Productions
When George Cremona, my secondary Maltese teacher and nowadays, a great friend of mine, told me about this innovative idea … I was already thinking about writing this article about this great event which I’m sure, will delight both the young audience, but also, the older generation. Cremona, casually encountered Trevor Zahra’s book “Il-Ktieb tal-Fenek l-Ahmar” (The Red Rabbit’s Book), which was written in 1986. Trevor Zahra is one of the most popular Maltese writers, who adapts his stories to the young generation, but also writes books and novels for the older ones. The book’s main character, the Red Rabbit, became a very close friend of Cremona, and thus, they built such a strong bond, that they started to work on this project together, back in November 2011.
Thus, Cremona manages to merge two main roles of his everyday life. First and foremost, that of a dedicated teacher and educator, always on the lookout for the latest and most innovative teaching methods to reach out to his students, and secondly, his other role, that of an experienced broadcaster, who in the past eleven years, produced and presented programmes as a tribute to Maltese songs. The synergy of these two different roles in continuous collaboration with well-known author Trevor Zahra led to the development of this thoroughly researched, carefully studied unique production for the Maltese islands. Consequently (and mainly, so that the rabbit himself, who might be reading this write-up will enjoy it because it makes him feel so famous) one can honestly say that the friendship between Zahra and Cremona, whose roots date back to many years ago, was further strengthened as a result of this chance encounter with the rabbit. Cremona was all the time being assisted by Marisa Aquilina and Tanya Caruana, with whom the rabbit.
The soiree will network theatrical, creative art, under the able direction of veteran actress, Josette Ciappara and Maltese hits thereby giving the audience a taste of musical history to be enjoyed by all and sundry. The main roles will be played by Renato Dimech (the rabbit) and his companions Thea Farrugia and Craig Roy Vella, two children who love the rabbit, but at the same time like to tease him and make his life ‘harder’, because let’s face it, the rabbit has some decidedly strange ideas about us humans!!! t collaborated even more fervently! What makes this soiree totally different to all the many other intelligently and enthusiastically produced musicals in Malta and Gozo, is the fact, that this time, the singer themselves will sing those hits which have endeared the ears and touched the hearts of generations of Maltese of all ages. Besides doing what they can do best, these singers will be the main guests of the rabbit, and we leave it to your imagination to think what is actually in store for all of them. Whilst all this will be happening on stage, the audience will not remain passively silent but will be playing an active role all through the evening. It will sing along, participate actively and above all… we are afraid we have to stop there, because the rabbit explicitly warned us not to reveal any more!
The participating singers include some of our most popular ones the likes of Augusto Cardinali, David Azzopardi, Debbie Scerri, Eleanor Cassar, Enzo Gusman, Fr. Karm Debattista, Freddie Portelli, Ira Losco, Janvil, Jade Vella, Mary Rose Mallia, Mike Spiteri, Nadine Axisa, Philip Vella, The Greenfields u Vince Fabri. They will surely guarantee a most enjoyable evening adorned with the greatest Maltese past and present hits. Apart from these, there will also be a group of able dancers under the direction of Jade Schembri and two children’s choirs, one belonging to Sant Iermu School in Valletta and the other being none other than the ‘Mirabitur’ choir under the masterly direction of Simone Attard. The latter won the gold medal at the International Choir Festival held in 2011.
This activity will mainly serve to better promote the wealth of good which “Dar tal-Providenza” is doing for Maltese society at large and will be presided by the Director of the same home, Fr. Martin Micallef. All participating artists voluntarily offered their time and different talents free of charge in aid of this home and its residents. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the death of the home’s founder, Mons. Mikiel Azzopardi (1910- 1987). For this reason, during this activity a special tribute will be devoted to this noble and generous personality, whose dedicated and untiring work has resulted in such a wealth of good for Maltese society at large, especially in aid of the handicapped. This tribute will be in the form of an original song entitled ‘Wisq iktar mill-kliem’(more than words can say), lyrics by George Cremona, music by Philip Vella.
A second aim of the activity is to create a better awareness in the general public of traditional texts written in Maltese like the above-mentioned book written by Trevor Zahra (Il-ktieb tal-fenek l-ahmar). The people in the audience will be introduced to the book in various ways in a way that they can better understand what the author had in mind when he put pen to paper and gave birth to it and to its intriguing protagonist. A third but surely not less important aim is to help the audience to better appreciate Maltese music as written by competent Maltese composers and sung by Maltese able singers. Unfortunately, Maltese songs have long had a poor reputation. The soirée will show very clearly that this is based mainly on prejudice. The audience’s constant and active participation during the whole event will dispel all this and prove that the Maltese heart of whatever age can thoroughly enjoy an evening of lively Maltese music and will be ready to participate actively by singing along to its heart content. It will be truly an evening to remember!
The event will be held on Sunday, 4th November at Catholic Institute, Floriana. Tickets may be bought directly from the institute, or otherwise through www.istitutkattoliku.com at a donation of 10 Euros (Hall) or 8 Euros (Gallery). All proceedings in aid of Id-Dar tal-Providenza. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for more news items with regards to a number of local events in aid for Charity.
Source: Press Release, Brian Grech (Image)
As the preparations for this years’ Malta Eurovision Song Contest are underway with the composers, authors and singers finalizing their entries, the common public have already started discussing who they think is the clear favourite to succeed Kurt Calleja in Malmo, Sweden. Big names from the local radio industry have been mentioned throughout but attracting them to the local competition is always challenging but if any of them submit and make it through to the finals they will surely stand a good chance to do well and possibly win.
Albeit this, though it seems that the front runner for this years’ contest is none other than last year’s second runner up Amber. Amber made a name for herself after managing to come second in the local talent show ‘ID’ and from then on she never looked back. She participate in the Malta Hit Song Contest and the year after went on to win the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza with Trid Tapprezza. The same year she made it through the semi-finals of the contest with two songs Touch Wood and Catch 22, with the latter making it through to the final stages of the competition.
Last year, it was Amber’s second time in the contest and she captured the judges’ attention achieving a third place thanks to her power rendition of Answer with Your Eyes. From this experience onwards, Amber was presented with a number of opportunities. She was approached by PBS to accompany Kurt Calleja in Baku as his main backing vocalist. This experience gave her a taste of the Eurovision world and having carried a vital role last year, some people thing that this could be her year; all this assuming that Amber is submitting an entry to this year’s competition but if she does she will surely be the main front runner.
The other favourite will surely be Claudia Faniello who was last year’s first runner-up with her magical song Pure. A lot of people think that Claudia Faniello’s year was last year but if she decides to return to the competition for the eighth time expect her to return with a something strong and original. It will take something special to surpass Pure but Claudia showed what she is capable of achieving last year and few would be surprised if she manages to come back with something even stronger. So, if she returns no one should count her out, especially considering the strong results she’s had in recent years.
The return of former entrants is always possible. Fabrizio Faniello has been trying for a number of times and he has always done well. He is just one of two singers who represented Malta on more than one occasion and if he succeeds, he will emulate Chiara's feat. Other entrants who tried again after their win include; Paul Giordimaina Georgina, Mary Spiteri, William Mangion, Moira&Chris, Mike Spiteri, Miriam Christine, Debbie Scerri and Ludwig Galea. The return of some of these is remote but others have kept in touch with festivals and haven't ruled out a return. These mainly include Olivia Lewis, Miriam Christine and Ludwig Galea; if any of these return, they will surely pose a significant threat.
Having mentioned the two main front runners one cannot forget other talented individuals who have been participating in the contest for a number of years. The finalists in recent years have all presented strong entries and none should be underestimated in such a competition. After all this is a song contest which should reward the best song at the end of the night and not a popularity contest. Two years ago, an unknown Thea Garrett won the hearts of the local public and the judges’ votes with her power ballad My Dream. So who knows, it might be someone new who can repeat the same feat, although it is not an easy one, surely it isn't impossible.
Well, there are a lot of questions that are left to be answered, most of these questions will be answered in the upcoming days when the submissions come to a close at the end of this month but until then we have to play the waiting game. We cannot really comment either before we hear the final versions of the songs that will be submitted this year but we would like you to share your views with us on which singer, singers or bands you think should be the ones succeeding Kurt Calleja. In the meantime, keep following escflashmalta.com for all the latest updates about the local music scene.
The Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza has been well adapted not only to promote the best in local talent but also the language with the competition remaining the only particular background for Maltese, one of the main items which many can identify to be heritage. The pace of the festival went smoothly except for a small minor glitch during one of the latter entries which prompted an immediate restart and ultimately a great response from the audience. The Established Category featured performances from twenty acts in total with a variety of genres well represented whilst the Teenage Category features a total of four entries this time round because of a tie in third place in the second phase of competition which was televised through the programme Indifest as hosted by Ronald Briffa and Christine Haber who were also the comperes for the evening. In the end, the winners of each respective category were agreed upon by the jury panel made up of Mike Spiteri, Ludwig Galea, Mandy Micallef Grimaud and Matthew Calleja.
It is important to point out that the introduction of the mychoice.pn award was a welcome addition with the online voting racking in multitude of votes from all over the country whilst the tele-voting has always kept things on edge. The top three results were resoundingly met with applause especially as Domenique with the track Tama u Kuraġġ composed by Philip Vella and penned by Cher Vella was the first announced in third place, followed by Marilena Gauci and her song Bl-Ikbar Serjetà composed by Philip Vella and penned by Joe Chircop and then finally a content and surprised Deborah C with the anthemic Jekk Nużaw Moħħna penned by Joe Chircop to the music of Mark Spiteri Lucas. In the meantime, when it comes to the teenage category, the jury played a pivotal role in selecting the track Bil-Bnadar F'Idejna composed by Miriam Christine and penned by Joe Chircop therefore making Joe Chircop, one of the most decorated men in the competition alongside Mark Spiteri Lucas who together also went onto tele-voting with Deborah C and the aforementioned Jekk Nużaw Moħħna as well as the mychoice.pn award which went to Roseanne Cordina with the track Id-Demm ta' Raymond composed by Mark Spiteri Lucas and penned by Paul Ellul. Below you can note the full result, an escflashmalta.com exclusive.
01. Bil-Bnadar F'Idejna - Sarah Bonnici (Miriam Christine / Joe Chircop) - 208 points
02. Ħbieb ta' Veru - Maria u Justine (Kaya / Christopher Azzopardi) - 192 points
01. Jekk Nużaw Moħħna - Deborah C (Mark Spiteri Lucas / Joe Chircop) - 388 points
02. Bl-Ikbar Serjetà - Marilena Gauci (Philip Vella / Joe Chircop) - 368 points
03. Tama u Kuraġġ - Domenique (Philip Vella / Cher Vella) - 337 points
06. Indipendenti - Danica Muscat (Philip Vella / Cher Vella) - 294 points
07. Kemm Xtaqt - Laura Bruno (Frederick Camilleri) - 292 points
08. Dell L-Istilel - Rachel Verzin (Dominic Cini / Stephen Baldacchino) - 282 points
09. Ħalluni - Kylie Coleiro (Philip Vella / Joe Chircop) - 275 points
10. Għidli Int - Julie Pomorski (Augusto Cardinali) - 274 points
11. Missjoni Impossibli? - Ishmael Grech (Philip Vella / Rita Pace) - 271 points
12. Se Nibda Jien - Dario u Grecia (Dario Bezzina / Rita Pace) - 256 points
13. Mill-Bidu Nett - Francesca Scerri (Elton Zarb / Rita Pace) - 237 points
14. Tagħna L-Isbaħ Żmien - Esilana (Ray Agius / Alfred C Sant) - 229 points
15. Dan Mhux Tmiem - Corinne Caruana (Mark Scicluna / Rita Pace) - 225 points
16. Id F'Id - Simone Gauci (Renato Briffa / Keith Zammit) - 221 points
18. Abjad u Iswed - Stephanie Zammit (Philip Vella / Gerard James Borg) - 189 points
19. Kburin Bik - Christian Azzopardi (Philip Vella / Joe Chircop) - 177 points
20. Flimkien - Kristen Camilleri (Philip Vella / Cher Vella) - 176 points
escflashmalta.com had the opportunity like in the past two years to speak to the winning artist and composer of the track, this year being none other than Deborah C and Mark Spiteri Lucas respectively. The Gozitan singer who is currently reading for a Bachelor of Arts Degree at the University of Malta is extremely happy with the victory stating she indeed 'did not expect it' and ultimately adding that it was even more positive to note that the 'jury and the public agreed unanimously' on the track which they have worked hard to present. She thanked all of the people who supported her from Gozo and Malta as well as her entourage for making this a possibility. Speaking to the composer of the track, he told us that since 2001, he has managed to finish on top on 'five different occasions' making this his 'third victory in six years'. He notes that it was a combination of teamwork which saw to the fact to break records in the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza making this the first entry 'to win both the public and jury vote within the same year'. The editorial board would like to congratulate all of the respective winners and better luck next time to all those who tried and did not succeed this time round.
Mike Spiteri, Lawrence Gray, Amber, Annabelle Debono, Miriam Christine, Ira Losco, Tarcisio Barbara, Claudette Buttigieg and Kaya could all note to have at least one thing in common and that is being winners of the elite Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza which has been organized by Media.Link Communications for a numerous number of years, noting that this years' edition will be the twenty-first in total and fifteenth consecutive one as a matter of fact. The committee behind the competition led by Mark Azzopardi and including members of the escflashmalta.com editorial team have worked hard to include a number of innovations in the past two years noting the beginning of a seating area which would definitely keep the audience at bay as well as the official preview videos for each track to help aid in terms of promotion. There is stiff competition this evening, featuring twenty acts that will be leading the way in the Established Category and another four acts who will compete in the Teenage Category as revealed last week on Indifest as shown on NET Television.
The Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza will be hosted on The Granaries in Floriana by Christine Haber and Ronald Briffa and will be featuring guest performances by Mike Spiteri who returns as last years' winner as well as Kurt Calleja and his band who represented Malta in this years' Eurovision Song Contest albeit never managing to make it through to the final stage of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza. In the meantime, it has to be noted that there will be a number of awards that will be given out this evening including the online voting which has been ongoing through mychoice.pn, the tele-voting through the clips which have been put online and on NET Television throughout the summer and also the jury voting as chosen by Media.Link Communications. The latter two will be important for both categories with a separate award for the Established Category for each and a combined vote for the Teenage Category which will feature 60% Jury and 40% Tele-Voting. escflashmalta.com would like to wish everyone the best of luck and invite the people to attend or tune into NET Television at 20:30 CET to watch the proceedings unravel live.
The anticipation for this years' edition of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza seems to be getting to a lot of people who are repeatedly sharing the songs competing in the competition noting that preview videos of the respective entries were recorded by Media.Link Communications for the very first time in history. There are twenty acts, all of which will be hoping to reach the coveted top spot as decided by the juries with separate awards being given to the winner of the tele-voting and online portion which could be voted by the general public, in order to have a say in selecting their most preferred entries. In the meantime, noting that the competition is set for the 18th September, preparations are currently taking place as we speak and escflashmalta.com is at the position to confirm that the first special guest will be none other than Mike Spiteri, last years' winner.
Mike Spiteri had been hoping to finish on top of the scoreboard at the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza for quite some time and he finally managed to do it on the twentieth edition of the coveted competition with the track B'Rieda tal-Azzar written by Ray Agius. Throughout the years, this team has managed to give some of the most recognizable songs in the local music industry including tracks such as Fejn Tħobb il-Qalb, Fjura Fil-Kantina, Maratona as well as Eurovision Song Contest entry; Keep Me In Mind. It is always a pleasure to hear him perform and he will surely be singing the winning entry from last year along with another two or three songs during the evening. It is important to note that he will not be the only guest during the evening which is set to be hosted by Ronald Briffa and Christine Haber on NET Television but the second special guest will be revealed next Tuesday on Indifest by Committee Chairman, Mark Azzopardi during the same show where the three finalists of the Teenage Category will be revealed with 60% Jury Voting and 40% Tele-Voting which will be closing at noon on the same day. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for more news in the coming days.
Source: escflashmalta.com, Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza
Throughout the history of songwriting in Malta, it has been worth noting that Ray Agius has set his standards pretty high noting that his success supercedes any of that achieved by others especially when it comes to working within the framework of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza, a competition which he has duly won on record, six times. In fact, there has only been one individual who has come close to beating out that record and might do so in the next couple of years with the right tracks and he is none other than Mark Spiteri Lucas. Both songwriters consistently compete in the renowned music competition organized by Media.Link Communications and they will also be taking part this time round as they boast three entries when taken into account together.
It is important to note that Ray Agius has distinctively worked with some of the best talents in the country during the years especially when it comes to the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza, somewhat of a crossover to the Malta Eurovision Song Contest. Back in 1997, he wrote the music to the lyrics of the track In-Nar Ħa performed by Tarcisio Barbara which stunned the jury and went onto win the competition but the big victory came in 1999 when Claudette Pace competed with the song Ejjew Nippruvaw which not only took home the main honour but several others scooping up all of the top awards for music and lyrics as well. In 2002, he was competing with the renowned Lawrence Gray with the entry L-Għażla F'Idejna, a cult song in popular tradition which sweeped the board one more time in a first and second place finish for the performer noting that a second song for him ultimately came in the runner-up position.
Most recently though, it seems that things have continued to flourish and it has been highly debatable that Ray Agius was the individual who helped kick start the career of Claudia Faniello whom he competed with for the first time in the 2006 Malta Song for Europe and in fact, following that stint, she entered the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza with Ma Nafx which was a different type of song in the competition and still captured the imagination of the judging panel. As one could see, Ray was not known to succeed each year noting that there are gaps between his victories, sometimes even three to four years but in the past two years, this changed as he won the event successively with Trid Tapprezza by Amber as well as B'Rieda tal-Azzar by Mike Spiteri eventually taking the honours. This year, Ray Agius is working with a brand new performer who is hoping to break into the local music scene and seems to be very happy to have even made it to the final stages. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news.
Source: escflashmalta.com, YouTube, KKI