Maltese singer wins festival in Romania
Eleanor Cassar, 21, did Malta proud on Saturday after winning the 14th edition of the Golden Stag International Festival in Romania, which saw 27 countries vying for the coveted title.
Ms Cassar won with the song If Love You Give, with lyrics by Fleur Balzan and Paul Giordimaina, and the song What Your Love Means, of a Romanian composer, translated into English by Ms Balzan and musically arranged by Mr Giordimaina.
During the festival, each participant had to perform two songs on stage - one from their own repertoire and a Romanian song.
The young Maltese singer was awarded the gold trophy during a gala evening held on the beautiful square of Brasov.
Julie and Ludwig, this year's Malta representatives in the Eurovision Song Contest, also took part in the contest.
Born in 1982, Ms Cassar has been singing since she was 11. She was first noticed by her teacher in secondary school and was encouraged to participate in musical and theatrical events.
Later, she got a certificate of merit from the University of London. In 2001, she won the first prize at the Discovery Song Festival in Bulgaria and a year later she won the first prize at The People's Song Festival.
She is preparing to release her first CD this summer. In September, she is also lined up to take part in a song festival in Egypt.
Ms Cassar is expected back this afternoon at about four from Rome.