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Calleja's rehearsals in full swing

Malta-born Charles Olivieri-Munroe to conduct orchestra

Video: Mark Zammit Cordina

With less than three days to go before Joseph Calleja takes the stage for his annual summer concert at the Granaries on Saturday, rehearsals are in full swing.

The rehearsals so far involve Calleja, the HSBC Children's Choir and the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra.

Later this week, Italian pop star Lucio Dalla and New Zealander soprano Hayley Westenra will also prepare their performances during more rehearsals with the other performers.

Promoters NnG Promotions said that world famous and internationally acclaimed Mro Charles Olivieri-Munroe will conduct the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra during the concert.

Born in Malta, Mro Olivieri-Munroe has conducted some of the world's finest orchestras including the Israel Philharmonic, Czech Philharmonic, Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Berlin Deutches Symphonie-Orchester, St Petersburg Philharmonic, Danish Radio Symphony, Budapest Symphony, Warsaw Philharmonic, Royal Brussels Philharmonic, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Oregon Symphony Orchestra, and those of New York, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Athens, Istanbul, Lisbon, Tokyo, Seoul and Mexico City.

This year, he has taken up a new position as principal conductor of Philharmonie Sudwestfalen while continuing as chief conductor with the North Czech Philharmonic for his 14th season.

"Maestro Olivieri-Munroe will undoubtedly bring out the best of all performers involved. His experience and his innate talent make him the perfect choice for concerts with a twist, such as this one," said Nigel Camillieri from NnG Promotions.

The rehearsals for the 250 strong HSBC Children's Choir have also been taking place under the guidance of soprano Gillian Zammit, gaining more intensity over the last month.

Born as a brainchild of tenor Joseph Calleja himself, the choir made its first public appearance during the tenor's summer concert in Malta in 2009. His initiative was very positively received and since then, the children's choir has been busy participating in a number of events and training extensively.

HSBC is sponsoring the Joseph Calleja concert for the sixth consecutive year.

Tickets, starting from €35, for the general standing area, are available from www.nngpromotions.com and Vodafone outlets.

The concert is supported by Vodafone Malta, HSBC Malta and Malta International Airport.

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