By now an established event on Malta’s live music calendar, Rockestra has become an eagerly-awaited date by all those seeking an entertaining evening out and lots of good, familiar music to boot.
Organised by the Malta Community Chest Fund under the patronage of the President of Malta, this year’s event will again feature the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra under the musical direction of Sigmund Mifsud, with colourful personality Pawlu Borg Bonaci in charge of artistic direction.
Asked what gave rise to the event’s popularity, Mifsud commented that “Rockestra has become one of the most attended concerts on the Maltese cultural calendar. Tickets always sell fast and the event is always sold out”.
This year is no exception, as tickets are already selling very well and, with less than a month to go, it’s guaranteed that the Malta Fairs and Conventions Centre in Ta’ Qali will again witness a spectacular show in aid of a very noble cause.
Of course, it’s impossible not to ask whether Mifsud ever thought Rockestra would become so successful when he first thought of it. Four editions down the line, Mifsud says he’s on edge to see that everything goes well as in past years, spending a great deal of time in front of his computer going through all the arrangements note by note to make sure all is in place for the big night.
“The main focus of Rockestra is naturally the orchestra,” he says. “Bringing together rock and classical music creates a very appealing mix for audiences of all ages.”
Indeed, it’s no secret that people who experience Rockestra once are sure to go again and again. Each year, Rockestra fields a line-up of local artists who give up their time and energy to help the good cause – a line-up that has over the year featured most of Malta’s best-known artists, as well as a few upcoming names.
Besides fulfilling the role of artistic director, Borg Bonaci will also be doing his usual routine of singing, screaming and jumping on stage. But right now, he says, he is focused on the challenge of putting on a great production to match that of previous years.
“The aim is to bring the people closer to the orchestra and vice-versa,” he explains. “We want to make the audience feel and experience what it is like to be on such a wonderful stage, surrounded with Malta’s top musicians.” Clearly then, the audience will most likely be part of the show, giving this year’s Rockestra a more interactive feel.
“There, I’ve said enough already,” he smiles. “The rest is a surprise… and speaking of surprises, we have quite a few in store.”
This year’s Rockestra line-up includes Ira Losco, Chiara, Mikaela, Claudette Pace, Petra Zammit, Beverly Cutajar, Coryse Borg, Kenneth Calleja (Fire), Pawlu Borg Bonaci (Fakawi), Matthew Borg (Red Elecktrick), Leo Stivala (Forsaken), Chris Grech (Twenty-Six Other Worlds), Konrad Pulè (Scar) Justin Galea, Daniel Cauchi (Big Band Brothers), Paul Sky (Colourblind), Ivan Filletti, Glen Borg, Richard Edwards, Edward Ellul (Residents Band), Ray Calleja and a few more surprise appearances.
The YADA Dance Company will also be performing under the direction of Felix Busuttil.
Rockestra 2012 will be held on September 15 at MFCC, Ta’ Qali. Tickets at €15 (seated), €10 (adult standing) and €2 (child standing) are available from the MCCF offices at San Anton Palace, Attard, and The Palace, Valletta, or online.