Interview: Malta's largest theater keen to host more Chinese cultural events

Updated: 2021-09-27 14:25
( Xinhua )

VALLETTA, Sept 23  -- Chinese cultural events were warmly welcomed in Malta and more performances were expected, Kenneth Spiteri, chairman of the Mediterranean Conference Centre (MCC) of Malta, which operates the country's largest theater, told Xinhua in a recent interview.

Spiteri said he was looking forward to further cultural exchanges between the two countries, adding that he planned to invite more Chinese artists to perform in the 16-century building once the COVID-19 pandemic is over.

"We want to get what we've missed. We have to make double the amount of things that we can make up," he said.

In the past 20-odd years, the MCC has hosted a series of Chinese cultural shows, including performances of the Beijing opera, Shaolin martial arts, ballet and acrobatics.

Spiteri's "big plan" is to invite Chinese artists to perform Italian composer Giacomo Puccini's opera Turandot in Malta's largest theatre. The MCC cooperates with the China Cultural Center in Malta on this project.

"It is indeed a big plan," Spiteri said. "That is going to be the apex of our cooperation."

Back in February, marking the Chinese Spring Festival, the troupe of the China National Opera House already performed Turandot for the Maltese audience. The event was broadcast live on television and online.

"We are always very keen on collaborating with the China Cultural Center," Spiteri said.

For at least two decades, the MCC and the China Cultural Center have jointly hosted important Chinese cultural events during the Chinese Spring Festival.

"We are very proud to host," said Spiteri, adding that "we celebrate the Chinese New Year every year that is what we look forward to."

Maltese audiences "enjoy learning, enjoy experiencing new cultures and performances from China, which usually have very high caliber," he noted.

The MCC is a member of the Silk Road International League of Theaters (SRILT), which was inaugurated in Beijing in October 2016 with the aim of promoting quality cultural exchanges.

Spiteri said his theater expected to host more high-level Chinese cultural performances with the help of SRILT, a large multinational platform for performing arts.

Back in December 2018, the MCC, in cooperation with the SRILT, invited the renowned Chinese Guangzhou Ballet Troupe to perform in Malta.

The SRILT "creates the opportunity for artists to perform in different places. It is the engine behind this collaboration," he said.

Spiteri has visited China six times and was enthusiastic about his experiences there.

The pandemic has made it difficult to organize live shows and performances for Chinese artists in Malta, but Spiteri said he believes that "We can utilize today's modern technology, in an innovative manner, to collaborate with each other."