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pr200803en

PR200803en

02/05/2020

PRESS RELEASE BY THE MINISTRY FOR TOURISM AND CONSUMER PROTECTION AND THE MINISTRY FOR THE NATIONAL HERITAGE, THE ARTS AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT

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The Malta Tourism Authority in collaboration with the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra in a music production with a positive message from the highest authorities of the country

The music video ‘Smile’, launched earlier today during a press conference at Castille Square in Valletta, presents a new arrangement of Charlie Chaplin’s enigmatic song by MPO Principal Percussionist Daniel Cauchi. A lead singer in his own right, he is joined by world-acclaimed Maltese Tenor Joseph Calleja and the MPO as they perform a Maltese version of this musical number translated by Michael Spagnol, a pioneering figure in the promotion of our language. 

The video features inspirational messages by President of Malta George Vella, Prime Minister of Malta Robert Abela, the Archbishop of Malta Mgr. Charles Scicluna, Leader of the Opposition Adrian Delia and the Superintendent of Public Health Dr Charmaine Gauci.

Minister for Tourism and Consumer Protection Julia Farrugia Portelli stated that this first of May that we have just commemorated yesterday had a greater significance: of national unity, a nation of people that pulled one rope. But also a different working strategy of how Malta is preparing for post-Covid.

Minister Portelli explained how this production represents and amalgamates together the optimism and courage of a united nation but also a substantial part of the work currently being done by the Ministry for Tourism to attract different niches of tourism including the art, culture and religious tourism.

Minister Portelli explained how 10% of tourists choose to visit our country exclusively because of our unique history and culture while more than 50% of tourists choose the Maltese islands not only for history and culture but also for the beautiful weather that we are famous for. Minister Farrugia Portelli said that despite the fact that tourism is currently absent, the Malta Tourism Authority is working on various projects, even in collaboration with Heritage Malta, in order to continue to advertise our country as the first destination that the tourist should visit once the Covid pandemic is over. 

Minister José Herrera said in his speech that “Today we are here to deliver a message of courage and positivity.” Minister Herrera reiterated that just one day after the Government and the health authorities agreed to start reducing the restrictions related to the progress of COVID-19 as well as one day after Workers’ Day, through music and the cultural talent we have in our country, is conveying this positive message in a sense of unity. “Our nation has always overcome the challenges faced because we were always united," concluded Minister Herrera.

Commenting on this video, the Chairman of the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra Sigmund Mifsud said that The Malta Philharmonic Orchestra (MPO) is utilising restrictions imposed by COVID-19 as an opportunity for innovation. Indeed, the cancellation of concerts has offered a unique time period to focus on core elements of the orchestra’s mission, ensuring that we can sustain our music-making even into the new digitalized world. Music has the power to transform the world, and so does a smile. “Hence, we deemed it apt to convey, through this art form, a message of positivity empowering each one of us to overcome these challenging times,” said Mifsud. 

The Chief Executive Officer of the Malta Tourism Authority Johann Buttigieg explained how the Malta Tourism Authority is proud to collaborate with entities that represent excellence in the local cultural scene. The MPO is certainly one of these entities, as its reputation continues to grow beyond our shores. The Authority is particularly pleased to support an initiative of this nature, one which brings a positive message of hope to be shared with everyone. 

The MPO extend their thanks to the country’s inspirational leaders who joined forces as Malta unites, yearning with renewed optimism for a brighter future.