It’s an uphill battle whenever the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra plays in public locally. The Manoel Theatre is too small for certain works that require all members of the orchestra, at the Mediterranean Conference Centre the acoustics are not adequate for symphonic works, and the Royal Theatre Square is not suitable for the orchestra because it is open and exposed to all sorts of noise.
The Acting Chairperson of the Orchestra, Catherine Tabone, said that in order for the orchestra to continue growing it needs to fill a long-felt gap.
“We need an adequate hall for a philharmonic orchestra that plays a symphonic repertoire. Unless we have a hall, the orchestra cannot move forward.”
The Chief Executive of the Orchestra, Sigmund Mifsud, shared this view that if the orchestra has its own place, confidence in it will grow and it will have more opportunities.
“It also needs to invest in a place to be able to plan its season, to be able to develop different scenarios; we are currently looking at how we can develop the possibilities in the film industry but we cannot be competitive and record music for film if we don’t have our own place to record. ”
The Minister for Culture, Josè Herrera, said that the Government had already identified a building for this purpose and estimated that a hall for the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra would cost € 13 million.
“We have a building next to the Manoel theatre and this hall will be built, and will be equipped. We have a budget vote to start making the arrangements and preparations and applications and eventually yes the national orchestra will have its own orchestra hall which will be close to or near the Manoel Theatre. ”
Asked about the financing of this project, Minister Herrera replied that the first step is that all preparatory work will be done from budget funds for next year that have been allocated to the Ministry of Culture.