The Manoel Theatre (Teatru Manoel, in Maltese) is reputed to be Europe's third-oldest working theatre, and the oldest working theatre in the Commonwealth of Nations. Located on Old Theatre Street (Triq it-Teatru l-Antik) in Valletta, it is now Malta's National Theatre and home to the National Orchestra of Malta (Orkestra Nazzjonali). The Manoel Theatre is a small, six-hundred and fifty seat venue, with a lavish, oval-shaped auditorium, three tiers of boxes constructed entirely of wood and decorated with 22-carat gold leaf, and a pale blue, trompe-l'oeil ceiling that resembles a round cupola. Hidden behind an austere facade that is fully in keeping with Valletta's Mannerist architecture, is a richly adorned, glorious Rococo interior. Despite numerous alterations over the years, it retains many of its old architectural features, such as the white Carrara marble staircase, shell-shaped niches, and Viennese chandeliers. Two water reservoirs beneath the floor create an acoustic environment that is so precise, that the hushed page-turnings of an orchestra conductor can be heard clearly throughout the auditorium. (more...)
Marsaskala is a modest sea-side village in Malta that has grown up around the small harbour at the head of Marsaskala Bay, a long narrow inlet also known as Marsaskala Creek (inset picture). The bay is sheltered to the north by Ras iż-Żonqor, the south-east corner of Malta, and to the south by the headland of Ras il-Gżira.
The village extends along both sides of the bay, and across most of Il-Ħamrija, locally nicknamed as Siberia due to its exposure to icy northerly winds in winter and because buildings there are deemed to be too cut off from the centre of the village and church area. Marsaskala boasts a rather modern church, and a very pleasant promenade of shops, restaurants and coffee shops along the long stretch of waterfront. The shore north of Ras iż-Żonqor is of low cliffs, with shelving rock ledges south of the point. Marsaskala Bay is largely edged by promenade, with low shelving rock ledges cut with salt pans on the seaward face of Ras iċ-Ċerna, which continue on round the eastern point, past l-Abjad iż-Żgħir, and into Il-Bajja ta' San Tumas (Saint Thomas Bay) to the south. (more...)
Gozo is an island of the Maltese archipelago in the Mediterranean Sea, second in size to the island of Malta. In Maltese, the island is called Għawdex (pronounced áw-desh). Gozo is part of the country of Malta.