The Manoel Theatre : Malta's Cultural Gem
The word “cozy” is not a word that typically springs to mind when thinking of a theater but then again there is nothing typical about Teatru Manoel. With just six hundred and twenty three seats, it exudes the charm of a bygone age and, not surprisingly, is considered a cultural gem.
Built in 1731 by Grandmaster Fra Antonio Manoel di Vilhena, it was originally called Teatro Publico but took the name of Manuel Theater in1866. It has a long and rich history and is reputedly the third oldest working theater in Europe. Located in Old Bakery Street in Valletta, its unassuming Mannerist exterior belies the majesty of the baroque auditorium within. It has survived plagues, invasions, blockades, wars and recession and is a living testimony to Malta's resilient love for the arts and culture.
Along with a small museum, it still retains many of its original features and boasts perfect acoustics. As home to the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra, under normal circumstances, it would host a variety of events from concerts and musicals, to opera, drama and dance.
When possible it is well worth a visit to gaze at its impressive decor of trompe l - oeil ceiling and intricate carving - but to really capture its magic nothing tops attending a performance in, what is regarded, as the most important performing arts venue in Malta