Pics 1 – 4 are by Perkin Warbeck
“Grand Old Opera House
Il-Teatru Real / The Royal Opera House in Valletta was designed by the English architect, Edmund Middleton Barry in 1866. He got the gig as a result of his design of The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. In 1942 it received a direct hit from the Lufwaffe.
Decades of dithering, possibly based on a coloratura’s classic dithering to sing with a series of tuneless scales, eventually led to its being restored in 2013. Restored – after a fashion – as an al fresco, erm, theatre space by the renowned Italian architect, Renzo Piano.
Photo 1: As it looks today.
Photo 2: As it looked in its heyday (bottom right) before Gunter Messerschmitt lowered the boom.
Photo 3: The queue for the current production: ‘Balzunetta Towers’ (Kabare Originali) , a high-octane cabaret show dealing with a low-life red light district in the Valletta of the not-so-long-ago. The former naughty area is not now what it aught to be, going forward and is down for redevelopment. The tension arises from the reluctance of the last remaining and long retired Madame, name of Solly, to budge and the determination of the American developer to develop within or without budget. His name is (gulp) Donald Trump, Jnr..
The author is a former Prime Minister of Malta, Alfred Sant who is currently a MEP. He is also a celebrated author of novels, plays and essays, primarily in Malti but he also writes in English.
Photo 4: The two screens on each side of the stage roll out the simultaneous English translaton of the Malti script. Now, there’s a Maltese solution to an Irish theatrical problem, not. The Perkin’s inner Malteser is only, of course, teasing.
(‘Céad Mile Malta’ by Perkin Warbeck).”
Pics 5-10 are by Antrim Lens
“Spent a great evening down at my local Barn owl nest site last Saturday, and I was very lucky to be there whilst copulation took place. As Barn owls are very rare in Ireland (Ulster Wildlife only know of 4 nests in the north) I feel so privileged to monitor this pair and getting to see them mating was an amazing moment with such a special bird.
The nest is inside that chimney both birds are sitting on, and hopefully within the next week or two the female should be sitting on eggs leading to Autumn chicks. Do you and your readers know that the stories of Banshees are traced back to the call and ghostly sight in flight of Barn owls? If you ever get to hear one you’ll know why.”