St. Publius Church. Floriana (district of the Capital City Valetta). Square of Saint Publius, also known as The Granaries. Mr. Publius was the first bishop of Malta and is considered to be the first Maltese saint.
June 28, 2023: André and the Johann Strauss Orchestra, rehearsing the Maltese song “Xemx” (pronounced Shemsh) in his studio in Maastricht. The mening is “Sun”.
View from our apartment in Floriana, Malta, where we stayed for 10 days.
General rehearsalAs always on events like this, André and the JSO will have a general rehearsal the evening before the concert. Testing the venue, the lights/sound and above all, to teach the pipers/drummers and the gospelchoir, how to properly enter the stage and where to stand.The video below will give you an impression of this rehearsal.
Duration: 58 minutes
1st part of the concert. Duration 34 minutes.
The first concert of the two. Recorded from a screen on the square, from our apartment (named Ta’ Tessie Suite) next to the church of St. Publius. Many thanks to Michel Fizzano for the images and Fabian Huijts for all the lights on the square and stage. We are always amazed how much work still has to be done after the general rehearsal on Thursday. Compliments to these guys and their crew. Specially in the 2nd part and the encores, Ruud added additional shots, taken on the 2nd night from the roof of our apartment.
2nd part of the concert, duration: 29 minutes. With an addition by Nino Freitag.
Encores, duration: 21 minutes
André is wearing a new brooch of the Maltese cross.
Our self catering apartment and the view from the roof.
Celebrating Ineke’s birthday in Valletta’s Excelsior Hotel
Marcette Laferla and her mother.
Anna Brincat and her mother.
Kasia, the drummergirl.
Ruud Gransier (André’s personal trainer)
A violinist replacing Freya, just for the rehearsals.
Sue Homewood had the misfortune to end up in hospital straight away in Malta because of kidney problems. Because of this she missed the concerts and all the fan meetings. Due to the treatment and medication, she is not allowed to fly back home (UK) yet, so Robert and Sue have to stay in Malta for another week. Since all the fans have already left, Ruud and Ineke visited them at their hotel.
Second concert on the front row:Three members of the royal family of Qatar, and the President of Malta.
We were watching the 2nd concert with a neighbor from the roof of our apartment,and we saw people watching from the bell tower of the St. Publius Church next door.
A warm welcome by Maltese fans at the airport.
Group photo after the 2nd concert.
With Joe and Anna Brincat, at their home in Mosta. Anna was the first Maltese fan we met in Cologne in 2009 for André’s New Year's concert. From 2010 onwards, Joe and Anna came to Maastricht every year to attend the Vrijthof concerts.
The concerts are over. Gunilla met André and the orchestra at the airport to say goodbye.
Impression of Valletta, Malta.
We also visited Stephen Dimech in Iklin. He lost his wife Doris in July 2023 to cancer. Five years they came to Maastricht and the moment that André announced two concerts in Malta, Stephen bought tickets, but Doris could not manage. Stephen gave me her necklace. So emotional! I feel very honored and will wear it as a cherished memory of Doris. Thank you Stephen.We also admired the two painings Marc Rieu created for you, which had a prominent place in your house.