Happy Birthday Malta

Photo: Anthony Grech.

They say it’s Malta’s 50th birthday today. Actually, Malta is much older than that, with traces of (pre)history dating at least 7000 years. However, after some other thousand-years of foreign rule, Malta gained its much-awaited Constitutional Independence from Great Britain, on this day, 21st September 1964, 50 years ago.

Posted: 21st September 2014

Trovatore Event


The Maltese celebrate Independence Day as a public holiday, and one of their 5 national feast-days. This year, it was celebrated with slightly more pomp and grandeur in the world-famous Grand Harbour. Fireworks and all, we have heard and seen the great Maltese-opera ambassador Joseph Calleja singing Puccini’s Nessun Dorma from Turandot, and Miriam Cauchi singing Samut’s Maltese National Anthem, all projected on the mighty historic Fort St Angelo.

Among the Maltese people, this piece of history is quite contemporary, and needs no introduction. But considering the number of foreigners that visit this page, it is worth mentioning that this Malta you know of is celebrating a very dear milestone. You might know the Malta of the Knights of Malta – that was 1530-1798. You might know the Malta of the prehistoric temples – that was around 5000BC. So you should also know about Malta under the French, 1798-1800 and Malta under the British, 1800-1964.

This is the time (1863) when the Leone Philharmonic Society that owns and runs the Aurora was founded. And this is the time (1963) when the first Aurora theatre was built (in a different location, in the same city of Victoria). Following 1964, national identity surged and a wave of development and evolution in the social, economic and cultural fields gained momentum, until in 1974, Malta became a Republic, thus replacing the Queen of England with a Maltese Head of State, in 1979 it ceased being a British military base and in 2004 it became part of the European Union. In this context, the Leone Philharmonic Society built the second (the current) Aurora Theatre, which it opened in 1976 and to date is the largest opera house and one of the most reputable in the Maltese Islands.

With that in mind, as we wish our Independent Malta, and its people, a very happy 50th birthday, we invite you to come and learn about historic Malta, while you meet contemporary Malta; come and visit – our island, its people and its treasures, among which we present, the Aurora Theatre.

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