Manoel Theatre

Valletta, Malta

The Manoel Theatre is one of the oldest working theatres in Europe. Constructed in 1731 by the Grand Master Antonio Manoel de Vilhena the theatre is a baroque gem with a wonderful acoustic and a full calendar of events populated by local and international performers, with productions in English and Maltese.

The theatre is located on Old Theatre Street in Valletta. It considers itself as the country's national theatre and the home of Malta Philharmonic Orchestra. Originally called the Teatro Pubblico, its name was changed to Teatro Reale, or Theatre Royal, in 1812, and renamed Manoel Theatre in 1866. The first play to be performed was Maffei's Merope. The theatre is a small, 623 seat venue, with an oval-shaped auditorium, three tiers of boxes constructed entirely of wood, decorated with gold leaf, and a pale blue trompe-l'oeil ceiling that resembles a round cupola.

References:

Comments

Your name

Website (optional)



Details

Founded: 1731
Category:

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

John Stenson (21 months ago)
Beautiful theatre and wonderful music. Malta is a centre for arts and music like no other. Our group (friends) enjoy the music programmes here very often, and always look forward to more visits.
George Sulzbeck (21 months ago)
Very good concert hall, great acoustics, and pleasant environment. The staff is very helpful. Just avoid the gallery seats as these are not very comfortable and are often behind some column. The boxes are very good.
KateTheGamer (21 months ago)
Very nicely refurbished theatre. Lovely shows take place here. Not very pricy for what you get. Nice ambience and kind staff.
Tanya Oswald (21 months ago)
Always the best fun visiting manoel theatre. But especially in the Christmas period. Thoroughly enjoyed watching sleeping beauty. First half was a bit of a disaster as we had very bad seats which shouldn't be sold in my opinion, especially at the same price if the best seats!! But second half we changed our seats to some empty ones and thank goodness we really enjoyed it.
Gavan Hill (2 years ago)
History of the venue aside, the theatre looks nice and has an old-world charm to it. That said, avoid the boxes at all costs and get a seat in the main audience section as the boxes are cramped to put it kindly. Four seats to a box that ideally should seat three. We had to put one of the chairs in the hallway before we could even enter. My knees were bruised from the dearth of legroom. Actor-wise, the three productions we saw were all vert well done.
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Wroclaw Town Hall

The Old Town Hall of Wrocław is one of the main landmarks of the city. The Old Town Hall's long history reflects developments that have taken place in the city since its initial construction. The town hall serves the city of Wroclaw and is used for civic and cultural events such as concerts held in its Great Hall. In addition, it houses a museum and a basement restaurant.

The town hall was developed over a period of about 250 years, from the end of 13th century to the middle of 16th century. The structure and floor plan changed over this extended period in response to the changing needs of the city. The exact date of the initial construction is not known. However, between 1299 and 1301 a single-storey structure with cellars and a tower called the consistory was built. The oldest parts of the current building, the Burghers’ Hall and the lower floors of the tower, may date to this time. In these early days the primary purpose of the building was trade rather than civic administration activities.

Between 1328 and 1333 an upper storey was added to include the Council room and the Aldermen’s room. Expansion continued during the 14th century with the addition of extra rooms, most notably the Court room. The building became a key location for the city’s commercial and administrative functions.

The 15th and 16th centuries were times of prosperity for Wroclaw as was reflected in the rapid development of the building during that period. The construction program gathered momentum, particularly from 1470 to 1510, when several rooms were added. The Burghers’ Hall was re-vaulted to take on its current shape, and the upper story began to take shape with the development of the Great Hall and the addition of the Treasury and Little Treasury.

Further innovations during the 16th century included the addition of the city’s Coat of arms (1536), and the rebuilding of the upper part of the tower (1558–59). This was the final stage of the main building program. By 1560, the major features of today’s Stray Rates were established.

The second half of the 17th century was a period of decline for the city, and this decline was reflected in the Stray Rates. Perhaps by way of compensation, efforts were made to enrich the interior decorations of the hall. In 1741, Wroclaw became a part of Prussia, and the power of the City diminished. Much of the Stray Rates was allocated to administering justice.

During the 19th century there were two major changes. The courts moved to a separate building, and the Rates became the site of the city council and supporting functions. There was also a major program of renovation because the building had been neglected and was covered with creeping vines. The town hall now has several en-Gothic features including some sculptural decoration from this period.

In the early years of the 20th century improvements continued with various repair work and the addition of the Little Bear statue in 1902. During the 1930s, the official role of the Rates was reduced and it was converted into a museum. By the end of World War II Town Hall suffered minor damage, such as aerial bomb pierced the roof (but not exploded) and some sculptural elements were lost. Restoration work began in the 1950s following a period of research, and this conservation effort continued throughout the 20th century. It included refurbishment of the clock on the east facade.