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Fun-man Beethoven

Why was Beethoven a rebel? And where can you hear thunderstorms in his music? A new family-friendly show will show you Beethoven’s fun and even naughty side

Did you know that Beethoven had a great sense of humour and was at times, quite naughty? A new family-friendly production will take children and adults alike on an exciting journey through some of the most memorable passages of Beethoven’s nine symphonies.

“Beethoven Forever” is a new production curated by Ruben Zahra - the artistic director of the Malta International Arts Festival. This entertaining performance will see actor Chris Dingli, accompanied by an orchestral soundtrack and a narrative of illustrations created by Julian Mallia and animated by Malcolm Ricci for the large screen, bring excerpts from all nine symphonies to life. “We highlight these musical stories so that the audience can enjoy the music with a better understanding of it,” explains Dingli, who is recognised for his work as a comedic writer and performer, most notably with the Comedy Knights and his one-man show Bad Dad, which he has performed in Britain, Malta and Canada.

Chris Dingli

We are all familiar with the programme music of Beethoven’s 6th ‘Pastorale’ symphony which includes sounds from nature, such babbling brooks and birdsong, country dancing, and even a thunderstorm.Speaking further about the show, Dingli notes: “Beethoven Forever” goes behind the scene on every symphony to portray important musical elements, characters and narratives. There are several funny ‘burlesque’ passages brought to life through my interaction with the digital animation.”

Beethoven’s symphonies have indeed inched their way into everyday life. His ninth symphony, as many of us know, is the official anthem of the European Union. Perhaps lesser-known facts are how Beethoven was a compositional rebel. He rejected standard classical practices so that he could write with emotion. This disgusted many of his contemporaries, but he also influenced so many composers to come after him, like Brahms, Dvořák and Mahler.

…and, of course, there’s more, but you’ll have to watch the show on 21 and 24 July to find out. Get your tickets here.


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