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De Porres Cultural Centre

Article by Dame Françoise Tempra
Published in Sunday Times - 2003
Slma, Malta
Originally published in English.

Art Exhibition, Concert at Reopening De Porres Cultural Centre

THE REOPENING of the De Porres Theatre at the De Porres Cultural Centre of the Dominican Priory in Sliema proved to be a double enchantment: the last 2002 Summer Tempra Academy event - an art exhibition in the foyer -and the international concert organised by Marie-Therese Vassallo in the theatre.

On show were works by Maltese ceramist Paul Haber (who won first prize for Ceramics in the 2001 Malta International Art Biennale and first prize for sculpture in this year's Grolla d'Oro of Treviso, Italy) and American artist Michael Korber (Grand Prix des Arts for Painting at the Malta Biennale and first prize for painting at this year's Grolla dOro as well as the imposing St Dominic sculpture by Fr Marius Zerafa.

In fact Fr Zerafa, a renowned Renaissance scholar, art historian and lecturer, had just returned after a month at Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome where two of his sculptures have been included in the Dominican Curia Generalizia collection.

Fr Zerafa, who delivered a widely praised lecture on Caravaggio, at the Smithsonian, in Washington DC, earlier this year, was invited to lecture in Rome on the religious aspect of Caravaggio's art.

Artist Korber with Dame Françoise Tempra, Paul Haber and Marius Zarafa  at the DePorres Hall at the Tigne Seafront, - Sliema, Malta
From Left: M. Korber with Dame Françoise Tempra, Paul Haber and Marius Zarafa
DePorres Hall at the Tigne Seafront, Sliema, Malta

A special dinner followed the inauguration of the exhibition, organised with Joe Abdilla of the Marina Hotel, in its eight floor Panoramic Restaurant above the De Porres Cultural Centre. There was also a selection of Paul Haber's smaller sculptures and Michael Korber's graphics, now on show until the end of November at the Tempra Museum for Contemporary Art at the Mgarr council and at the Wignacourt Museum in Rabat.

The international musical soiree organised by Marie-Therese Vassallo with the participants of her own Voice Studio featured an array of performers who sang individually and in choirs interpreting popular international songs and operatic arias and also compositions by Frank Vassallo and Marie-Therese Vassallo.

The soloists and choir performers Aldo Busuttil, Claire Catuana, Kevin Caruana, Roeann Cordina, Hilda Cumbo, Stella Falzon, Vincent Farrugia, Ivy Fleri, Doreen Galea, Sammy Galea, Paul Gatt, Vanessa Magro and Marie-Therese Vassallo, accompanied at the piano by Cynthia Genovese, fascinated a most appreciative public that enjoyed "joining in" during the chorus singing.

This international evening (featuring American, English, French, German, Italian and Maltese works) was a memorable event for all present who at the reception which followed complimented the Dominican Prior, Fr Charles Tonna.