The Valletta Cultural Agency is not providing details on how much it plans to spend on a tribute to veteran singer and Labour stalwart Mary Spiteri. Nor is it explaining the concert’s association with the capital city.
Questions sent by The Shift to the VCA’s chairman, former Labour Party general secretary Jason Micallef, and the agency’s CEO, Catherine Tabone, remained unanswered this week despite various reminders.
Neither Micallef nor Tabone replied to questions on how Mary Spiteri had been selected as the theme of one of the Agency’s cultural calendar highlights for the coming year, on whose initiative the 75-year-old controversial singer had been selected and whether a call for proposals had been made before the final selection was made.
Nor did they explain the amount of public funds being dedicated to the event scheduled to be held later this year at the Mediterranean Conference Centre.
Spiteri – considered one of the most popular but controversial singers among the older generations – has no connection to Valletta.
Born and bred in Naxxar, Spiteri is known for her unconditional support of the Labour Party, and her songs have often accompanied Labour leaders since the Mintoff years at mass events.
Spiteri is often invited by the Labour Party and its candidates to perform at events, and she has even lent her voice to the official Labour Party anthem.
Spiteri has on many occasions been harshly criticised for her partisan comments at her Labour shows and for mocking PN supporters and their leaders.
She has also had a distinguished career as a singer, including representing Malta at the Eurovision Song Contest.
Announcing this year’s cultural programme a few weeks ago, Micallef, a friend of Spiteri who had even used her services for coffee mornings while unsuccessfully campaigning for a parliamentary seat, described ‘Mary Spiteri: My Life’ as the first ever musical biography of a Maltese singer.
This will not be the first time public funds have been used to boost artists close to the ruling Labour Party.
Last year, the VCA – established to enhance the capital’s cultural value – spent some €50,000 to organise a month-long solo exhibition of works by Patrick Dalli, husband of former Labour minister and current European Commissioner Helena Dalli and another staunch Labour die-hard.
As with the Mary Spiteri biography, the VCA had also refused to provide details on the funds spent on Dalli’s solo exhibition.
It was her choice to be political partisan. The NP always gave her respect and many admired her until she went too far . Labourites don’t know better.
Another of the various refusals of declaring the misuse of taxpayers’ funds.
Well done PL and respective Ministers of Finance.
Well, one might at least not have to anticipate to ever see a musical biography composed and preformed about Dom Mintoff or even worse, Joseph Muscat.
From what I have read so far, it gives one the impression that this piece of artwork is set to be another piece of PL propaganda.
There are some videos on YouTube available with Mrs Spitery performing on stage and the usual songs, including the Innu Partit Laburista, where I have to admit that she certainly has a good voice. But there is even the more younger one, Ira Losco who performs even better (comparing the voices).
Every time I watched such videos with the Innu Partit Laburista performed, it gave me the impression as if that tune was composed like a melody for children songs. The tune sounds so lighthearted. Whereas the other song ‘Tema ’79 – Gensna (record of 2014)’ really gives one an emotional touch hardly to escape from. Sounds like an alternative anthem of Malta to me, very passionate, almost overwhelming.
Well, if it wasn’t for all the partisan aspects that come in with the song and its historical as well as political background.
I understand that it is difficult for artists, no matter in which section of the arts they perform, to stay politically neutral and more so, when their popularity rises. Once they have given in to be absorbed by the propaganda machinery of a party, they become partisan propagandists in due course themselves. In some cases, the artist and the party find together as if they were destined for that sort of union.
Hallas it-taxxa cikku l-papru halli jkollu xi jberbaq J.M ghax ghadu ma redghax bizzejjed.
I always wonder how this country can find ways to dig itself into even deeper muck. Labour glorifying a very poor Shirley Bassey wannabe. Give us a break will you
another ex.labour greedy troll now with the muvument korrott.