Jason Micallef - Chair, Valletta 2018 Foundation
Karsten Xuereb – Project Coordinator
Karsten Xuereb is Project Coordinator for the Valletta 2018 Foundation having previously been responsible for cultural matters at the Permanent Representation of Malta to the European Union in Brussels (2006-2011). He holds a Master of Arts degree in European Cultural Policy and Management from the University of Warwick which he attended as a Chevening scholar (2004-2005). He is a member of the U-40 UNESCO Network for the promotion of the UNESCO Convention on cultural diversity and has contributed to various publications.
Graziella Vella – Research Coordinator
Graziella Vella has a degree in Tourism Studies from the University of Malta and obtained an M.Sc in Cultural Management with distinction from the University of Ulster. Born and raised in Valletta, her studies have centred often on Malta’s capital city. Recently, she has focused her studies on the impacts the European Capital of Culture title produces on the regeneration of the cultural tourism product. Her professional background also includes financial management, through her experience as Executive within Heritage Malta, Malta’s national agency for museums, conservation practice and cultural heritage.
Margerita Pulè - Planning Coordinator
Margerita Pulè studied glass sculpture in Dublin, specialising in glass casting. Her work has been exhibited throughout Ireland and the UK. She has also worked in music copyright, with Recorded Artsits and Performers, working to administer the right of equitable remuneration for recorded singers and musicians in Ireland. Margerita joined the V.18 Foundation team in autumn 2011.
Edward Bonello - Communications Director
Edward Bonello holds a degree in Communications and Social Studies from the University of Malta. He previously held the post of Communications Co-ordinator, responsible for Public Relations and Media Coverage within the Ministry for Fair Competition, Small Business and Consumers and within the Parliamentary Secretariat for Small Business and Land. He has worked in various posts in television and radio in Malta, as well as in the film industry.
Marouska Formosa - Secretary
Marouska Formosa joined V.18 in July 2012. She holds a degree in Italian with Communication Studies. Previously she worked in the office of the Registrar at the University of Malta as well as in a retail company. She is currently following a course in Interior Design.
Wayne Marshall - Artistic Director
Wayne Marshall travels worldwide as a conductor, virtuoso organist and solo pianist. A renowned interpreter of Gershwin, Bernstein, Ellington and other 20th century American composers, he became Principal Guest Conductor of the Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi in September 2007. Appearances as guest conductor have included many UK orchestras as well as Accademia di Santa Cecilia, RAI Torino, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Vienna Radio, Swedish Radio, Sydney Symphony, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic and Maggio Musicale. Recent highlights have included 'West Side Story' (Bregenz) and 'Porgy and Bess' (BBC Proms, Bregenz, Washington, Dall and Paris). Organist-in-residence at Manchester's Bridgewater Hall, he has played in many of the world's top recital venues. He was appointed Artistic Director with Valletta 2018 Foundation in June 2012.
Artistic Programme Directors
Marc Cabourdin is a trained London theatre practitioner, working in the sector for the past 15 years. His training has led him to work and create theatre that is contemporary, challenging, honest, necessary and generous. As a creative theatre artist, asking questions is more important than providing answers, and he believes that artistic freedom bares discipline and responsibility. He is co-founder and artistic director of TAC Theatre and works extensively with foreign masters creating a theatre that moves and challenges, not just entertains. Marc encourages the relationship between the artist and the spectator, and t aims to reach wider audiences and break new barriers.
Coryse Borg has been working in media and theatre for several years She has had her work published in numerous local and foreign newspapers and magazines and has also worked extensively in TV, film, radio and web, as well as in Public Relations. Since graduating from the Manoel Theatre Academy of Dramatic Arts, Coryse has had roles in numerous theatrical productions. She also directed a number of plays at the Manoel Theatre and St James Cavalier and is a drama teacher at several theatre schools. Coryse has participated in theatre courses and performances overseas, as well as in street theatre with KneeHigh Theatre Company.
Mario Frendo is the current artistic director of the Malta Arts Festival. After performing with various Maltese orchestras for eighteen years Frendo read music and theatre studies at the University of Malta while playing an active role in contemporary theatre activity. He is currently conducting doctoral research in the field of performing arts studies at the University of Sussex (UK) focusing on the fusion of music and theatre in performance. Frendo is one of the directors of Theatre Arts Researching the Foundations (TARF Malta), and co-founder of Icarus Publishing together with Odin Teatret (Denmark) and the Grotowski Institute (Poland). Since 2008 he is the academic coordinator of the Theatre Studies Division within the School of Performing Arts at the University of Malta.
Jean Pierre Magro
Jean Pierre Magro is an award-winning writer and producer. Having started his career in television and documentaries, his films have been broadcast on major European and American networks. During this time he has become fascinated with narratives and the magical world of myth. After furthering his studies under David Howard, he worked as a freelance story analyst in Europe. In 2009 he was hired as Head of Development for FishCorb Films, where he developed a series of cutting edge projects with a series of Hollywood A-list writers. He is presently a doctoral researcher in transmedia narratives at the University of Exeter. Additionally, Jean Pierre lectures on Screenwriting and Mythology at the University of Malta. He is a producer at Immortal Transmedia.
Paul Portelli is a Theatre maker and actor. He is one of the founding members of Theatre Anon for which he directed a number of productions, including, Ospizio and Agamemnon. As a freelance actor Paul played leading roles ranging from Macbeth to a cockroach, and a very old man hooked to a crane. Paul loves a good story and hopes to help tease more fascinating tales out of the many exiting spaces that make up these islands.
Raphael Vella is an artist whose work has been widely exhibited and published internationally including Modern Art Oxford, Domaine Pommery, Reims, France, Lange Voorhout in The Hague, and several other venues. He has been artist-in-residence in a number of international institutions. Raphael is also active as a curator of art exhibitions, involving Maltese and international artists, and is currently Senior Lecturer in Art and Art Education within the Faculty of Education at the University of Malta. He is also the author of a number of books and academic articles about contemporary art and art education. He edited Cross-Currents: Critical essays on art and culture in Malta (Allied, Malta, 2008).
Ruben Zahra is a composer committed to contemporary expression and Mediterranean music heritage. His music has been presented in major international festivals all over Europe as well as in Egypt, Tunisia, India and Hong Kong. He studied at the University of Malta, the Academy of Santa Cecilia in Rome and Mills College in Oakland, California. In 2006 he established ‘Soundscapes’ which develops cross-border co-operation between cultural operators and institutions on a Euro-Mediterranean platform. Ruben Zahra is the president of the ‘Malta Association of Contemporary Music’ and in 2008 he was appointed artistic director of the Malta Mediterranean Folk Music Festival – Għanafest. Ruben Zahra lives in Malta and works internationally as a freelance composer.