Reuben Pace

Welcome to the official site of Belt il-Bniedem (City of Humanity)

Dear reader welcome to the official site of the artistic / educational project City of Humanity.

The ideas for this project have been brewing in my thoughts for a long time. I have had so far quite a long music teaching career. I started teaching classical guitar at home at the age of 16 and then moved on to teaching in state secondary schools.

This was followed by a period teaching full time in primary schools and also part-time at the University of Malta (where I still lecture) and at the Johann Strauss School of Music.

This teaching career ran parallel to my composing and production work and I started realising the potential of linking these two ‘jobs’ to the benefit of both myself, the students and the Maltese educational system in general. In my years of teaching I have encountered several students of all ages with exceptional artistic talent. Sadly though, these artistic talents go mostly unnoticed except maybe for the annual prize day show. Thus the urge to see these exceptional talents develop grew stronger within me.

The defining moment to start this project came in 2013 when I was commissioned to compose the first ever Maltese multi-media opera Il-Kantilena (this was premiered in December 2014 at the Manoel Theatre to a full house). During the production I was assisted by some students and the dancers which took part in the production where University students.

The next project to utilise young artistic talent was the oratorio Versus. The text of the Oratorio was built from 800 poems about how children view their relationship with God. These poems where collected from school children all over Malta and Gozo. Some of the poems were re-worked and given a more definite shape by students from the Drama Centre. The oratorio was premiered in November 2015 at the Mdina Cathedral as part of the Mdina Cathedral Art Biennale. A choir from Estonia , Collegium Musicale came to Malta on purpose to premier this work along with four Maltese solo singers.

City of Humanity is the next logical step in this process. Using the advantage that Valletta shall be European Capital of Culture in 2018, aside from the composition of the music (which is being done by yours truly) most of the rest of the production is being done by students from secondary schools till University. Other students are also involved in other aspects such as logistics and marketing.

My dream is that this project will provide a strong platform for budding Maltese artists (in all sectors of the arts) to showcase their talent in a professional production which also has strong links to our historical heritage.

Reuben Pace – producer/ composer / artistic director