Tour Behind the Scenes at Malta's Manoel TheatreFrom the outside, Malta’s Manoel Theatre is handsome, but unassuming. Step through its main entrance and into the theater though, and the 285-year-old Valletta structure is dazzling – bringing to mind a gilded jewelry box or a terraced wedding cake.
Stopping by this Maltese landmark on an overcast morning uncharacteristic for sunny Malta, Shawn and I were greeted by Josette, a veteran employee who has been with the Manoel Theatre for more than 40 years.
We went everywhere from its musty limestone cellar to its top-floor gallery, which offers bird's eye views of the stage. Aside from getting close to the theater's graceful Baroque architecture, we enjoyed learning tidbits like how the theater's water reservoirs underneath the floor help facilitate impressive acoustics. Inside the wardrobe room, we tried on a pair of costumes from the theater's 14,000-piece collection, and we even tried our hand at making rain, wind, and thunder sounds using 19th century behind-the-scenes equipment.
Visitors to Valletta can attend a performance, take a tour, rent a costume for a special event, even stay overnight in the theater's studio apartments.
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