VIAF’s fringe activities include master classes in various disciplines, workshops, exhibitions, and talks.

This year being the 700th year from Dante’s death in 1321, VIAF’s organisers could not let this pass by without celebrating the great Italian poet’s genius and legacy, ‘il maestro dell’altissimo canto’ as Pope Paul VI calls him. To this effect, VIAF, in collaboration with the Department of English and the Institute of Anglo-Italian Studies at the University of Malta, have secured the excellent services of Prof. Robin Kirkpatrick of the University of Cambridge. Prof. Kirkpatrick is a world-class Dante scholar, and Professor of English and Italian Literature at Robinson College, Cambridge. He has published widely on Dante, the Renaissance, Theology, and is particularly interested in the interface between Italian and English Literature 1300-1600 and in the Modern Period. He has also translated in verse Dante’s Commedia, which was published by Penguin Classics in 2006-7.

Prof. Kirkpatrick’s talk is enigmatically entitled ‘Is Dante an English Author?’ The talk will be transmitted online.

Apart from Prof. Kirkpatrick’s talk, there will also be live performances by Francis Camilleri, who will play Liszt’s ‘Dante’ Sonata, as well as a rendering of Verdi’s ‘Laudi alla Vergine Maria’ on Dante’s opening lines of Canto xxxiii from ‘Il Paradiso’ by the female section of the Laudate Pueri Choir of St George’s Basilica. The choir will be under the direction of George J. Frendo.

This event will take place on Thursday 9 December 2021 at the Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry in Valletta at 7pm. As all VIAF events, this one is also free but due to COVID-19 health protocols, anyone interested needs to register by sending an email to [email protected] The event will also be transmitted through VIAF’s Facebook page and YouTube channel.

VIAF is sponsored by the Gozo Cultural Support Programme within Arts Council Malta. VIAF would also like to thank the Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry for making their beautiful hall available for this event.