Medinea On Air
Senior lecturer | Musician
Mario Frendo is a senior lecturer with the Department of Theatre Studies at the School of Performing Arts, University of Malta. After a 20-year career as a professional musician with the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra between 1987 and 2006, he worked in the cultural and creative sectors as an event organiser and co-founded the Malta International Arts Festival in 2006. He remained artistic director of that festival for eight years, until 2013.
He read for an MA in music composition under the supervision of Maltese composer Charles Camilleri and obtained his PhD from Sussex University in 2013 with a thesis entitled Musicality and the Act of Theatre: Developing Musicalised Dramaturgies for Theatre Performance. In 2007 he joined the University of Malta as a member of the academic staff in the Department of Theatre Studies, where he delivers lectures on subjects related to theatre and performance histories, theories and practices. He acted as head of the Department of Theatre Studies twice, from 2008 to 2013 and from 2017 to 2021. He is currently a consultant to the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra on artistic matters and programme development, and is director of ARC Research and Consultancy — a platform that provides research and consultancy services on EU Funding and programming for collaborative cultural projects. Through ARC, he is involved with the European Festivals Association (EFA) and the Europe for Festivals, Festivals for Europe (EFFE) project, of which ARC is the Malta hub. In addition, through ARC, he is a member of the Medinea Network. In February 2021, he was appointed honorary president of the Malta Classics Association for one year, until February 2022.
Mario has published articles in various performance-related journals, including Studies in Musical Theatre, New Theatre Quarterly and Contemporary Theatre Review, and has contributed to chapters for several books. His main area of research in theatre and performance is interdisciplinarity. More specifically, he is interested in opera pedagogies and contemporary opera-making, music-theatre theories and practices, relationships between performance and philosophy — particularly, Nietzsche’s performative perspectives — and the impacts of musical and oral traditions on the development of ancient Greek tragedy.