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Arts Festival offers 930 artists from 30 countries

Press Release – New Zealand International Arts Festival
The New Zealand International Arts Festival has launched its programme for 2010.

Sutra - photo Hugo Glendinning
Click to enlarge

Sutra – photo Hugo Glendinning

From internationally acclaimed conductor, Vladimir Ashkenazy to legendary sitar player, Ravi Shankar, the New Zealand International Arts Festival will present the best arts the world has to offer from 26 February to 21 March.

A total of 930 artists from 30 countries bring the latest in international theatre, music, dance and visual arts to New Zealand including 18 Australasian premieres.

“Our programme goes from strength to strength. When choosing the range of events for this biennial celebration, excellence, innovation and diversity are key ingredients. The Festival is a celebration. Audiences expect a sense of community, wonderment, relevance and fun. It’s their Festival,” says Lissa Twomey, Artistic Director of the New Zealand International Arts Festival.

“Accessible ticketing broadens the reach of the Festival along with extraordinary free events including a live relay of Mahler’s monumental 8th Symphony into Civic Square from the performance at the Michael Fowler Centre when we open the Festival on 26 February.”

Renowned conductor Vladimir Ashkenazy conducts Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, eight of the world’s great vocal soloists as well as Voices New Zealand Chamber Choir, Christchurch City Choir, Orpheus Choir of Wellington, Choristers of Wellington Cathedral of Saint Paul and the New Zealand Youth Choir.

In a special Wagner Gala, New Zealand’s internationally celebrated tenor Simon O’Neill returns from the world’s finest opera houses to perform with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra in a concert that features highlights from the Ring Cycle, Parsifal and Lohengrin.

The 2010 Festival opens its special Chamber Music Weekend with the celebrated Borodin Quartet and their signature Russian repertoire. The Chamber Music Weekend offers two days of the finest chamber music including free recitals, films, pre-concert talks and an exhibition.

World premieres of New Zealand work include composer David Downes’ Kingdom performed by NZTrio, Jenny McLeod’s Peaks of Cloud performed by tenor Keith Lewis and pianist Michael Houstoun; and Ross Harris’ The Abiding Tides performed by the New Zealand String Quartet and soprano Jenny Wollerman.

There is the world theatrical premiere of 360 by New Zealand’s A Nightsong Productions and Theatre Stampede, and Taki Rua Production’s Mark Twain & Me in Māoriland written by David Geary.

The theatre programme features the New Zealand debut by legendary theatre director Peter Brook, whose latest work Eleven and Twelve is currently in rehearsal in Paris for its world premiere on 24 November. New Zealand will be only the third country, after the Barbican Theatre in London, to experience Brook’s latest work.

Ground-breaking theatre from TR Warzsawa of Poland, the New Riga Theatre of Latvia, and Ireland’s Druid Theatre line up with Sweden’s high-flying cult circus Cirkus Cirkör. Major dance works include the box office standout Sutra by Europe’s trailblazer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui produced by the UK’s leading dance house Sadler’s Wells; Good Morning, Mr. Gershwin from French choreographic visionaries Compagnie Montalvo-Hervieu and Echoa from the Lyon-based Arcosm.

Australia’s acclaimed Shaun Parker brings his latest choreography Happy As Larry, and New Zealand’s Claire O’Neil and Footnote Dance Company perform the award-winning MTYLAND.

“The Festival has launched a new initiative called RESTAGE that supports productions previously seen on New Zealand stages at their next phase of development,” says Twomey.

New Zealand productions that have evolved through RESTAGE include The Arrival by Red Leap Theatre, He Reo Aroha directed by Hone Kouka and written by Miria George and Jamie McCaskill; Auckland Theatre Company’s Ship Songs by Ian Hughes that features Don McGlashan, Chris O’Connor and Dave Khan playing live on stage; and Apollo 13: Mission Control from HACKMAN that has grown to include 96 consoles for audience to use during the rescue of three astronauts back to Earth.

The music in the programme includes Ravi and Anoushka Shankar, contemporary Jazz greats – vocalists Dianne Reeves, Patti Austin, Lizz Wright and Simone paying homage to the high priestess of soul, Nina Simone; and Branford Marsalis and his quartet with their driving jazz mixed with romantic streaks.

The Festival programme also includes an incredible array of free events including France’s street theatre maestros Royal de Luxe and their Revolt of the Mannequins. For nine days Welington’s CBD will be overtaken by the comic strip scenes staged in 10 store front windows where 40 mannequins play out scenes from their lives. Every night the mannequins’ scenes change, until they revolt!

Also from France, Compagnie Beau Geste performs Transports Exceptionnels at Waitangi Park. Dancer Philippe Priasso performs a breathtaking duet with a mechanical digger to the dramatic voice of Maria Callas.

“We continue our SchoolFest educational programme that offers performances and behind the scenes workshops, and our Art On The Move programme represents the most extensive

international theatre programme ever with performances and exhibitions held in Porirua, the Kapiti Coast, Upper and Lower Hutt and the Wairarapa,” says Twomey.

The visual arts programme features 15 exhibitions in eight galleries in Wellington city and the region including world renowned light sculptor Anthony McCall, pioneer video artist Bill Viola and sound sculptor Janet Cardiff, as well as New Zealand’s Frances Hodgkins, Séraphine Pick, Milan Mrkusich, Judy Millar and Francis Upritchard who represented New Zealand at the Venice Biennale this year.

New Zealand Post Writers and Readers Week features 19 international and 3 New Zealand writers that include some of literature’s luminaries as well as some of tomorrow’s stars. The 2010 line-up includes literary superstars Neil Gaiman, Simon Schama and Richard Dawkins, American novelist Susanna Moore, Pakistani novelist Kamila Shamsie and the phenomenally popular German novelists Daniel Kehlmann and Iliya Troyanov as well as our own Emily Perkins. Less well known here in New Zealand, but quickly making names for themselves internationally are the Canadian novelists Lisa Moore and Gil Adamson, and Polish writer Olga Tokarczuk. From across the Tasman come two fabulous fiction writers Joan London and Margo Lanagan. Our featured genre writers include Spooks scriptwriter and novelist Neil Cross and Booker Prize short-list writer Sarah Waters.

The 2010 New Zealand International Arts Festival is made possible thanks to funding from core funders – Wellington City Council and Creative New Zealand – and major grants from the Major Events Development Fund, The Community Trust of Wellington, New Zealand Community Trust and The Lion Foundation. The Festival also acknowledges the valued support of all its corporate sponsors including Gold Sponsors – New Zealand Post Group, TV3, Clemenger BBDO and Pacific Blue.

All the exciting programme details are online at www.nzfestival.nzpost.co.nz from 7.30pm on Tuesday 3 November. Tickets will be sale to the public on 19 November.

MEDIA RELEASE

Embargoed until 6pm 3 November 2009

New Zealand International Arts Festival Announces Programme for 2010 Festival

The New Zealand International Arts Festival has announced its programme for 2010.

From legendary sitar player, Ravi Shankar, to acclaimed conductor, Vladimir Ashkenazy the New Zealand International Arts Festival will present the best arts the world has to offer from 26 February to 21 March.

“The Festival programme goes from strength to strength, and a total of 930 artists from 30 countries are bringing the latest in international theatre, music, dance and visual arts to the New Zealand International Arts Festival next year,” says Lissa Twomey, Artistic Director of the New Zealand International Arts Festival.

“We are delighted to be featuring 18 Australasian premieres including the latest work from the legendary director Peter Brook,” says Twomey.

The Festival line-up also includes writers Richard Dawkins, Simon Schama and Neil Gaiman as well as four of the world’s leading contemporary jazz vocalists – Dianne Reeves, Patti Austin, Lizz Wright and Simone – who pay tribute to the late great Nina Simone.

The New Zealand International Arts Festival will build a new performance venue with hospitality lounge, Pacific Blue Festival Club, on the Wellington waterfront that will offer music performance and award-winning cabaret theatre.

“The New Zealand International Arts Festival is a celebration of excellence and innovation for all New Zealanders, including extraordinary free events and an accessible ticketing initiative – Tix For 20 – which we see as particularly important in this economic climate,” says Twomey.

The 2010 New Zealand International Arts Festival is made possible thanks to funding from core funders – Wellington City Council and Creative New Zealand – and major grants from the Major Events Development Fund, The Community Trust of Wellington, New Zealand Community Trust and The Lion Foundation. The Festival also acknowledges the valued support of all its corporate sponsors including Gold Sponsors – New Zealand Post Group, TV3, Clemenger BBDO and Pacific Blue.
ENDS

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1 comment:

  1. Jas McDonnell, 6. November 2009, 16:29

    Yet another “International” Festival that has virtually no music, or musicians from overseas (even Ashkenazy spends most of his time in Oz these days)…so where are the international singers, pianists, instrumentalists, orchestras, conductors etc and what is the theme of music in this Festival? What composers are we celebrating in 2010? You’d never know…. Absolutely, mind-numbingly dumbed-down disappointing programme yet again, and enough not even to bother going and hearing the Mahler 8. It was Markus Stenz who did this work only a few years ago…too much dance, and local product. Which we seem to be stifled with. Major Brickbats to the Festival Director….dont give up your day job if you still have one!

     

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