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New Zealand International Arts Festival News 27/2

NEW ZEALAND INTERNATIONAL ARTS FESTIVAL
27 February - 21 March 2004

In this issue:
* TARIQ ALI JOINS PROGRAMME
* FLYING - LYLE DOESN'T LOVE IT
* MINISTER OF COOL TO VISIT CAPITAL
* SPANISH BALLET ANNOUNCES REPERTOIRE
* AFTER MRS ROCHESTER A UK HIT
* FESTIVAL MASCOT ABDUCTED?

Welcome to the first Festival News of 2004. We hope you have had a fab holiday, and some truly memorable summer days. Festival staff have been back at work since 5 January and everything is proceeding well in readiness for the opening day, now less than six weeks away!

Lyle Lovett's cancellation was extremely disappointing for all of us here and for those fans who were so looking forward to his show - but there is not much you can do about an artist who decides that flying is too risky due to heightened security risks. But it's business as usual for a whole lot of brave artists and the great music programme leaves little room for disappointment. For music legends look no further than American Don Byron, a completely brilliant, funky jazz clarinet player who brings his band for two concerts at the Town Hall and the wonderful Brazilian 'Minister of Cool', Gilberto Gil (a Grammy-winning Government Minister in his country) who appears in two very different concerts with his big band.

Tickets sales are zooming along - hot sellers have been the seasons of Junebug Symphony, National Ballet of Spain, and 12 Angry Men with Gilberto Gil, Abdullah Ibrahim and Tan Dun right up there in the music concert stakes. It is time to get serious about your tickets and ensure that you have bought for all the shows you want to see.

If you still have some free time then here are a couple of hints; read some books which background shows in the Festival. Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys, for example, will give you a good backdrop to the play After Mrs Rochester. Or take time to surf the net for articles about authors, playwrights and musicians whose work is in the Festival. We have found some absolutely fascinating material about the authors who were contemporaries of Jean Rhys - Orwell, Huxley, Eliot, Woolf and of course our own Katherine Mansfield. George Orwell published his book Down and Out in Paris and London just a couple of years after Jean Rhys wrote her book The Left Bank and Other Stories about her life in Paris. A big difference between Orwell and Rhys is that Orwell chose to be poor and live on the seedy side of life, while Rhys had no choice.

We'll be back every week with helpful hints and a little info plus the weekly competition for double tickets to a Festival show. Take it easy if you have just started back at work - it is a big shock to the system and needs to be eased into gently.

Carla van Zon, Artistic Director David Inns, Chief Executive

BUSH COMES UNDER FIRE

Tariq Ali, the best-selling Pakistan-born author renowned for his incisive criticism of American foreign policy, has joined the New Zealand Post Writers and Readers Week line-up. The author of The Clash of Fundamentalisms and Bush in Babylon - The Recolonisation of Iraq drew huge crowds at last year's Melbourne Writer's Festival.

http://www.nzfestival.telecom.co.nz/home/page.aspx?page_id=9

MINISTER OF COOL TO VISIT CAPITAL

Don't get the blues over Lyle Lovett's cancellation - get the soul, afro, funks over Gilberto Gil's concerts. He's the Brazilian Minister for Culture, credited with 'putting the samba into reggae' and took Person of the Year at the 2003 Latin Grammy Awards. The bonafide Brazilian Legend will play two shows at the Queens Wharf Events Centre including a tribute to his hero Bob Marley. http://www.nzfestival.telecom.co.nz/home/page.aspx?page_id=14&activity_id=37

FLYING - LYLE DOESN'T LOVE IT

Lyle Lovett has cancelled his sold-out show at the Town Hall. The country star released a statement saying he was pulling out of his Australasian tour after he "decided that international travel was too risky to be attempted at this time". Ticket holders will be refunded at Ticketek outlets.

http://www.nzfestival.telecom.co.nz/home/page.aspx?page_id=9

SPANISH BALLET ANNOUNCES REPERTOIRE

The National Ballet of Spain has announced the repertoire for its 2004 Festival season. The world-renowned company will showcase a range of flamenco styles in a programme that includes a passionate reworking of the classic fable Medea. The dancers will be accompanied by an ensemble of musicians including guitarists, percussionists, and singers.

http://www.nzfestival.telecom.co.nz/home/page.aspx?page_id=9

MASCOT ABDUCTED?

The Festival's popular Kiwi mascot has been AWOL all summer. Festival staff are suspecting fowl play (oh stop it - Ed) after receiving a series of photos depicting the bird with the outrageous tail feathers in various exotic locales around New Zealand. Some kind of a sick joke? Probably. See Kiwi's travel pics and other candid snapshots in the Image Gallery.

http://www.nzfestival.telecom.co.nz/home/page.aspx?page_id=68

AFTER MRS ROCHESTER - LOVED BY UK REVIEWERS

Directed by Polly Teale, Best Director winner at the 2003 Evening Standard Theatre Awards, After Mrs Rochester gives local audiences the chance to sample cutting-edge British drama at its very best. Featuring film star Diana Quick (Brideshead Revisited, Saving Grace) in the lead role.

Recent UK reviews confirm this work as one of the greats of the 2004 theatre programme: "Breathtaking ... a rare feat of theatrical imagining." Evening Standard "An outstanding production flawlessly performed." Mail on Sunday "Full of theatrical invention, expressive physicality and the acute psychological insights that are the hallmark of Shared Experience at their impressive best." Daily Telegraph

http://www.nzfestival.telecom.co.nz/home/page.aspx?page_id=4&activity_id=18

NEW ZEALAND INTERNATIONAL ARTS FESTIVAL

27 February - 21 March 2004


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