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Arts Festival News - 27 February - 21 March 2004

NEW ZEALAND INTERNATIONAL ARTS FESTIVAL
27 February - 21 March 2004

In this issue:

* WIN TICKETS TO DMITRY SITKOVETSKY & BORIS BERMAN
* HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO US
* MEET THE FESTIVAL'S MINISTER OF SOUND
* OUT AND ABOUT - TOP ACTS IN YOUR OWN BACKYARD
* WRITERS AND READERS PROGRAMME OUT NEXT WEEK
* CLIVE JAMES GALORE
* GET FOLKED!

Nau mai haere mai and welcome

Today we celebrated our 10th birthday with a huge pohutukawa coloured kiwi cake. Mayor Kerry Prendergast blew out the candles which was very appropriate as the Wellington City Council has supported the Festival through thick and thin since it first began. Many of you will remember the first Festival and the many changes, to both the Festival and the City, which have taken place since that time. Wellington is a whole lot more sexy and colourful now and the Festival is four times as big, with audiences quadrupling since it first began. We celebrated this week so that staff could enjoy the cake before the mad onslaught begins.

Our first international artist steps off the plane from Europe on Friday afternoon. Diva Rebecca Caine will perform the lead role of Adina in the Telecom Opera, The Elixir of Love. Hot on her heels will be the Festival's Associate Director and opera producer, our own beloved funny man, Joseph Seelig. It will be wonderful to have Joseph back in town. No doubt there will be a few celebratory drinks on Sunday night. Also arriving at the weekend will be opera director Daniel Slater and Riccardo Novaro who will play the love-sick Nemorino. No doubt the artists will be pleased to be in the sunny southern hemisphere, rather than in Europe, which seems to be suffering a rage of snow storms. The Elixir of Love goes into rehearsal on Tuesday while the Festival and Downstage co-production Geographical Cure starts on Monday. Director Murray Lynch and the Verona team have all the songs written, script completed and they are ready to rock 'n' roll. Elixir has been selling like hot cakes this last week.

Other hot tickets this week have been jazz maestro Abdullah Ibrahim who is very close to selling out and Ballet Nacional de España. We spent some time watching videos of the Ballet for footage for the TV ad and we can say that this is a fantastic company - gorgeous female dancers who at times are performing two independent rhythms at once with castanets in their hands and their feet stamping. And the men - well they strut like peacocks and their feet dance in rhythms at a speed that you just wouldn't believe.

There is a regular Festival spot every Sunday at 11.10am on ZB with Gary Ward where we play a little music by Festival artists and talk about a show or two. Last week Carla played some of the luscious Goldberg Variations performed by Dmitry Sitkovetsky. This week David will play some 'tunes' from Elixir and a Gilberto Gil track. He will also talk about how we put the opera together, from creating the design to building the sets. So tune in to ZB on Sunday. Have a great week and look out for more news next Wednesday in your weekly Festival News.

Carla van Zon, Artistic Director

David Inns, Chief Executive

PS Pray for good weather in Wellington this weekend (actually we need it from now until March 21) so our artists get a good first impression.

AND MANY HAPPY RETURNS

Ten New Zealand International Arts Festivals in 20 years. Phew! Pass the bubbles and a piece of cake! Mayor Kerry Prendergast came over to blow out the candles and TV3 popped in to capture the moment. Check out our birthday pics in the Image Gallery.

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

MINISTER OF SOUND

Our "sound guy" is responsible for ensuring the right plugs go in the right holes for $2.5m of hi-tech equipment for hundreds of shows in more than a dozen venues over 24 days and nights. With credentials that include The Clash, BB King and Kiri Te Kanawa, Pete Lumley is the right man for the job.

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

YOU NEED TO STAY HOME MORE

We bring the Festival to you in 2004 with a range of free and ticketed events in the Hutt Valley, Kapiti, Porirua and the Wairarapa. Flamenco guitar maestros Young & Rollins and Indian fusion funksters Mrigya are just two of the international acts you'll find playing right on your doorstep.

http://www.nzfestival.telecom.co.nz/home/page.aspx?page_id=58

YOU'VE READ THE BOOK - NOW READ THE PROGRAMME

The much-anticipated programme for New Zealand Post Writers and Readers Week is back from the printers and will be available at selected outlets - and on our website - from Thursday 5 February.

Beat the rush and get the best deal with a Concession Pass, which offers a substantial discount and guarantees single tickets for up to 15 events (excluding Special Events). You can select the 15 events of your choice and enjoy a preferential booking period before public bookings open on 7 February.

http://www.nzfestival.telecom.co.nz/home/page.aspx?page_id=15

CLIVE LIVE

If you thought you'd missed out on tickets to Clive James, think again. The New Zealand Post Writers and Readers programme features three events with Clive James in addition to the (sold out) Brunch. Tickets for Writers International are available right now. Clive also appears in two further events at the Embassy, including a session devoted exclusively to his many brilliant careers. You'll find further details in the programme released on 5 February.

http://www.nzfestival.telecom.co.nz/home/page.aspx?page_id=15

IT'S THE NEW TECHNO

Get on the worldwide folk revival bandwagon with 2003 Mercury Music Prize nominee Eliza Carthy, the 'versatile, expressive and intimate' Mahinarangi Tocker and 2003 Perrier Award-nominated local heroes Flight of the Conchords.

http://www.nzfestival.telecom.co.nz

IT'S OUR BIRTHDAY BUT YOU GET THE PRESENTS!

Marian Kljakovic was last week's lucky winner of After Mrs Rochester tickets after correctly naming Lexus as the sponsor. This week we're giving away two A-reserve tickets to Dmitry Sitkovetsky and Boris Berman.

'[Sitkovetsky's] vital and assured playing is as astonishing as his consistent individuality of interpretation' GUARDIAN, UK '[Berman's] technical resources appear to be virtually limitless' THE NEW YORK TIMES, USA

To go in the draw simply reply to this email with the answer to this question in the subject line: Who is the sponsor of the Sitkovetsky and Berman opening concert?

You'll find the answer to this and other competitions on the Festival website http://www.nzfestival.telecom.co.nz

Conditions of entry: 1. Open to New Zealand residents except employees of New Zealand International Arts Festival and its sponsors. 2. The competition closes 5pm on 2 February 2004 and the first correct entry drawn randomly will receive the prize. The winner will be notified by email. 3. The judge's decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. 4. The prize is not transferable or redeemable for cash. 5. Entries become the property of the New Zealand International Arts Festival and may be used for promotional purposes.

NEW ZEALAND INTERNATIONAL ARTS FESTIVAL

27 February - 21 March 2004


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