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Only two days to go until opening night!


Only two days to go until opening night!

A huge 28-metre-high inflatable white dome has landed in Waitangi Park!

The spunky young cast of the Lexus Season of The History Boys have flown in from sell-out shows in Hong Kong!

The Michael Fowler Centre is reverberating with the sumptuous rehearsal sounds of the NZSO and the international operatic cast of award-winning composer Tan Dun’s opera Tea: A Mirror of Soul!

The National Bank Festival Club is firmly planted in the new Waitangi Park and is set to be the hottest place in town for drinks and late night entertainment!

The photographs for the Australasian premiere of Earth from Above, the free outdoor exhibition which will be on show for the duration of the Festival, are in place and looking exceptional!

Festival fever has well and truly arrived in Wellington City!

The eleventh New Zealand International Arts Festival opens this Friday 24 February. There is no doubt that after two years of preparation the $12.5 million dollar biennial Festival is here. And it's a big one! A three week feast of the best theatre, dance, music, opera, visual and literary arts the world has to offer, which brings over 1000 artists from 27 different countries to the capital to perform in a total of 121 events.

Currently the talk of the town is the huge white inflated dome that has landed on the edge of Waitangi Park. For the next three weeks it will be home to the acclaimed French trapeze artists Les Arts Sauts. These magicians of the air, who were the runaway hit of the 2000 Festival, return to New Zealand with an all-new death-defying and elegant trapeze show.

The dome (eight metres taller than in 2000) will house this spectacular event. The audience lies back in specially designed lounge-style deck-chairs (complete with rubber roll for added neck support) while the unbelievable trapeze show unfolds above their heads. The dome went up on Sunday night after the Wellington fire brigade pumped 200,000 litres of water into the ballast to weight the structure down. The 52-strong Les Arts Sauts Company arrived last week – travelling as they do with their children and a school teacher and even a collection of bicycles! When not rehearsing inside the dome they can often be seen biking around the central city.

Meanwhile international artists are arriving every day from all over the world. As well as the 17-member cast of The History Boys and Oscar-winning composer Tan Dun, the Cornwall-based cast of the TV3 Season of Tristan & Yseult and famous German theatre director Heiner Goebbels are keeping the Festival artist liaison team busy travelling to and from the airport picking up new arrivals. It’s interesting to note there are more than 5000 bed nights booked for Festival artists alone during the Festival.

Don’t miss out on the chance to get your piece of Festival action! It all kicks off this Friday 24 February and runs until Sunday 19 March 2006.


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