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Otago Festival of the Arts Opens in Two Days

Otago Festival of the Arts Opens in Two Days

The first international artists have begun arriving in Dunedin in preparation for the opening of the fourth Otago Festival of the Arts.

Ten events open on Friday 6 October including the premières of two New Zealand plays and six international performances.

International performances include the acclaimed US theatre company The Actors’ Gang, presenting The Guys exclusively for the Festival. Based on writer Anne Nelson’s experience working with a Fire Chief after the collapse of the Twin Towers in New York, Artistic Director, Tim Robbins was inspired by the play’s simple yet compelling story of a terrible event. “For me it’s incredibly moving because the play reflects a spirit of survival that is moving but also funny at times.”

The stunning Ballet Concierto from Argentina, lead by award winning Iñaki Urlezaga will be performing two shows only, this troupe of 17 have never performed in New Zealand before, despite several tours world wide. For their Festival performance, they present an exotic presentation of stylised tango and evocative contemporary dance.

These remarkable events will provide a kick-start for Festival goers and set the pace for the next nine dynamic days and nights of fun. The Festival provides a programme where there is something for everyone, from the finest classical performers to stunning contemporary dance, intelligent and extraordinary theatre, to clever comedy, from intoxicating Pacific song and dance to a late night cocktail of blues, jazz and funk fusion.

“Ticket sales have been stronger than ever, with enquiries coming from all over the country,” commented Festival Director Nicholas McBryde, “however the Festival still encourages people to book ahead of the performances.”

Continuing the fantastic line-up is the deliciously silly play Wheeler’s Luck, the dazzling Te Vaka, the powerful King & Country joined by the St Kilda Brass Band live on stage, the hilariously irreverent All Classical Music Explained, the cabaret of Marlene Dietrich and much, much more.

On the final night of the Festival proudly presents the Jacques Loussier Trio in a brilliant evening of virtuoso magic and astounding jazz.

Juggling over 30 acts over 9 days is a formidable but engaging task – among the many last minute requests from performers the most recent is the need for a didgeridoo. Another task is creating new venues, St. Paul’s Cathedral becomes a lunchtime concert hall, building a theatre in the Otago Settlers Museum and transforming the upper reaches of the Town Hall into a late night jazz club.

Tickets available nationwide from Ticketek. for full festival details.


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