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The World Will Be In Wellington For Festival 2004


The World Will Be In Wellington At The New Zealand International Arts Festival 2004

Events for the New Zealand International Arts Festival 2004 will feature some of the world’s best artists and performers in a three week feast of music, opera, dance, theatre, visual arts and comedy.

There are artists from 22 countries, as well as many of New Zealand’s most outstanding contemporary artists and companies. Headline acts include Grammy Award winners and nominees galore, a Pulitzer Prize Winner, an Oscar Winner, Emmy Award winning work, shows straight from the West End, and Edinburgh.

The 2004 Festival will be the tenth Festival in the Festival’s twenty-year history. “We’re presenting something for everyone from spectacular family events The Blue Planet Live! And Cookin’ to surreal circus to cutting edge dance and sparkling cabaret,” says Artistic Director Carla van Zon. “We hope to provoke laughter and tears, amazement and joy for all who participate.

The Stadium Spectacular in 2004 will be The Blue Planet Live! the innovative concert based on the international award winning series of the same name. The Blue Planet Live! makes its Southern Hemisphere debut at the Festival after sell-out performances in London, New York, Copenhagen and Hong Kong.

The concert brings together breathtaking, never before filmed scenes from our ocean planet and projects them onto giant screens with George Fenton’s passionate and stirring score for the footage brought to life by orchestra, two choirs and soloists in two unforgettable evenings at the Wellington’s Westpac Stadium.

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A play without words, a ballet without dance? The Overcoat wowed and mesmerized audiences and critics alike overseas and now it comes to New Zealand from the Barbican in London. Loosely based on Gogol’s short story of the same name it’s a large ensemble piece with a cast of 22 bringing to life over 60 characters in lavish production set tot eh sweeping music of Shostakovich.

From France comes the New Zealand Post season of James Thieree’s The Junebug Symphony, a magical surreal show for the whole family. His parents Victoria Chaplin and Jean-Baptist Thierrere, created the 1998 Festival hit Le Cercle Invisible. Junebug brings to life weird and wonderful creatures in the half world between waking and sleeping. You won’t believe your eyes.

Fierce flamenco rhythms, power, energy and heart-stopping beauty, with hands moving expressively and feet stamping to a ferocious unison required when a large number of dancers and musicians thunder on stage. This is the colourful, elegant, stylish and powerful National Bank of New Zealand season of Ballet Nacional de Espana (Spanish National Ballet Company). There’s cutting edge dance-opera with the return of C.de la B with its work, Foi (Faith).

Uncorking a potion of emotion is the Telecom opera The Elixir of Love (L’elisir d’amore) by Donizetti, the timeless story about obtaining the unattainable girl, featuring an outstanding international cast and crew. It Fizzes with high spirits, pathos and passion.

The hottest ticket from the Edinburgh Fringe is 12 Angry Men, a gritty and spellbinding masterpiece based on Reginald Rose’s deadly serious and beautifully crafted, Pulitzer-winning masterpiece, immortalised in Henry Fonda’s Oscar-winning film. In it 12 jurors deliberate over the fate of a young delinquent awaiting sentencing for the manslaughter of his aggressive father.

And After Mrs Rochester, the moving and compelling story of tragic and scandalous writer Jean Rhys and the connection between her famous book, Wide Sargasso Sea, and Mrs Rochester, Jane Eyre’s mad woman in the attic.

For the entertainment of all the family, hot on the heels of STOMP, comes Cookin’, the sell-out hit for two years in a row in Edinburgh, where four wacky Korean chefs ham it up in the kitchen to traditional salmunori beats with a western twist.

In music Tan Dun the Oscar and Grammy award-winning composer of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and America’s Composer of the Year will conduct the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra in two of his works at the Festival’s closing concert. International renowned pianist Boris Berman and cellist Dmitry Sitkovetsky join together for the Festival’s opening concert as part of the Tower International Series.

A music legend in many parts of the world and his country’s Minister of Culture, Gilberto Gil will perform two concerts after being named the Latin Grammy Awards Person of the Year last month.

The ‘cat’ from the Bronz, clarinetist Don Byron performs two concerts. Time Magazine wrote: ‘calling Don Byron a jazz musician is like calling the Pacific wet – it just doesn’t begin to describe it.’

The High Priest of Jazz Abdullah Abrahim from South Africa, Carmen Linares, one of the greatest flamenco singers of her generation and the indescribable and multi-talented four-time Grammy Award winner Lyle Lovett will each perform one-off concerts.

And what are the pigs doing on the farm? We’ll find out in a 21st Century adaptation of George Orwell’s Animal Farm. 180 performers will being Dvorak’s powerful choral work the Stabart Mater to life. Russian baritone Sergei Leiferkus’s command of both voice and stagecraft ensures he is known throughout the world for vivid and powerful performances. He pays homage to Feodor Chaliapin in a one-off concert.

New New Zealand work includes Hone Kouka’s The Prophet which concludes his Waiora trilogy, Roger Hall’s hilarious Spreading Out, Anthony Ritchie and Stuart Hoar’s comic chamber opera, Quartet and Verona’s Geographical Cure. The Royal New Zealand Ballet returns with a programme of three works, and for the children, there’s the Lynda Chanwai-Earle’s Monkey!

Toi Mana is a brilliant show case of Maori performing arts from the traditional kapa haka through to contemporary performances. Featured artists include Hinewehi Mohi and Whirimako Black.

Mahinarangi Tocker and Greg Johnson perform new music at the Heineken Festival Club and Kate Dimbleby returns with Music to Watch Boys By.

2004 is the first year comedy will feature at the Festival with the Best of the Fest from the Edinburgh Assembly Rooms, The Flight of the Conchords, Boothby Graffoe and John Hegley.

New Zealand Post Writers and Readers features international and national stars of the literary world. 2004 sees the irrepressible Clive James, Pulitzer Prize winner Richard Ford head to our shores with biographer Jenny Uglow, essayist Eliot Weinberger, poet Mark Doty children’s writer Geraldine McCaughrean and cult figure Etgar Keret, and Jenny Diski to name a few.

As well as an extensive regional, schools, and master class programme, where we take the Festival to schools and schools come to the Festival at discounted prices. There are three free picnics each Saturday throughout the Festival which bring international and local acts to the people by Toyota.

The full programme is available throughout New Zealand and for further information logon to www.nzfestival.telecom.co.nz

© Scoop Media

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