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The Edge's International Arts Season 2009

Media Release

9 December 2008

Star studded line-up for THE EDGE® International Arts Season 2009 includes Ethan Hawke, Sylvie Guillem, Patti LuPone and Mandy Patinkin

THE EDGE® is delighted to announce the programme for THE EDGE® International Arts Season 2009, featuring performers recognised as the world’s best in their respective genres. Five visiting companies will perform six shows at the Aotea Centre’s ASB Theatre between April and October, giving New Zealanders a unique opportunity to see world-class performers who are rarely seen on our stages.

The Bridge Project THE EDGE® is co-commissioner of The Bridge Project, bringing a cast of highly respected British and American actors to Auckland in April to perform two classic plays directed by Academy Award winning director Sam Mendes.

Tom Stoppard’s new adaptation of Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard is the first play to be staged, opening on Saturday 4 April for three performances. The same company will perform Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale, opening on Wednesday 8 April for six performances.

Simon Russell Beale leads the British/American cast, playing Lopakhin in The Cherry Orchard and Leontes in The Winter’s Tale. He is joined by Sinead Cusack as Madame Ranevskaya and Paulina, Richard Easton as Firs and Old Shepherd/Time, Rebecca Hall as Varya and Hermione, Josh Hamilton as Yasha and Polixenes, and Ethan Hawke as Trofimov and Autolycus.


Legendary French dancer Sylvie Guillem, widely regarded as the most “brilliant ballerina of her generation” THE GUARDIAN, is joined on stage by one of the UK’s most acclaimed dance artists, Russell Maliphant in PUSH. Commissioned by Sadler’s Wells, the programme features four pieces, Push, Solo, Shift and Two, and will showcase this extraordinary partnership in two performances on 25 and 26 April.

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A Gala Season with the Leading Dancers of the Paris Opera Ballet

Some of the leading dancers of the Paris Opera Ballet will perform in Auckland for three exceptional nights opening on 9 July.

The programme for this remarkable performance will highlight the extensive repertoire of the Paris Opera Ballet - from the great 19th century classics to the contemporary masterpieces. This breathtaking ballet performance by Les Étoile and Les Vedettes (stars) will showcase the exceptional talents of the dancers.

An Evening with Patti LuPone and Mandy Patinkin

Two of Broadway’s greatest and most venerated stars – Patti LuPone and Mandy Patinkin – bring their once-in-a-lifetime musical event to the Aotea Centre for one night only on 29 July. Funny, passionate, intimate and utterly unforgettable, this is an evening that no fan of musicals should miss. Much more than a concert, An Evening with Patti LuPone and Mandy Patinkin is a unique love story, told entirely through a brilliant collection of the greatest songs written for the stage including masterpieces by Stephen Sondheim and Richard Rodgers.

Piccolo Teatro di Milano

Piccolo Teatro di Milano will perform HARLEQUIN Servant of Two Masters, written in 1745 by the legendary Carlo Goldoni, in five performances opening on 3 October. This is New Zealand’s first opportunity to experience the work of Italy’s revered Piccolo Teatro di Milano. Established in 1947, they have travelled the globe keeping alive the renaissance art form, commedia dell’arte. In Italy the company is a symbol of a theatre tradition that is both very Italian and part of the world’s theatrical heritage. THE EDGE® Chief Executive Greg Innes says that he is delighted that THE EDGE® is able to attract outstanding companies to Auckland.

“Our vision for THE EDGE® is to have our venues alive with art and culture spanning all art forms. THE EDGE® International Arts Season mandate is to ensure the best of the world’s artists perform on our stages for our patrons,” Innes said.

“Our 2009 season is going to be hugely exciting and I am thrilled to be instrumental in bringing these acclaimed companies to THE EDGE®, and to our patrons and artistic communities.”


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