Press Release – Auckland Arts Festival
*30 LOCATIONS AND VENUES ACROSS AUCKLAND*
From 6 to 24 March 2013, Aucklanders and visitors to the region are invited to choose their own adventures through the streets, theatres and galleries, as the Auckland Arts Festival bursts to life across the city.
Auckland’s premier arts festival will provide endless opportunities for everyone – whether arts fanatics or first timers – to experience theatre, music, dance and art by some of the country’s and the world’s very best performers and artists. A major pyrotechnic performance in the Domain that will delight adults and children alike; a smash-hit comedy direct from the West End; a high-energy Colombian circus that has had audiences in London, Paris and New York gripping the edges of their seats and a stellar line up of music from around the world are just some of over 100 performances and events planned for 30 locations and venues across Auckland. Tickets for the largest scale Auckland Arts Festival yet go on sale at 7pm, Wednesday 31 October.
Sparking off the Auckland Arts Festival 2013 in the first week is The Breath of the Volcano, a brilliant new work created especially for Auckland and Auckland Arts Festival by the most intrepid pyrotechnic performance company in the world, France’s Groupe F. The Breath of the Volcano takes place in Auckland’s Domain for three shows only and is a thrilling outdoor performance for the whole family that showcases light in its many glorious forms.
Other international highlights include the National Theatre of Great Britain’s side-splitting, West End smash-hit play One Man, Two Guvnors; Urban, one of the world’s most revolutionary circus experiences by the young and fearless performers of Circolombia; an award-winning dance theatre work by two of Europe’s hottest choreographers Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and Damien Jalet, Babel(words) ; China’s most successful contemporary play of all time, Rhinoceros in Love; the National Theatre of Scotland’s rambunctious play-in-a-pub, The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart and an introspective theatre work for individuals on their own journey that takes place through the streets and laneways of Auckland, en route.
Auckland Arts Festival’s Artistic Director, Carla van Zon, said, “The arts have always had the power to bring people closer together. We are proud of our position as the Arts Festival for New Zealand’s most international city and are looking forward to welcoming hundreds of performers, producers and technicians from over 18 countries to Auckland in March.”
In addition to the international programme, the wealth of creative talent from New Zealand has driven a Māori and Pacific programme that is one of the 2013 Festival’s treasures. This includes a one-night-only music extravaganza, Everything is Ka Pai, which welcomes to the stage The Yoots, Maisey Rika, Ria Hall, Annie Crummer, Seth Haapu, Pio Terei and the legendary John Rowles. Also in the programme is the world premiere of the newest play by award-winning playwright Mitch Tawhi Thomas, Hui; New Zealand’s first ever Pacific Musical, The Factory; I, George Nepia, the award-winning play about the invincible rugby legend; and an extra special opera experience, not in Italian or German, but Te Reo, Whaka-Aria-Mai.
Other New Zealand highlights include Benjamin Britten’s momentous War Requiem, which is being brought to life by the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, Voices New Zealand Chamber Choir, New Zealand Youth Choir and three major international soloists; Songs and Dances of Desire, In Memorium Carmen Rupe, Jack Body’s new work for the APO; Convergence, an innovative work by the NZTrio and Māori musical instrument specialist Horomono Horo; a choral celebration of the work of Benjamin Britten 100 years after his birth, Little Britten; a community-based roving performance event that takes place on and around Auckland’s iconic Dominion Rd called Dominion Rd Stories produced by ATC; and the Royal New Zealand Ballet’s Made to Move.
Music-lovers are also well catered for by the likes of the renowned Kronos Quartet performing with Chinese pipa virtuoso Wu Man; Irish indie music icon Glen Hansard and his band The Frames who are being supported by the divine Lisa Hannigan; soul sister Ruthie Foster who will bring it with her all-girl band; the Godfather of Afrobeat Hugh Masekela who is trumpeting in to the Town Hall for one special performance; and Coffee with Mr. Bach, a late-afternoon Early Music treat.
Auckland Arts Festival’s rockin’ Festival Club, NZ’s own spiegeltent, is back and ready to eclipse Aotea Square with music and performance. Inhabitants of the Festival Club include Cantina, an underground 1930s style circus-cabaret starring performers from La Clique, Circus Oz and Cirque; The Stochelo Rosenberg Trio with their trademark Django Reinhardt-inspired hot guitar; contemporary Afro-Peruvian fusion ensemble Novalima; a swinging retro salsa dura band out of Colombia, LA-33; and must-see a capella, beat box masters, The Magnets, fresh from five-star performances at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Additional Festival Club gigs will be revealed closer to the time.
Also back in 2013 is the visual arts night of nights, White Night, when for one night only on Saturday 16 March, over 50 of Auckland’s galleries will be open from 6pm until midnight. The Festival’s vast visual arts programme, which includes a special commission of a new community-based work by extraordinary NZ artist, Tiffany Singh, and many other exhibitions from a range of international and New Zealand artists, are all outlined in our Visual Arts Press Release
Van Zon has programmed a Festival that celebrates the unique cultural diversity, location and energy of New Zealand’s largest city – the Auckland Arts Festival is an open invitation for everyone to come along and immerse themselves in the arts while they have the opportunity.
“A festival is a moment in time that will never happen again. It is a celebration and an occasion to come together as a community to share in the spirit and creativity of an array of artists. We trust everyone will find something in the programme they love, and we welcome people to try something they haven’t before or by someone they’ve never heard of. Because at the heart of every artist’s work is the audience: creating a moment to delight, challenge or surprise each and every audience member. Artistic experiences can enrich the lives of all people at any age or stage,” van Zon said.
Of the Auckland Arts Festival as a whole and its place in Auckland’s major events calendar, Auckland Arts Festival Chief Executive, David Inns, said, “The Auckland Arts Festival is a key cultural tourism driver for the region. Aside from facilitating the coming together of people, cultures and stories, the Festival takes very seriously its role in providing Auckland with a number of social and economic opportunities – opportunities for audiences to access the best local and international work, opportunities for New Zealand artists to get their work out of the rehearsal room and on to the world stage, and behind-the-scenes employment opportunities for over 200 local arts professionals and students every Festival.”
About Auckland Arts Festival
Auckland Arts Festival is governed by the Auckland Festival Trust and the Board chaired by Victoria Carter. Trustees are Rick Carlyon, Roger MacDonnell, Toni Millar, Jim Moser, John Judge, Heather Shotter and Fred Ward. The Trust receives core funding from Auckland Council through the Auckland Regional Amenities Funding Act, and from Creative New Zealand through the Toi Tōtara Haemata programme.
The Festival’s executive team is Artistic Director Carla van Zon and Chief Executive David Inns. Significant support for the Auckland Arts Festival 2013 is received from the ASB Community Trust, NZ Major Events, The Lion Foundation and Pub Charity; Gold Sponsors Westpac and Colenso BBDO; Silver Sponsors Auckland Airport and Classic Hits; and other sponsors, patrons and donors.