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The 60th Anniversary Adelaide Festival Program Announced


The 60th Anniversary Adelaide Festival Program Announced

The 2020 Adelaide Festival program to be launched on Tuesday 29 October 2019 at Bonython Hall, reaffirms the Festival's reputation as one of the world's great festivals and its pre-eminence in Australia, 60 years after its debut in 1960.

AF20 offers a total of 74 events in theatre, music, opera, dance, film, writing and visual arts - with uniquely local festivals-within-the-Festival Adelaide Writers' Week, Chamber Landscapes at UKARIA and WOMADelaide returning - over 18 days from 28 February to 15 March.

16 Australian premieres, 7 world premieres and 19 events playing exclusively in Adelaide will establish this 35th Adelaide Festival as a cultural benchmark in a very special year which also celebrates the 30th anniversary of the Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art - along with the 250th anniversary of the birth of Beethoven, whose works inform four major events in the 2020 program.

Adelaide Festival - 60 Years, a landmark commemorative book, will be amongst the titles launched at Adelaide Writers' Week.

Steven Marshall, Premier of South Australia, said:
"2020 represents a major milestone for South Australia's own nationally and internationally-acclaimed Adelaide Festival. This year we celebrate the Festival's 60th anniversary and welcome the very best artists from around the world, across the country and from our own community. Our Festival's well-earned, world-wide reputation for delivering exceptional and memorable experiences for visitors, provides a valuable opportunity to showcase all our festive city offers. I congratulate Neil and Rachel on creating and delivering this superb 60th anniversary program. Thank you to the thousands of organisers, participants, patrons and spectators who, since 1960, have made this uniquely South Australian event such a success."

Festival Artistic Directors Rachel Healy and Neil Armfield on...
Why their fourth Adelaide Festival is special:
"Over 60 years Adelaide Festival has forged a reputation as a catalyst for muscular relationships between artists and audiences. It has provoked, enraged and thrilled its audiences and has harnessed the city's curiosity and openness to the unexpected. Over six decades countless creative moments from the hearts and minds of the world's finest artists have been imprinted on the cultural memory of generations of Adelaide residents and visitors. 60 years of the Adelaide Festival is but a heartbeat in the life of the millennia-old wisdom of the Psalms and the poetry of The Iliad - texts which drive one massive, city-wide choral event, and one intimate spoken-word theatre piece, just two of 74 events in our 2020 program."

"In the 'birthday spirit' we wanted to give gifts back to the city, to the people who have nurtured our Festival over six decades and those who will reimagine it again and again through the next 60 years. The 2020 Festival will be the most accessible yet, with significant enhancements to our discount ticket schemes and educational programs - and by offering many free-admission activities.
Looking to those next 60 years and beyond, we are proud to announce that the Adelaide Festival is the first major arts festival in Australia to achieve certification as carbon neutral. This is one of those 'really useful' birthday gifts - a vital contribution to a future that we want our children to inherit.
In planning the 2020 program, we have searched the globe looking for works of great scale and delicate intimacy, works that play to the heart and the mind, which suggest ways forward for both the artform and the species. We hope that in the midst of noise, distraction and hype, the Adelaide Festival's 2020 program is a source of transformative creative experiences for Adelaide audiences and all its visitors."

Main attraction of the free opening event will be Australian all-round talent, actor/song-writer/comedian and globally acclaimed musician Tim Minchin. The free birthday concert - complete with fireworks - will be held in Elder Park on the evening of Saturday 29 February.

150 Psalms is the most all-encompassing and perhaps memorable event of this Festival: 150 sacred songs, gathered together 3,000 years ago to become the Old Testament's Book of Psalms; performed over four days, in four sacred spaces and one secular space including St Peter's Cathedral and Adelaide Town Hall; in 12 concerts by four internationally-renowned choirs, with musical settings by 150 composers spanning 10 centuries of choral tradition.

Another special event set against the traditional beauty of an Adelaide-landmark venue is Fire Gardens, a dazzling, glowing installation in the green haven of the Adelaide Botanic Garden created by France's luminary alchemists Compagnie Carabosse: tunnels of fire and delicate sculptures that flicker and dance to an immersive soundtrack of live musicians will transform the Garden into a magical wonderland of air, fire and water.

Festival Artistic Directors Neil Armfield and Rachel Healy on...
The OPERA program:
"From our first festival as Artistic Directors in 2017, a major international opera has been the 'flagship' event each year. We have already announced our co-production with Festival d'Aix-en-Provence of Mozart's Requiem, with Adelaide Symphony Orchestra. In 2020 we have also co-commissioned a second opera: Scottish Opera's production of Breaking the Waves which recently premiered at the 2019 Edinburgh International Festival."

Based on the controversial 1996 film by Lars von Trier, with a score by brilliant American composer Missy Mazzoli (described as "Brooklyn's post-millennial Mozart"), Breaking the Waves tells a gut-wrenching story set in the haunting landscape of the Scottish highlands.

Festival Artistic Directors Rachel Healy and Neil Armfield on...
The THEATRE program:
"In 2020 we present the most thrilling and contemporary theatre events from across the globe, almost all exclusive to the 2020 Adelaide Festival. The theatre program includes electrifying new writing, fresh from the stages of London and Edinburgh, along with multi-disciplinary work from Belgium, Finland and Syria. Outstanding new performance events from around Australia also feature, along with new productions from Adelaide's own Patch Theatre and State Theatre SA."

Almeida Theatre's The Doctor, a gripping modern adaptation of Arthur Schnitzler's 1912 classic Professor Bernhardi, stars UK stage and screen legend Juliet Stevenson. Traverse Theatre's Mouthpiece, winner of the 2019 Carol Tambor Best of Edinburgh Award, asks knotty ethical questions about authenticity and a writer's appropriation of other people's stories.

The inspired and blackly comic Cold Blood from Belgium's Kiss and Cry Collective is an alchemy of dance, cinema and theatre which its creators call 'nano-dance'; Cock Cock... Who's There? will take audiences on a confronting but unforgettable ride through gender relations and online dating, as its creator, Finnish/Egyptian Samira Elagoz, subverts conventional ideas of victimhood following her sexual assault.

Greek-Australian actor/director William Zappa uses traditional story-telling methods in a 9 hour marathon to bring one of classical poet Homer's 'greatest hits' of 800 BC screaming into the bloody world of 21st Century warfare in The Iliad - Out Loud; while audiences experience an intimate one-on-one testimony from the streets of Aleppo, conceived by Mohammad Al Attar in Aleppo. A Portrait of Absence.

As for Sydney's contemporary performance innovators Branch Nebula, the title of their work High Performance Packing Tape says it all - nearly.

Families wanting to experience entertaining, intelligent live theatre together, will adore the hilarious, wordless and whimsical Dimanche by Belgium's Focus Company/Chaliwaté... delighted by South Australia's Patch Theatre in the world premiere of The Lighthouse, an interactive performance showcasing the beauty and wonder of light... and will clutch their sides laughing at the brilliantly silly antics of New Zealand/Finnish physical-theatre genius Thomas Monckton in The Artist.

Festival Artistic Directors Neil Armfield and Rachel Healy on...
"150 composers are featured in our huge choral project 150 Psalms; and we celebrate the 250th anniversary of Beethoven's birth and we showcase some of his greatest works, in very different contexts, with performances by the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra; in Chamber Landscapes, the chamber music program at Ukaria Cultural Centre in Mount Barker; and in dance, with Lyon Opera Ballet's Trois Grandes Fugues."

The Sound of History: Beethoven, Napoleon and Revolution, is the Australian premiere of the collaboration between Australian composer/viola virtuoso Brett Dean and expat-Australian Cambridge historian Sir Christopher Clark to perform and examine moments from Beethoven concertos, as well as his Symphony No.3 (Eroica) and Dean's Testament - exploring Beethoven's shifting relationship to Napoleon Bonaparte and how his sound world was affected by his encroaching deafness.

His Archduke Trio with violinist Anthony Marwood also celebrates the Master as part of the Festival's traditional classical program, the uniquely exquisite Chamber Landscapes held at UKARIA Cultural Centre in the Adelaide Hills. In 2020 Chamber Landscapes: Composer & Citizen curated this festival by harpist Marshall McGuire, will again present a brilliantly eclectic program, featuring in-demand soprano Siobhan Stagg, and the world's hottest contemporary vocal ensemble, Roomful of Teeth, as well as Britain's Heath Quartet and Marshall McGuire's own dazzling Baroque ensemble, Ludovico's Band.

Adelaide Town Hall will see concerts of Chopin, Beethoven and Prokofiev by American piano meister Garrick Ohlsson, courtesy of Musica Viva; Mahler's Fifth Symphony and Thomas Adès' Concentric Paths performed by the violinist for whom it was written, Anthony Marwood, with Adelaide Symphony Orchestra conducted by Nicholas Carter.

Festival Artistic Directors Rachel Healy and Neil Armfield on...
"We are so proud and honoured to present Buŋgul, a tribute in song, dance, film and ceremony to an exceptional and unique musician, the late Dr. Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu, better known as Gurrumul - perhaps the greatest voice ever recorded on this continent - with the participation of elders from Galiwin'ku, Elcho Island. This is a special landmark event for the Festival, adding a further dimension to Gurrumul's work and culture.

We are also delighted to present south Londoner Kate Tempest, in her Adelaide debut, fresh from rave reviews and sell-out concerts in Europe and the UK. Merging spoken word, rap and poetry she will perform her best and most commanding work with her customary ferocity and excruciating beauty.

We are thrilled to announce that the 2020 Festival will include a new underground venue for our live contemporary music programing the heart of the Festival Centre complex -The Workshop."

Originally used for building theatre sets, The Workshop will host the best of international and Australian acts, including The Parov Stelar Band, Vince Jones & The Heavy Hitters, Lisa Gerrard & Paul Grabowsky, Joep Beving, E^ST, Weyes Blood, The New Pornographers, Clare Bowditch, Didirri, and Kevin Morby.

And world music festival WOMADelaide, a regular feature of Adelaide Festivals since 1992, returns to beautiful Botanic Park - this year, in amongst 100 extraordinary concerts, featuring nightly performances of the aerial spectacular As the World Tipped.

Festival Artistic Directors Neil Armfield and Rachel Healy on...
The DANCE program:
"The 2020 dance program is thrillingly diverse: the world's most accomplished and celebrated choreographers and its newest talents; a work that responds to a classic of musical literature; and a classic work revisited to reflect today's issues and contemporary debates. It also features works that have arisen from cross-cultural collaboration and an international commission between Australian and French hip hop artists."

Lyon Opera Ballet will celebrate the 'Beethoven year' with Trois Grandes Fugues, in which three legendary choreographers - America's Lucinda Childs, Belgian Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker and France's Maguy Marin - each a respond to Beethoven's legendary later work, Die Grosse Fuge, Op 133. After playing across the globe to unanimous 5-star reviews, Trois Grandes Fugues is exclusive to the 2020 Adelaide Festival.

In dramatic contrast, Enter Achilles by Ballet Rambert and DV8 Physical Theatre is a contemporary reboot of the 1996 production that blew Adelaide Festival audiences away: eight men in an English pub behaving badly, decades before the phrase 'toxic masculinity' existed; while the work of Australian hip hop maestro and 'B*Boy' Nick Power is showcased in Between Tiny Cities and Two Crews; the latter an Adelaide Festival commission featuring a Sydney crew and a Parisian all-female crew.

Black Velvet, at the Odeon Theatre features American Shamel Pitts and Brazilian Mirelle Martins in a performance which combines Pitts' unique choreographic language with video mapping by Brazilian multimedia designer Lucca del Carlo.

Festival Artistic Directors Rachel Healy and Neil Armfield on...
The VISUAL ARTS program:
"A Doll's House - not the Ibsen play! - will transform city landmark Rundle Mall into a fantasy play-space for adults as well as children. An installation by visionary Japanese artist Tatzu Nishi, it's huge and it's free - the Festival's birthday gift to the Adelaide CBD.
Shedding further light on 2020's signature event 150 Psalms, an exhibition by Australia's finest photo-journalists in the Adelaide Festival Centre's QBE Gallery will encapsulate the spirit of each ancient song.
We are thrilled as always to host the 15th Adelaide Biennial and Samstag's Adelaide//International."

In the Hetzel Theatre the Australian premiere of Eight, an interactive virtual-reality installation by the Netherlands' composer and video artist Michel van der Aa, 'virtually' stars Australian singer Kate Miller-Heidke - individually experienced via a VR headset.

The nation's longest-running curated survey of contemporary Australian art, the Adelaide Biennial celebrates its 30-year milestone with Monster Theatres, an exhibition populated by duplicitous robots, toxic goddesses and impossible chimeras, at the Art Gallery of SA, and partly in the Botanic Garden.

The Adelaide//International again presents a fascinating cluster of exhibitions, this time exploring architecture and how it shapes our experience. Its centerpiece is Somewhere Other Australia's contribution to the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale by John Wardle Architects with Natasha Johns-Messenger. A further highlight will be Belgian artist David Claerbout's monumental real-time moving image work Olympia, charting the disintegration into ruins of the Berlin Olympic Stadium over one thousand years.

Festival Artistic Directors Neil Armfield and Rachel Healy on...
"Writers' Week has been a cornerstone of every Adelaide Festival across its 60 year existence. It's fitting that the title of the Opening Event is The Only Constant. That's change, of course: looking back, looking forward."

The 2020 WW opening takes place in exciting new venue The Workshop, and features Nigeria's Man Booker-shortlisted Chigozie Obioma, Pakistani journalist Sanam Maher and Tyson Yunkaporta, academic, critic and researcher from the Apalech Clan in Far North Queensland.

In addition to the usual massive AWW program of free events, the Twilight Talks which were introduced in 2019 will make the Pioneer Women's Memorial Garden the place to be as the sun sets and work is done for the day. Kids Day on the opening Saturday will feature again as with the YA (Young Adult) day on the Sunday.

Opportunities to reflect on the Festival themes, current affairs and/or the meaning of life can be seized in the Festival Centre's Star Kitchen & Bar; with a panel of special guests in host Tom Wright's Breakfast with Papers, and as David Marr interviews artists appearing at AF20 in the Festival Forums.

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