Sydney Festival 2013
This is our city in summer
Sydney Festival is proud to be presenting a diverse range of events at Sydney Opera House in 2013.
2001: A Space Odyssey is arguably the most perfect marriage of visuals and sound in cinema history. Experience Stanley Kubrick’s ground-breaking masterpiece with the dramatic power of a live soundtrack from the Sydney Symphony and Sydney Philharmonia Choirs conducted by the internationally renowned André De Ridder. Operatic in scope, 2001: A Space Odyssey will transport you on an unforgettable journey through the infinite beyond.
Expect ecstatic convolutions of rock, Afro-pop and orchestration when Dirty Projectorsfill the Concert Hall with their strange and beautiful sounds. Dirty Projectors’ acclaimed latest album Swing Lo Magellan is a collection of moments: accidental, fortuitous, spontaneous. The band’s intricate rhythms, knotty arrangements and layered vocals have been intensively rehearsed.
Kunqu is one of the oldest and most refined styles of Chinese opera. It is regarded as the ‘mother' of Chinese theatre and is listed as one of UNESCO's Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. Sydney Festival presents two classic Chinese operas featuring unrequited love, life after death, disinterment, failing exams and hiding in convents.
The Peony Pavilionand The Jade Hairpin combine ornate costumes and elaborate make-up with live music and exquisitely precise choreographed movement. Both star award-winning singer and actress Wei Chunrong, widely recognised throughout China and Europe as one of Kunqu’s most distinguished artists. The Jade Hairpin’s protagonist, Pan Bizheng, fails his exams and runs shamefaced to his aunt’s nunnery where he meets Chen Miachang, a Taoist nun who has her own reasons for hiding. The Peony Pavilion tells the passionate love story of the impoverished yet bright Liu Mengmei and the Nanan Governor’s privileged daughter.
Sydney Festival was originally conceived by the Sydney Committee, the NSW State Government and the City of Sydney with a view to attracting people into the city centre during the holiday month of January.
The first Festival took place in 1977 and it has since grown to become one of Australia's largest annual cultural celebrations with an international reputation for modern, popular and intelligent programming. In many ways it is probably still best understood as a celebration of Sydney and its style and energy reflect the confidence, diversity and vigour of one of the world's most beautiful cities.
For three weeks each January the Festival offers a rich program of around 80 events involving up to 500 artists from Australia and abroad covering dance, theatre, music, visual arts, cross media and forums. In any given year, it makes use of most of the main theatres across the city including Sydney Theatre, CarriageWorks, City Recital Hall and venues at the Sydney Opera House.
Sydney Festival also presents a number of quality, free outdoor events such as the long-running Festival in the Domain with Summer Sounds and Symphony concerts, each attracting up to 100 000 people. In 2008 the Festival introduced a new opening event, Festival First Night, for which people are invited to take to the streets to enjoy a large-scale celebration of music and performance. In its inaugural year, Festival First Night attracted 200 000 people into the heart of the city.
The Festival has a history of presenting Australian premieres and many of Australia's most memorable productions such as Cloudstreet have resulted from Sydney Festival's commitment to nurture local artists. It has brought many of the world's great artists to Sydney for the first time including: Al Green, Ariane Mnouchkine and Thèâtre du Soleil (Flood Drummers), Robert Wilson (The Black Rider), Robert Lepage (Far Side of the Moon and The Andersen Project), George Piper Dances, Netherlands Dance Theatre, James Thiérrée, Philip Glass, Ian McKellen (Dance of Death), the Batsheva Dance Company and the National Theatre of Scotland (Black Watch and Aalst).
Sydney Festival attracts a total audience of approximately 1 million across all of its events each year, making it the most attended cultural event in Australia.
Festival Director: Lindy Hume
General Manager: Josephine Ridge
Level 2, 10 Hickson Road
Sydney NSW 2000
Telephone: +61 2 8248 6500
Fax: +61 2 8248 6599