Sydney Festival 2011 Program Launched

Festival Director Lindy Hume today announced details of Sydney Festival 2011, an exciting program of theatre, dance, music and film with artists from all over the world, which is set to light up the city from January 8–30. The 2011 Festival, Hume’s second as Festival Director, brings narrative to the forefront with storytelling on every scale.

Festival Board Member, The Hon. Virginia Judge MP, Minister for the Arts and Minister for Fair Trading said, “The 2011 Sydney Festival offers a rich and diverse program of 109 events and 338 performances across a broad range of art forms including dance, theatre, music and visual arts. The Festival showcases the beauty and vibrancy of Sydney from its parks and harbour through to the western and southern suburbs.

Festival Chair, Lord Mayor Clover Moore MP, Chair of Sydney Festival said, “The Festival is an innovative showcase of the best performing, visual and experimental arts that Australia and the world have to offer, and the City is proud to support it again in 2011.”

Festival Director Lindy Hume said, “The Sydney Festival story continues with the launch of the 2011 Festival that is (just like Sydney) contemporary, bold, global, diverse and ambitious, but also (just like Sydney) welcoming, whimsical and slightly eccentric, with big colourful bursts of existential angst and crazy, abandoned love.

“The 2011 Festival program celebrates the role of stories and storytelling in contemporary society. There are a thousand ways to tell a story, and storytellers don’t always tell the truth or let facts get in the way: as the Australian singer/songwriter Paul Kelly says: “You shouldn’t trust a songwriter. They distort, they exaggerate, they juggle things around….out of their mouths true things become lies and lies become true.” We hope that Festival artists and audiences will find some deeper human truths in the many stories told in the 2011 Sydney Festival, whose intertwining narratives are part of a larger, shared story – the story of our city in summer.” Hume said.

Sydney Festival has astrong  commitment to its free program, beginning with the Festival First Night, which will transform the city centre into an epic theatre of music, drama, grand illusion, action-packed performances and plenty of surprises. A massive annual free event to celebrate the opening of the Festival, Festival First Night features hundreds of the Festival’s amazing international and Australian artists on stages, buildings and balconies across the city. The line-up includes legendary country singer Emmylou Harris, a tribute to Ruby Hunter, the irrepressible iOTA in Smoke & Mirrors, USA hip-hop masters Arrested Development, and New Zealander Michel Tuffery’s massive projections augmented by South Pacific music and dance in Chifley Square.

The free program continues on Saturday nights throughout January in The Domain, with Los Lobos bringing a hot Chicano energy to Summer Sounds and Shakespearean legend John Bell hosting the Festival’s most expansive Symphony in The Domain line-up yet.

Sydney Festival has a diverse international theatre program where audiences will discover a grisly fairytale (The Red Shoes, Dracula), vicariously share the true life adventures of extraordinary people (John Malkovich in The Giacomo Variations, A Life in Three Acts) and experience vast, apocalyptic or wildly fabulous visions that take place on miniature stages (Invisible Atom, The Adventures of Alvin Sputnik). There are stories without words (Entity) and opportunities to create your own narrative (Power Plant). New creations by Australian artists in all genres are at the forefront of the program, including a new Spiegeltent show created and performed by Eddie Perfect, and the return of one of the hits of the 2010 Festival, Smoke & Mirrors, for a final home town lap of glory.


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