September 17, 2008

Festival Fever Strikes Dunedin

Dunedin will soon play host to Otago's biennial Festival of the Arts with a 10-day programme featuring 42 events and a cast of national and international acts.

From October 3 to 12, music, opera, dance, theatre and literary performances will become an integral feature of the city's daily life. Eight international acts (four making their New Zealand debut), three New Zealand productions, five New Zealand plays, two operas and a distinguished gathering of New Zealand literary figures will be among the productions which also sees two international dance companies performing alongside New Zealand ensembles.

Family entertainment includes the Canadian fiddlers Barrage, the Spanish comedians Tricicle, and from Barcelona, the Camut Band, a troupe of male Spanish dancers performing afro- latin dance and percussion.

The curtain will rise on two operas - Opera Otago's production of Mozart's Cosi fan tutte and, in a one night only performance, the Christchurch-based Southern Opera travels south to bring Otago audiences Verdi's Il Trovatore.

The Jerusalem Quartet, pianist David Helfgott, the New Zealand String Quartet and the Wellington-based vocal ensemble, Baroque Voices, are included in the music programme.

Australian photographer and storyteller William Yang takes audiences to a motherland he never knew and a culture he never encountered in William Yang's China. The Auckland Theatre Company brings Stuart Devenie to Otago in his critically acclaimed one-man show, Hatch or the Plight Of The Penguins. Dunedin playwright Emily Duncan's drama Palliative Care plays at The Globe Theatre. The Fortune Theatre will host the New Zealand production of Polly Teale's adaptation of Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre. Directed by David Lawrence, it stars Laura Hill in the title role.

While flamenco enthusiasts can relish visiting a visiting Spanish ensemble of dancers and musicians in Tierra Flamenca

The festival's literary programme highlights the 50th anniversary of the University of Otago's Robert Burns Fellowship. More than 30 past fellows will give a series of lunchtime talks and readings in the Dunedin Public Library, while a plaque will be unveiled at the University of Otago. Guest speakers include Ian Cross, Philip Temple, Cilla McQueen and Roger Hall. The work and achievements of "departed" fellows will contain readings from authors including Janet Frame, Hone Tuwhare and James K. Baxter.

An exhibition of Colin McCahon's paintings and works on paper will also be shown at the Dunedin Public Art Gallery.

The 2008 Otago Festival of Arts. October 3 to 12. For details of times and dates, visit


(c) 2008 Press, The; Christchurch, New Zealand. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All rights Reserved.