Press Release from Sydney Festival

Sydney Festival has announced the 2012 program for its next annual three-week celebration, January 7-29.

Sydney Festival is an explosion of exceptional theatre, dance, music, exhibitions, film and talks that takes over the city, celebrating uniquely Australian work as well as welcoming companies from all over the world. The Festival prides itself on its free large-scale outdoor events including concerts and performances and even a ferry race on Sydney’s iconic harbour.

NSW Premier and Minister for Western Sydney Barry O’Farrell said, “Sydney Festival will create a welcoming and unique global atmosphere that will showcase our beautiful city through a feast of world class performances in theatre, music, dance and visual arts,” Mr O’Farrell said.

“Whether it’s in Campbelltown or Chippendale, Parramatta or Walsh Bay, I urge Sydneysiders and visitors alike to take advantage of all the Sydney Festival has to offer.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore MP, Chair of Sydney Festival said, “Sydney Festival is one of our most loved events and sets the tone for summer in the city. The Festival makes it easy for Sydneysiders to experience the best performing, visual and experimental arts that Australia and the world have to offer.

“Festivals and other events contribute to our local economy – they encourage people to stay in our hotels, eat at our restaurants, visit our top attractions, shop and enjoy all our City has to offer.” Ms Moore said.

Festival Director Lindy Hume said, “Our festival exists, in part, to hold a mirror up to our city each year. As Sydney looks to its future, so must we. The 2012 Sydney Festival looks toward the horizon with a truly global summertime celebration of our shared humanity, of Australian innovation and of two dynamic communities with the potential to shape our city's future cultural identity: Sydney's second CBD, Parramatta and Redfern – Australia's ‘black capital’.

“Sydney's summertime lustre makes our city the ideal showcase for the world's great artists. In 2012 we welcome back to our global gathering some important world names who we know are favourites in Sydney, as well as many wonderful global artists and companies performing for the first time in Australia at Sydney Festival.” Ms Hume said.

The 2012 Festival is Director Lindy Hume’s final of three Festivals, and looks both near and far, celebrating uniquely Australian work as well as welcoming companies from all over the world. Sydney Festival opens with one of Australia’s largest free outdoor events – Festival First Night, an extravaganza that invites everyone to experience Sydney in spectacular and surprising new ways.

Proving the bold claim that Sydney Festival is the most wonderful summer festival in the world is a cinch when one considers Sydney's allure and charisma as the ideal showcase for the world's great artists. In 2012, Sydney Festival welcomes back some important world names who are favourites of Sydney audiences – choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, legendary theatre director Declan Donnellan, the acclaimed National Theatre of Scotland, two-time Mercury Prize winner PJ Harvey, and versatile singer Mike Patton. And of course, the Festival always prides itself on the many wonderful global artists and companies performing for the first time in Australia. This year, debut performances include a tale of the beauty hidden within French mediocrity, and the fate of Cairo’s muezzins, the men who call the city to prayer every morning.

Sydney Festival 2012 also celebrates Sydney’s unique history and potential with Black Capital, a series of performances, seminars and exhibitions reflecting Sydney's diverse contemporary Indigenous culture in Carriageworks in the heart of Redfern. The centrepiece of Black Capital is a new work, I Am Eora, a theatre/music/film event that tells the stories of Sydney's Aboriginal cultural continuity, celebrating its heroes and embracing the sacred heart of our city. Close to fifty Aboriginal musicians, performers and creative artists from across the country will come together for one of the most thrilling collaborations ever commissioned by Sydney Festival.

For 2012, supplementary funding from the State Government, matched by an increased commitment by Parramatta City Council, has enabled Sydney Festival to significantly expand its program in Parramatta as the focus of its activities in Western Sydney. Building on Sydney Festival’s commitment to presenting work in Western Sydney since 2003, this increased funding facilitated the Festival to present this comprehensive ten-day Festival of free and ticketed events.

This newest addition to the Festival’s program, Sydney Festival Parramatta, will be staged in the true heart of Sydney’s burgeoning population. A feast for everyone, with free opening and closing events, the program also includes a whole host of music, theatre and cabaret in Riverside Theatres and Sydney’s newest venue, the very gorgeous Idolize Spiegeltent in Prince Alfred Park.

And in celebration of Australia’s strong creative spirit, the Festival has a whole host of Australian innovators including Gideon Obarzanek, Kate Champion, William Yang, Wesley Enoch, Urban Theatre Projects, Meow Meow, Martin del Amo, architecture students from The University of Sydney and many more.

All this, and so much more, makes Sydney Festival the most wonderful summer festival in the world.


*Sydney Festival is Australia’s largest summer festival

*For three weeks every January, Sydney Festival presents a broad array of theatre, music, dance, exhibitions, film and talks, attracting up to one million enthusiastic locals and visitors

*The Festival uses 30 venues across the city including Sydney Opera House, as well as parks and city streets

*Sydney Festival 2012 has 11 world premieres, 15 Australian exclusives and 14 Australian premieres, presenting more than 1500 artists from around the globe

*The Festival is a celebration on a massive scale and is a natural promotion of the city – both are synonymous with energy, style, spectacle and sophistication

*The Festival has multiple outdoor late-night venues, set amongst some of the city’s oldest buildings and parks. The late-night venues are a great way to experience the Festival ‘buzz’ on a balmy summer night.


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