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Another fabulous year of the Sydney Festival
Every January, the Sydney Festival is staged and what a great event this is, and will be again this month. The city will be transformed with bright cultural celebrations based on cutting-edge art and performance.
The 2019 program, which will run from 9th to 27th January 2019, is both enterprising and diverse and will range from international theatre such as Beware of Pity and Home to glittering nights of music and cabaret-like Shanghai MiMi and Pigalle.
There will be an indigenous program BLAK OUT, which returns with amazing new theatre productions including Man With The Iron Neck and The Weekend, as well as art installations, music and dance-theatre by First Nations artists.
There will be an amorphic contemporary music program which will feature everything from a Cuban mambo band to feminist pop icon Neneh Cherry, pop superstar Nakhane, experimental electronic composer Ben Frost and much more.
Included in this festival are some free events including the moon art installations at World Square, Darling Harbour and Barangaroo South as well as the return of the Sydney Symphony Under The Stars in Parramatta Park and the Circus Comes To Town weekend in Prince Alfred Square.
There will be some free art installations at the Museum of Contemporary Art, UNSW Galleries and Artspace, and free talks with artists and experts at UTS, NSW State Library and more.
Sydney Festival returns to Hyde Park with the Magic Mirrors Spiegeltent and Festival Garden, where you can drop in for a drink and some food before or after a Spiegeltent show. You can enjoy free late weekend parties with Sydney's fabulous DJing duo, The Dollar Bin Darlings.
Sydney Festival is now available to everyone with special new pricing for various age groups.
PROGRAM OF EVENTS
The program is huge and some of it includes:
* BEWARE OF PITY This is an Australian exclusive and Schaubühne Berlin presents its first work with director Simon McBurney. This is a technically adventurous and sexually charged staging of Austrian Stefan Zweig's 1939 novel of a Europe stumbling toward chaos.
* LA PASSION DE SIMONE
The Sydney Chamber Opera in association with the Song Company Australia present the Australian premiere of this show.
It is the story of philosopher, political activist and mystic Simone Weil. Weil was supposedly the only great spirit of our times, a Marxist and pacifist whose "political and moral philosophy achieved fame after her death at age 34."
Find out more information on dates, costs etc at this link.
* COUNTING AND CRACKING
This is another world premiere from Belvoir and Co-Curious. Radha and her son Siddhartha are at last ready to live a normal life in Sydney's western suburbs when a phone call from Colombo brings the past right back to the present. This is a story where actors play four generations of a family, in a story about Australia as a land of refuge. This is a powerful new play and will be served with a Sri Lankan meal.
* CAMILLE O'SULLIVAN
This is an Irish-French singer and storyteller-in-song who tours the world and has a powerful voice and plenty of charisma. She sings the sometimes dark and bittersweet songs of artists including Tom Waits, David Bowie, Radiohead and Kurt Weill, among others. Her heroes are the late great Leonard Cohen (and one of my all time favourites) and David Bowie.
* OLD STOCK: A REFUGEE LOVE STORY
This is a Canadian world premiere which is a dark, funny and high-energy klezmer-folk tale which is taken from the real-life story of two Romanian Jews who sought refuge in Canada in 1908.
Chaim and Chaya were hounded from their home and are waiting for immigration to decide their future. They are under threat of tuberculosis and typhus. Will they survive in this new land?
* THE WEEKEND: BY HENRIETTA BAIRD
This is a world premiere by Moogahlin Performing Arts, Australia. It is about Lara, a Sydney mother working interstate as a dancer who gets a distress call from her youngest son. Their Dad hasn't been seen for days and they are out of food. Lara has the weekend to track him down.
* THE DAUGHTER
An Australian premiere presented by Quiptake, Pandemic Theatre and the Theatre Centre, Canada. This is a controversial story that is spellbinding and often funny and is a-man monologue "confronting the toxicity entwined in modern masculinity."
It is riveting and takes you through the father's struggles with love, lust and violence.
SUMMARY OF EVENTS
There are just too many programs on at this fantastic festival for me to mention all in this article, so here is a summary:
Sydney Festival Website
You can check out the whole event at their website.
HISTORY OF THE EVENT
Sydney Festival was originally conceived by the Sydney Committee, the NSW State Government and the City of Sydney with a view to bringing 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 celebrations that has worldwide recognition for popular and interesting programming.
The festival has many premieres each year both Australian and others and many of these have gone on to give local artists their first break.