The 2013 programme is out now! Featuring an international mix of theatre, art, dance, conversation and music against the spectacular autumn scenery of Lake Wanaka.
Highlights include two world premieres as well as the power and energy of NZ’s top dance company and a visit from one of the world’s most celebrated investigative journalists during six action-packed days from 16-21 April.
In one premiere, Michael Houstoun teams up with soprano Jenny Wollerman for Between Darkness and Light. This remarkable performance moves the audience from night through to morning with a compelling series of songs from the last 200 years accompanied by full theatrical lighting.
The second premiere is Tracing Hamlet, a deconstructed production of the Shakespeare classic set in Puzzling World’s famous maze and illusion rooms. Leading professional director, Sara Brodie is working with local artists and performance students from Mt Aspiring College for this true Wanaka original.
Aspiring Conversations is once again a real festival highlight. This year veteran investigative journalist Seymour Hersh tops the bill with two hard-hitting sessions on US foreign policy. Hersh won a Pulitzer Prize for uncovering the 1969 My Lai massacre in Vietnam and also broke the story of the US military’s mistreatment of detainees at Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison in 2004.
“Seymour is a star performer and his appearance is a real coup,” said festival director, Philip Tremewan. “He’ll be talking about American wars past, present and future as well as how one finds out the truth from government and military agencies who wish to keep it concealed. This is all highly relevant for New Zealand given its involvement in global conflict as a close ally of the US.”
New Zealand’s own investigative journalist Nicky Hager, hugely out of favour with PM John Key and his predecessor Helen Clark, is also speaking on this country’s presence in Afghanistan whilst there are separate Aspiring Conversations on religion, poetry, art and politics.
New Zealand’s top dance company, Black Grace brings its spectacular Vaka to Wanaka and Queenstown especially for the festival. There are just two performances of the show that’s taken Europe by storm – an explosive mix of Pacific culture and contemporary dance.
Other theatrical highlights include a brand new Dave Armstrong comedy Kings of the Gym, another Auckland Theatre Company production On the Upside Down of the World, beat generation piece Beautiful Losers and Salon, a sister-piece to 2011 festival favourite, Hotel set in a real hair salon with the audience limited to just 15 for each performance.
The musical programme is eclectic, electric and acoustic featuring New Zealand Guitar Quartet, Electric Wire Hustle (performing with their parents!), NZ Music Awards 2012 winner Amiria Grenell, the country’s leading percussion group Strike, New Zealand queen of soul Bella Kalolo and the Yoots, a calypso-ska supergroup led by Fat Freddy’s Drop trombonist, Hopepa.
Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells for Two sold out at the Edinburgh and Wellington Festivals – just two musicians recreate the classic album live with no extra hands. Fabulous Arabia is another double-act sure to sell out with Lawrence Arabia and Mike Fabulous (Black Seeds) joining forces with a backing band of heavyweight musos from Fat Freddy’s Drop, Trinity Roots and others.
Songs to Leave Behind is an astonishingly powerful performance by three of the country’s finest singer-songwriters – Julia Deans, Anna Coddington and Don McGlashan. Specially commissioned for the Christchurch Festival after the quakes, they lay hearts and voices on the line celebrating the power of song.
BabyO is an altogether different experience – Scottish Opera’s interactive mini-opera specially composed for babies proves you’re never too young to enjoy music.
The festival’s touring programme once again takes in Queenstown with several shows at the newly refurbished Memorial Hall. There are also theatrical performances this year in Hawea, Luggate and Cromwell.
Lakefront visual art, local exhibitions, street theatre and a schools programme complete this year’s celebration of the arts in the Southern Lakes. For information on the full programme, visit www.festivalofcolour.co.nz. Tickets are on general release from 25 February 2013 and are available through the website or by calling 03 443 4162.
The 2013 Festival of Colour takes place from 16-21 April and is generously supported by Central Lakes Trust, The Community Trust of Otago, Creative New Zealand and Aurora.