The Adelaide Festival Centre has announced its line-up for 2109 with a program featuring classical music and opera, a world premiere from Australian Dance Theatre, two commercial musicals and its own series of festivals, beginning with the Adelaide French Festival, which is back for its second iteration in January, this time celebrating Brittany.

Development workshop for South for Australian Dance Theatre. Photograph © Chris Herzfeld, Camlight Productions

In May, the DreamBIG Children’s Festival for schools and families returns. Among the stage performances are The Gruffalo and the Australian premieres of New Owner, by Perth company The Last Great Hunt (Alvin Sputnik), which uses puppetry, animation and live action to tell a story about a boisterous puppy wanting to be chosen from an animal shelter, and a lonely widow, and Katie’s Birthday Party, a solo piece from Northern Ireland about a the journey of an adolescent girl as she moves from primary school to high school. Other events include Of All The People In All The World, an installation using grains of rice by Stan’s Café in the UK, and an interactive cubby house called Playable CubbyTOWN.

The Adelaide Cabaret Festival returns in June under new Artistic Director Julia Zemiro. The program is yet to be announced but will include Peter Quilter’s play End of the Rainbow, starring Helen Dallimore as Judy Garland, presented in association with State Theatre Company of South Australia. The Adelaide Guitar Festival returns in 2020.

A special Chinese New Year Concert from the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Dane Lam and featuring Australian-Chinese cellist Le-Wei Qin, will be presented in the Festival Theatre on February 10. Also in February, Hungarian classical pianist Dénes Várjon plays Bach, Brahms and Beethoven in the Morgans International Piano Series.

Dénes Várjon. Photograph supplied

State Opera of South Australia will stage Madama Butterfly and The Mikado, while the AFC’s annual International Jazz Day will take place in April, featuring the best jazz artists from South Australia and beyond.

Australian Dance Theatre will premiere its new work North/South at the AFC in September. Responding to the polar regions of our planet, the double bill features works by choreographers Ina Christel Johannessen and Garry Stewart. As an artist living and working in the Arctic Circle, Johannessen has witnessed first-hand the rapid changes wrought by global warming, and the emotional and psychological impact on the people that live there. In her piece North, she explores the intimate and powerful exchange between humans and their environment, as a collection of odd characters are trapped in a shelter during an Arctic blizzard. Stewart’s South depicts Sir Douglas Mawson’s fateful and dramatic journey to Antarctica as an allegory for our current predicament in the era of rapid global warming. Travelling from Adelaide to the Southern Continent in 1913, Mawson’s story is one of loss and vulnerability in an alien and forbidding landscape.

Other dance pieces include Sydney Dance Theatre’s 50th anniversary triple bill, featuring works by Rafael Bonachela, Adelaide’s own Gabrielle Nankivell and Melanie Lane, Bangarra Dance Theatre’s new 30th anniversary work, and The Australian Ballet performing Peter Wright’s version of The Nutcracker.

North by Northwest. Photograph © Jeff  Busby

Adelaide will host its first Disney musical when Aladdin arrives at the Festival Theatre in April, with The Book of Mormon playing there from June. Theatre includes Carolyn Burns’ stunning stage adaptation of Alfred Hitchcock’s film North by Northwest, directed by Simon Phillips with Matt Day in the leading role of the man on the run.

Adelaide Festival Centre CEO & Artistic Director Douglas Gautier AM said: “Adelaide Festival Centre is the home of arts and entertainment year round. In 2019, there will be much to see and do here for all our diverse audiences. We are delighted to have secured Disney Theatrical’s first presentation in Adelaide with Aladdin, this marks the start of a new era for musical theatre in South Australia. Along with The Book of Mormon these blockbusters will attract tens of thousands of patrons to our venues, some for the first time, starting what we hope will be a lifetime love of live performance

“2019 promises to be a magical year and we are looking forward to welcoming audiences into our theatres,” said Gautier. “We are already looking forward to Season 2020, when we will be back in the rebuilt Her Majesty’s Theatre, which will be bigger, better and more accessible for all South Australians.”


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Limelight, Australia's Classical Music and Arts Magazine