Sydney Festival launched

Festival Director Lindy Hume today announced details of Sydney Festival 2011, a program of exceptional theatre, dance, music and film with artists from all over the world, which is set to light up the city from January 8–30. 

Festival Director Lindy Hume today announced details of Sydney Festival 2011, a program of exceptional theatre, dance, music and film with artists from all over the world, which is set to light up the city from January 8–30. 

The 2011 Festival, Hume’s second as Festival Director, brings narrative to the forefront with storytelling on every scale. 

Sydney Festival celebrates summer, art and life, engaging with audiences and artists across the city and stretching out to its greater boundaries.  Every January the Festival enriches the experience of being in Sydney, making it the most exciting place to be in the world.  The Festival presents a bold and exuberant contemporary arts program that inspires and stimulates, bringing our diverse community together through shared ideas and heightened experiences.

The Festival transforms the famous Sydney cityscape and captures the optimistic spirit of the New Year, creating a welcoming and uniquely charismatic global meeting place that connects and showcases Sydney to the world.

Festival Board Member, The Hon. Virginia Judge MP, Minister for the Arts and Minister for Fair Trading said: “The 2011 Sydney Festival offers a rich and diverse program of 109 events and 338 performances across a broad range of art forms including dance, theatre, music and visual arts.  The Festival showcases the beauty and vibrancy of Sydney from its parks and harbour through to the western and southern suburbs.”

Festival Chair, Lord Mayor Clover Moore MP, Chair of Sydney Festival said: “The Festival is an innovative showcase of the best performing, visual and experimental arts that Australia and the world have to offer, and the City is proud to support it again in 2011.”

Festival Director Lindy Hume said she was excited about the 2011 event.

“The Sydney Festival story continues with the launch of the 2011 Festival that is (just like Sydney) contemporary, bold, global, diverse and ambitious, but also (just like Sydney) welcoming, whimsical and slightly eccentric, with big colourful bursts of existential angst and crazy, abandoned love,” she said. 

The many intertwining narratives within Sydney Festival 2011 are part of a larger, shared story of Our City in Summer.

Sydney Festival has a large and generous commitment to its free program, beginning with the sensational Festival First Night, which will once again transform the city centre into an epic theatre of music, drama, grand illusion, action-packed performances and plenty of surprises.  A massive annual free event to celebrate the opening of the Festival, Festival First Night features hundreds of the Festival’s amazing international and Australian artists on stages, buildings and balconies across the city.  The line-up includes legendary country singer Emmylou Harris, a tribute to Ruby Hunter, the irrepressible iOTA in Smoke & Mirrors, USA hip-hop masters Arrested Development, and New Zealander Michel Tuffery’s massive projections augmented by South Pacific music and dance in Chifley Square.

The free program continues on Saturday nights throughout January in The Domain, with Los Lobos bringing a hot Chicano energy to Summer Sounds and Shakespearean legend John Bell hosting the Festival’s most expansive Symphony in The Domain line-up yet.

Sydney Festival has a diverse international theatre program where audiences will discover a grisly fairytale (The Red Shoes, Dracula), vicariously share the true life adventures of extraordinary people (John Malkovich in The Giacomo Variations, A Life in Three Acts) and experience vast, apocalyptic or wildly fabulous visions that take place on miniature stages (Invisible Atom, The Adventures of Alvin Sputnik). There are stories without words (Entity) and opportunities to create your own narrative (Power Plant).  New creations by Australian artists in all genres are at the forefront of the program, including a new Spiegeltent show created and performed by Eddie Perfect, and the return of one of the hits of the 2010 Festival, Smoke & Mirrors, for a final home town lap of glory.

While Sydney Festival’s outlook is global, we are first and foremost a Sydney festival, so local artists, themes and projects play a large role in 2011.  Inspired by stories of our city, our exciting new swing-dance club at Sydney Town Hall, Trocadero Dance Palace, pays homage to an icon of Sydney’s social history, while our Scope series of public discussions focus on Sydney narratives and people, in parallel with an expanded range of conversations with Festival artists.

Once more, Sydney Festival’s contemporary music program is one of our signature strengths.  A stellar line-up of international and Australian musicians in 2011 includes Philip Glass, Kronos Quartet, Paul Kelly, Sufjan Stevens, Wu Man, Beach House, Tomasz Sta?ko and many others.

All this is just a taste of Sydney Festival 2011 – for the complete line-up, go to


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