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70 events, 17 Australian premieres, 10 world premieres


The 2019 Adelaide Festival program to be launched on 30 October 2018 at the Adelaide Town Hall and on 31 October at Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art, demonstrates conclusively that the Adelaide Festival, Australia’s pre-eminent arts festival, remains the dominant creative powerhouse of Southern-hemisphere celebrations.

Across 17 days from 1 March to 17 March 2019, AF19 offers more than 70 unique events in theatre, contemporary and classical music, opera, dance, film, forums and visual arts – including the return of uniquely local programs Adelaide Writers’ Week, WOMADelaide and Chamber Landscapes at UKARIA Cultural Centre –.


Among the 17 Australian premieres in the program are an astonishing 10 world premieres. Twenty-three shows will play exclusively in the Adelaide Festival (with ten of these artists and companies making their Australian debut) and eight works especially commissioned by the Festival.

Delivering their third Adelaide Festival, Joint Artistic Directors Rachel Healy and Neil Armfield said: “In 2019 we showcase the rich creative imaginations of the world’s greatest artists – some very special works of sublime playfulness and joy along with works that are borne of the human impulse to understand, analyse and interpret world affairs. Classic stories reimagined for today’s audiences and new commissions that leap off the stage with energy and thrilling conviction. There are also fascinating connections between Jo Dyer’s first Adelaide Writers’ Week  and the broader program, and we know the Festival audience will love exploring these thematic links and spending 17 days inspired by creativity and ideas.”


 Premier Steven Marshall said: “The Adelaide Festival and Adelaide Writers’ Week have built a reputation for providing first-class experiences for South Australians and those who come from interstate and from overseas to visit our state. They showcase so much of what our festival city has to offer and I congratulate Festival Artistic Directors Rachel Healy and Neil Armfield on once again creating and delivering a truly outstanding program. I hope you can all be inspired by the wonderful artists and writers featured in the 2019 Adelaide Festival program.” 

17 exhilarating days and night BEGIN AND END in spectacular fashion…

with OPERA, MUSIC and DANCE: on the first Friday, Komische Oper Berlin opens a 5-show season of Mozart’s The Magic Flute, directed by acclaimed Australian opera visionary Barrie Kosky – a certain sell-out; followed in nearby Elder Park on Saturday evening by a free family concert, National Geographic’s Symphony for Our World, when two breathtaking hours of synchronised film and live orchestral music and chorus will offer Adelaide a journey through some of the world’s most extraordinary  wildlife spectacles.

Other opening weekend must-see events include a newly commissioned work from Australian music icon Paul Kelly who has teamed up with Adelaide’s Seraphim Trio plus James Ledger and Alice Keath to present the soaring song cycle Thirteen Ways to Look at Birds.

Meanwhile, the incomparable voices of Moscow’s great Sretensky Monastery Choir and their spine-tingling tenor, baritone and basso profundo voices will resonate in our Town Hall in 3 exclusive-to-Adelaide concerts. The 42-strong choir that started in 1395, was closed down along with their monastery by the Russian revolution, and re-opened by glasnost in 1994.

In an opening weekend jam-packed with these and other highlights, dance-theatre visionary Meryl Tankard has re-choreographed and re-staged her seminal 1988 work Two Feet as a vehicle for the 21st century’s greatest ballerina, Natalia Osipova, portraying the turbulent life of 20th-century ballet superstar Olga Spessivtzeva. Those three names alone are compelling reasons not to miss this world premiere, exclusive to Adelaide.

Just as opera, music and dance informs the opening weekend, very different examples of the forms can be found in the final weekend. At the other end of the 2019 Festival, opera will again feature as the tall Texan mezzo with a one-in-a-million voice, Susan Graham, dazzles the Adelaide Town Hall in a one-off Sunday-night concert exclusive to the Adelaide Festival; dazzling Irish cabaret singer Camille O’Sullivan performs her acclaimed homage to the music of Nick Cave on the Palais, while in the Festival Theatre, the finest of contemporary dance will go on show for the last 3 festive nights, with the appropriately-named Grand Finale, the exclusive Australian premiere season of Israeli-born Hofesh Shechter’s paean to the end of days, an ecstatic, hypnotic work which has taken the world by storm.




Booking Details or BASS 131 246

An interactive program guide will be available and tickets for all festival shows will go on sale at 12:00PM ACDT 30 October, 2018. Printed programs will be available at all BASS ticketing outlets and selected venues nationally.


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