Arts and flowers

By Jo Finzi pictureMore flowery characters can be found this month at Perth’s International Arts Festival, held from 9th February to 4th March. You can see a stunning and spectacular programme this year - including the Adventures of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie and Little Ragged Blossom (pictured).

Founded in 1953 by the University of West Australia, the festival is the country’s oldest and largest multi-arts event, far outreaching the city boundary that gives it its name.

Since 2004 the event has been run by Lindy Hume and her concept for this year’s theme is the human family.

The festival centrepiece is the highly-anticipated world premiere of The Love of the Nightingale, an explosive new chamber opera by Richard Mills. It’s based on the 3,000-year-old myth of two Athenian sisters taken from home by King Tereus to Thrace, where their separate stories of love, cruelty and revenge unfold. This co-production of six Australian arts organisations combines the mastery of Australia’s foremost opera composer working with the renowned director Lindy Hume and an outstanding cast.

Another special feature is the festival’s Desert Focus with a performance of Turlku by 30 traditional custodians of the Ngaanyatjarra Lands east of the tri-state border connecting NT, WA and SA.

Other 2007 highlights include the West Australian Ballet in Ballet at the Quarry Amphitheatre, the theatrical imagery of Lin Hwai-min’s Chinese calligraphy-inspired Wild Cursive, John Clarke and Doug MacLeod’s satirical version of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie, Propeller’s interpretation of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew and Twelfth Night, the death-defying antics of New York’s Circus Oz and rare Polish masterpieces as performed by the Royal String Quartet. Regular components include the Becks Verandah, for music and the international jazz programme, and the WA Fringe.

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