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Sydney Festival 2014

Sydneysiders and visitors know Sydney Festival is one of the most wonderful summer festivals in the world – a claim underpinned by the city's lustre and charisma, making it an ideal showcase for the world's great artists.

SYDNEY – Festival Director Lieven Bertels and the Sydney Festival team revealed the full program for Sydney Festival 2014, an explosion of exceptional theatre, dance, music, visual arts, film and more that will bring the harbour city to life from January 9-26.

Sydney Festival 2014 is comprised of 104 events, a staggering 21 of which are free. With 372 performances across 33 indoor and outdoor venues, Sydney Festival 2014 features 722 artists from 80 companies across 17 countries. With 10 world premieres, 4 Australian premieres and 13 Australian exclusives, summer in our beautiful city is absolutely not to be missed.

“If you are really into your arts, Sydney Festival will not disappoint, with opera, dance, theatre and music acts from across Australia and the world,” says Festival Director, Lieven Bertels.

Against a backdrop of some of the world’s greatest theatre and dance, new Australian works of magnitude and cultural importance dominate this year’s theatre program. The world premiere of Black Diggers (directed by Wesley Enoch and written by Tom Wright) unfolds the untold stories of 1000 Indigenous soldiers who fought in World War One, whilst Michael Kantor and Tom E. Lewis‘ indigenous re-working of King Lear in The Shadow King has recently premiered to a rousing reception by audiences in Melbourne, Australia.

Internationally acclaimed choreographer Shaun Parker returns to Sydney Festival with the world premiere of Am I , whilst Halina Reijn performs the lead role in the retelling of the 1927 monologue by Jean Cocteau in the voyeuristic La Voix Humaine. Philip Glass presents a live score to Godfrey Reggio ‘s Visitors to follow its premiere at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival and after a five month sell out season on London’s Southbank LIMBO  returns to heat up the 1920s Speigeltent in the wildly expanded Festival Village.

A main highlight of the 2014 program is Henry Purcell ‘s great romantic tragedy Dido & Aeneas in Sasha Waltz ‘s wondrous reimagining of the great opera, featuring stunning choreography, a prologue performed in a giant fish tank underwater, and celebrated baroque orchestra Akademie fur Alte Musik Berlin .

And in Sydney’s famous outdoor venue The Domain, two fantastic free events are set to delight, kicking off with Chicago’s R’n’B, soul and disco diva Chaka Khan on the opening weekend, and Sydney Symphony Orchestra performing Gustav Holst ‘s astronomical suite The Planets, conducted by Hamburg State Opera Artistic Director Simone Young, to wrap up the Festival and Australia Day with Symphony in the Domain on Sunday 26 January.

In Parramatta in Sydney’s west, the favourite free event Parramatta Opening Party is back with free music and all sorts of festival fun, and everyone’s favourite yellow friend Rubber Duck is back too!

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