Monday, October 24th, 2011
The 2012 Adelaide Festival program marks the establishment of the Festival as an annual event. Over 17 days, from Friday, March 2 to Sunday, March 18 the program features 68 events, including 37 world premieres (three performance based and 34 visual arts), and 62 Australian premieres (19 performance based and 43 visual arts), in 386 performances from 970 international and Australian artists.

In his final year as Artistic Director, Paul Grabowsky said “The 2012 Adelaide Festival offers experiences from the large scale to the intimate, with 14 events that are exclusive to Adelaide. We have assembled a compelling line-up of artists and productions responding to a world in the throes of massive change.”

Highlights from the theatre program include the Australian premiere of A Streetcar, starring French screen legend Isabelle Huppert, in enfant terrible Polish director, Kryzysztof Warlikowski’s play based on Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire. Tony Award winning British actor Jonathan Pryce stars in Harold Pinter’s masterwork The Caretaker, in a production that has been critically acclaimed as “near flawless”, and French master of theatrical spectacle James Thiérrée, performs his new large-scale fantastical solo work Raoul.

Adelaide Festival’s long history of presenting work that seeks to challenge audiences, continues with renowned Hungarian film director Kornél Mundruczó’s exploration of deep depravity, human trafficking and pornography in Hard To Be A God (r 18+) – gruelling, extreme reality theatre.

The Border Project will premiere I Am Not An Animal, a promenade theatre production featuring humans and animals, in a transformed Adelaide Zoo. Sydney Theatre Company and Adelaide Festival in association with Bangarra Dance Theatre present Bloodland, featuring an indigenous cast of 12 – urban actors and traditional Yolngu storytellers .

Asia’s leading contemporary dance company Cloud Gate Dance Theatre, presents a beautiful performance inspired by traditional Chinese calligraphy – Water Stains on the Wall. Belgian dance company les ballets C de la B returns to Adelaide Festival with Gardenia,an intimate portrait of identity and self-revelation. Force Majeure’s Kate Champion and Sydney Theatre Company’s Andrew Upton take inspiration from Christos Tsiolkas’ controversial novel The Slap, in the provocative new dance work Never Did Me Any Harm, in its Australian premiere season.

Legendary Italian film composer Ennio Morricone, the maestro behind The Mission, Cinema Paradiso and The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, will lead the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, six Italian soloists and a massed choir in a spectacular outdoor performance. Paul Grabowsky said “I am thrilled that Maestro Morricone is part of my final Adelaide Festival, bringing him to Australia is the culmination of seven years hard work”. A retrospective of his films will also be screened during the festival.

US baritone Jubilant Sykes leads a company of 200 performers and musicians in Leonard Bernstein’s masterpiece Mass, under the baton of Estonian/American maestroKristjan Järvi. Fine music makes a welcome return with classical music superstars The Hilliard Ensemble (UK); acclaimed period instrument ensemble Freiburg Baroque Orchestra (Germany), Tafelmusik presenting The Galileo Project: Music of the Spheres (Canada), Australian String Quartet, Australian Chamber Orchestra, Adelaide Chamber Singers and Sydney Chamber Choir.

The contemporary music program Dreamers curated by Sophia Brous, features legend of the Anglo American underground and avant-garde anti-hero Genesis Breyer P-Orridge & Psychic TV (UK/USA) in an Adelaide exclusive and Australian premiere concert; 1960’s rock ’n’ roll pioneer and founder of Thirteenth Floor Elevators Roky Erickson, soul, funk R & B singer Charles Bradley (USA), and multi instrumentalist, ‘Brazilian Sourcerer’ Hermeto Pascoal (Brazil) in their Australian premiere performances. Michael Rother presents music of NEU! in a world premiere performance; renowned Grammy Award-winning Latin pianist and band-leader Eddie Palmieri (USA) in a free Opening Night concert; Jane Birkin (France) in a powerful tribute to her partner and mentor Serge Gainsbourg and LA underground cult figure turned international pop star Ariel Pink (USA).

Adelaide Writers’ Week, returns refreshed and reinvigorated with new director Laura Kroetsch, who has gathered a mix of established writers and emerging voices, for readings, discussions and debate. The stellar line-up includes some of contemporary literature’s most compelling voices including Richard Price (USA), Alan Hollinghurst (UK) and Jo Nesbo (Norway), Juan Gabriel Vasquez (Columbia/Spain), Javier Cercas (Spain).

Adelaide Festival’s visual art program provides a unique opportunity to see some of the best international, new Australian and indigenous work on a scale unparalleled by any other Australian arts festival.

Adelaide International 2012: Restless curated by Victoria Lynn explores the restlessness of our times through a range of media including installation, video, painting and photography. Artists include Francis Alÿs (Belgium/Mexico), N. S. Harsha (India), Teresa Margolles (Mexico) and Anri Sala (Albania/Germany), showcased in four of the city’s leading galleries – the Anne & Gordon Samstag Museum of Art, the Australian Experimental Art Foundation, the Contemporary Art Centre of South Australia and the Flinders University City Gallery.

In partnership with Adelaide Festival, the Art Gallery of South Australia presents the 2012 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art: Parallel Collisions, curated by Natasha Bullock and Alexie Glass-Kantor, with commissioned works by leading Australian artists including Richard Bell, Stephen Bram, Pat Brassington and Philip Brophy.

Installation, moving image, painting, fibre, sculpture and glass, feature in Deadly at Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute, co-curated by Fulvia Mantelli and Renee Johnson. The newly-commissioned works are from eight leading Australian First Nation artists and communities – Lorraine Connelly-Northey (NSW), Julie Gough (Tas), Beaver Lennon (SA), Trevor Nickolls (SA), Sandra Saunders (SA), Yhonnie Scarce (Vic/SA), Tjungu Palya: Keith Stevens and Ginger Wikilyiri (Nyapari, APY Lands (SA), Tjanpi Desert Weavers (NT/SA).

Co-convened by Victoria Lynn and Nikos Papastergiadis, Artists’ Week: Into Cosmos will provide a forum for reflection on how art informs and shapes the way our world is understood. Jan Verwoert (Germany), Cuauhtémoc Medina (Mexico), Hou Hanru (China/USA), Barbara Creed (Australia) and Paul Carter (Australia) will each present keynotes across four days of discussion and debate.

Twenty years ago, Adelaide Festival began Australia’s boldest celebration of global music culture and this year’s WOMADelaide includes performances from Youssou N’Dour (Senegal), Master Drummers of Burundi (Rep.of Burundi), Lo' Jo (France), Sharon Shannon (Ireland), Shivkumar Sharma (India) and Eddi Reader (Scotland).

Finally Adelaide Festival wouldn’t be the same without a legendary late-night club. In 2012 Barrio will be the place where festival-goers can enjoy balmy summer nights under the stars. The city’s Hajek Plaza will be transformed into an outdoor shanty town maze, where hawkers market meets Mexican cantina. Performers will mingle with audience, blurring the lines of reality and entertainment. Barrio is a free club and runs for ten nights only.

Adelaide Festival Chief Executive & Associate Artistic Director Kate Gould said “The 2012 festival program features a commitment to new, unique and challenging experiences. With a string of Australian exclusives and premieres on the program, Adelaide Festival cements its position as the place to see the best of the arts from around Australia and the world.”

Adelaide Festival Corporation Chairman Richard Ryan AO said “Paul Grabowsky has done a fantastic job of leading the Adelaide Festival into annual mode. He is an outstanding and experienced artistic director – and a fantastic artist in his own right, who has curated one of the most exciting Adelaide Festival programs yet.”

Notes to editor:

At 7.30pm on Wednesday 19 October goes live with an interactive program guide and tickets for all shows will be on sale. On Thursday 20 October printed programs will be available at all BASS outlets and distributed across Australia.

For further information, visit the Adelaide Festival website at



Duncan Fraser, Senior Publicist, 08 8216 4422, 0404 334 049, [email protected]

Elise Tobin, Publicist, 08 8216 4428, 0417 536 986, [email protected]

Adelaide Festival Facts 2012

Adelaide Festival is Australia's largest multi-arts festival featuring, opera, theatre, dance, music, cabaret, new media events, literature, outdoor entertainment, the visual arts, master classes, forums and a purpose-built late night club

Adelaide Festival runs for 17 days and nights from Friday 2 to Sunday March 18 2012

The 2012 Festival will feature:

· 68 events, 14 exclusive to Adelaide
· 386 performances
· 37 world premieres - 3 from the performance program and 34 from the Visual Arts program
· 62 Australian premieres - 19 from the performance program and 43 from the Visual Arts program
· nine theatre, five dance, 29 music and four film events, alongside Adelaide Writers’ Week, Adelaide International, Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art and Deadly – an exhibition involving eight Australian first nation artists
· 970 artists - 660 Australian and 310 international

Artists from countries including France, China, Taiwan, Korea, Italy, Belgium, Hungry, Brazil, Germany, Mexico, India, Sweden, Greece, Iran, Canada, Hungary, USA, United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia will bring their work to Adelaide

2012 marks the first annual Adelaide Festival and Paul Grabowsky’s last festival as Director. Adelaide Festival ran on a biennial basis until 2010, the 50th and last biennial event

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Adelaide Festival Facts 2012

Launched in 1960, the Adelaide Festival has created a tradition of innovation and excellence and always challenging audiences with a diverse range of work

The longest running Australian literary festival Adelaide Writers' Week runs from Saturday, March 3 to Friday, March 9 featuring over 70 writers

18 international visual artists will show work at Adelaide International this year titled Restless running from Friday 2 March – Thursday 5 April 2012 in five of Adelaide’s contemporary art spaces. Featuring 14 Australian and five world premiere works

Artists' Week this year titled Into Cosmos involves 17 presentations by artists, curators, critics and academics and runs from Friday 2 March – Monday 5 March 2012

Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art this year titled Parallel Collisions runs from Friday 2 March – Sunday 29 April 2012 and presents 21 commissioned works by some of Australia’s leading artists

The festival has a tradition of creating unique late night clubs including the legendary Red Square (2006) and Universal Playground (2004). In 2012 the club will be known as Barrio will transform Hajek Plaza into an outdoor shanty town maze, where hawkers market meets Mexican cantina. Nobody can tell the difference between reality and entertainment. No two nights will be the same - free and open for 10 nights only.

The full Adelaide Festival 2012 program will be available online at 7.30pm on Wednesday 19 October when goes live with an interactive program guide.

Printed programs will be available at all BASS outlets and distributed across Adelaide on Thursday 20 October.

For further information, visit the Adelaide Festival website at

Duncan Fraser, Senior Publicist
P: 08 8216 4422
M: 0404 334 049


adelaide festival, arts festival, fringe,



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