Playwright and author Christos Tsiolkas tackles discrimination, police brutality and old murder at Adelaide Festival premiere
The opera, which will be directed by the co-artistic director of the Adelaide Festival, Neil Armfield, deals with the politics of the time: South Australian Prime Minister Don Dunstan is then a character in the work. Dunstan led gay law reform in the English-speaking world, says Tsiolkas, decriminalizing male homosexual acts in 1975 – long before Victoria in 1980 and NSW in 1984.
It wasn’t until 2020 that South Australia became the last state to abolish a defense against “gay panic” provocation in violent crime.
Tsiolkas says he and Valentine, together with composer Joseph Twist and historian Tim Reeves, were determined that this wasn’t the story of the police or politicians. Rather, the combination of “celebration” and “lament” in the oratorio also reflects the continued violence against queer people.
Australian works will again outnumber international productions considerably for the Adelaide Festival, as the COVID-19 era persists. There will be 71 events, including nine world premieres.
Co-artistic director Rachel Healy concedes “pressures and limits” on the 2022 season, even if “everything” obtained for the program is “extraordinary”.
“There are a dozen [international] the projects we want could be included in this year’s program, but we’re not globally competitive at the moment, ”she said.
While Australia maintains around 40 14-day hotels for international arrivals, foreign art companies are finding touring opportunities elsewhere in the world with freer travel across borders.
“We also have to adapt to the fact that we can only budget at 75% [audience] capacity, which really dampens the potential box office, which in turn affects the scale of what you can present.
Armfield adds that the festival is “budgeting [the] international [will] have to quarantine for two weeks, but hopefully the request will be lifted by February of next year ”.
Several major imports have nevertheless been scheduled for Adelaide next March, as the opera already announced. The golden rooster by Melbourne-born Berlin-based director Barrie Kosky, the first time a production of Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s 1909 masterpiece has been seen in Australia.
Meanwhile, an ensemble of dancers from 14 African nations will perform the interpretation of the late choreographer Pina Bausch Rite of Spring. The 38 African dancers rehearsed every gesture of Bausch’s original production at École des Sables by choreographer Germaine Acogny in Senegal.
Acogny, 77, and Malou Airaudo, 73, dance teacher from the Bausch ensemble, will also come to Australia to perform a dance for two, middle ground[s], as part of a double bill.
British chamber ensemble Chineke !, formed by double bassist Chi-Chi Nwanoko, of Nigerian and Irish descent, will present a concert featuring works by Prokofiev and Schubert and new commissions from contemporary Australian native composers William Barton and Deborah Cheetham .
Adelaide’s contemporary circus troupe, Gravity and Other Myths, will present Macro as part of the opening event on the night of March 5 at Adelaide Oval, and rock band Icehouse, led by Iva Davies, will perform their Great South Land concert there the following night, March 6, with a guest appearance by Barton, a Kalkadunga man and didgeridoo master.
Healy says his trip with Armfield across Europe and the UK to see his art scenes in July and August this year “gave us such a sense of optimism and clarity on what the future will look like.” in Australia when we reach 80 percent. vaccination “, with the buzz of the hearth” as vibrant and full of anticipation as before COVID “.
The Adelaide Festival runs from March 4 to 20.